ALTRINCHAM (1) 2 SOUTHPORT (0) 0
played on Friday, 3 April, 2015, at 3pm
A first-half strike from left of goal by Nicky Clee put Alty ahead in the 37th minute after Southport had set much of the first-half pace. The Sandgrounders had seen Brodie's early long-range shot smash against the underside of the bar and had been denied by several excellent saves from goalkeeper Stuart Coburn before Alty scored.
The visitors continued to enjoy forward momentum after the break but a superb goal direct from a freekick left of goal by Jordan Sinnott put Alty 2-0 up in the 71st minute. After that, Altrincham had the better of things and their win moved them into the top half of the league for the first time this season. The points also ensured, mathematically, that Altrincham would be in the same division next season.
- 37 mins: Nicky CLEE (ALTRINCHAM 1 Southport 0)
- 71 mins: Jordan SINNOTT (ALTRINCHAM 2 Southport 0)
REFEREE: Mr Paul Rees (Bristol)
Alty were without injured Shaun Densmore and suspended Peter Cavanagh. So, Sean Williams started and Scott Leather remained at right-back.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks). 1. Stuart Coburn, 6. Scott Leather, 5. Gianluca Havern (c), 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 18. Sean Williams, 26. Jordan Sinnott, 4. Jake Moult, 7. James Lawrie, 11. Nicky Clee, 10. Damian Reeves. Subs: 8. Simon Richman, 14. Kyle Perry, 17.Dave Parton, 19. Ryan Crowther, 9. Steven Gillespie
SOUTHPORT (Sky blue). 1. Tony Thompson, 11. Tom Davies, 24. Will Beesley, 2. Matthew Challoner, 8. Luke George (c), 14. Charlie Joyce, 20. Paul Smith, 10. Richard Brodie, 23. George Donnelly, 26.Steven Hewitt, 27. Connor McCarthy. Subs: 25. Sebastian Usai, 3. David Fitzpatrick, 16. Paul Rutherford, 17. Louis Almond, 21. Michael Symes.
Mike Garnett provides the record between Altrincham and Southport...
- At home: P17-W9-D4-L4-F24-A21
- Away: P13-W3-D3-L7-F16-A22
- All: P30-W12-D7-L11-F40-A43
Southport arrived on an unbeaten run of six games. Alty had failed to win any of their four most recent home matches.
The game got under way on a dismal, drizzly afternoon, with the floodlights on before kick off. From the kick off, Altrincham broke forward. But within the first minute, Southport's Smith went down hurt in the centre circle and, after treatment, had to go off. He was replaced by former Barrow winger Rutherford (2 mins).
Then Southport almost took an early lead as a Brodie thirty-yard half volley crashed off the underside of Coburn's cross bar and was cleared (3 mins). Alty responded with a low cross from the right by Sinnott which Reeves poked to keeper Thompson (6 mins).
A Clee run was then halted up middle as Brodie lived up to his pantomime villain image by commenting incessantly to the nearby linesman as he patrolled the Southport right flank. After Clee had robbed Challoner, his cross went to the keeper. Then a Williams cross ran out of play from Reeves's header.
From a Port freekick near halfway, a ricochet fell nicely to a Port player but Coburn saved the resulting goalbound shot from the edge of the box (14 mins). Altrincham were making errors as Southport looked the more potent attacking threat. It took a great double save by Coburn, the second being from Rutherford, after a team-mate's earlier effort had run free to him in the box (18 mins).
Southport keeper Thompson now just cleared a George back pass before a first-time volley by Sinnott from right of goal, from Moult's crossfield ball, just cleared the bar (22 mins). After a Williams foul, a deflection won Southport a corner on their left. From this, Coburn missed his punch but the ball was cleared.
After 28 minutes, Marshall was harried into conceding a corner, but Reeves cleared. However, Southport continued to look the more threatening as a Joyce shot cleared the bar on the half-hour mark. Next McCarthy's fierce 35-yarder was helped over the bar by Coburn for a corner. There had already been four decent saves from Coburn whilst Alty had barely troubled Thompson in the opposition net.
Alty's keeper was in action again when Port got behind Leather and Coburn had to beat out Hewitt's shot for a corner (34 mins). So it was against the run of play when Altrincham seized a 37th minute lead. But it was a well-worked goal. Alty broke forward up the inside left channel prompted by Marshall and involved Lawrie and Clee before the last named's shot from left of goal found the net at the back post, with the oncoming Reeves arriving to make sure.
Soon afterwards, following a Clee freekick, Leather's stab at goal was saved (39 mins). A minute later Sinnott set Reeves running but his shot was deflected for a corner. Southport responded with a corner of their own, won off Griffin. But next a fine Lawrie ball led to a first-time cross-shot from Clee which landed on the roof of the net (42 mins).
The half drew to an end after a Griffin cross had yielded another corner, but it was wasted. So Alty reached the interval one-up but heavily indebted to keeper Coburn for that advantage.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 SOUTHPORT 0|
The second half began fairly scrappily in the continuing rain. But it came to life in the 53rd minute when a McCarthy long shot was kept out unconventionally by Coburn's knees as it took an awkward bounce just in front of the keeper. The resulting corner came to nothing but there was soon another Port corner, after which Beesley's 30 yarder went wide.
After Moult had been penalised, a freekick 45 yards out on the left led to a Brodie shot being blocked in the box as Port set the pace (56 mins). Just after the hour mark, Williams went down injured and was unable to continue. So, Richman came on in his place (61 mins).
There was the all too frequent farce with the electronic subs' board as the fourth official tried and failed three times to display the correct shirt numbers before giving up. Alty were still not flowing at their best and when Reeves was pushed into an opponent by a Southport player, Mr. Rees was deceived into awarding the foul against the Alty man.
In the 68th minute Almond came on for Donnelly before Alty won a corner on the right. The only booking of the game arrived when Southport captain George picked up his 14th card of the season for a foul on Clee as the Alty man advanced towards the box. The freekick was some 30 yards out on the left but, from there, Sinnott scored with a superb strike to make it 2-0 (71 mins).
Then Brodie won a freekick off Havern on the edge of Alty's box. Coburn not only stopped the freekick but got the loose ball away too (74 mins). As Alty won a freekick on the left, near half way, Symes replaced Brodie and Perry came on for Sinnott (77 mins).
After the booked George fouled Reeves, Marshall's 55-yard freekick went just over the bar. Altrincham finished the game strongly. First Clee turned well but was halted on the edge of the box. Two throws and a freekick allowed Alty to keep possession before a ball from Reeves almost got Lawrie clear (84 mins). Next, Lawrie lifted a shot over the bar and then Crowther replaced Clee (86 mins).
Altrincham played out the game very competently and in the fourth added minute, Lawrie won a corner but he himself overhit it.
Today's win owed much to the form of goalkeeper Coburn, who was named Man of the Match. The win lifted Alty to twelfth, their highest position of the season and ensured, mathematically, their survival in the top flight of non-League football, a tribute to the management of Lee Sinnott and Neil Tolson and all the more remarkable for being achieved with such a small squad of players.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 SOUTHPORT 0|