Match Report


Vanarama Conference match
played on Monday, 6 April, 2015, at 3pm


On a poor pitch which rendered the game largely devoid of quality, Gateshead took the points with a first-half goal from former Altrincham trialist Michael Rankine. He turned and drove home from the edge of the box in the 40th minute.

Altrincham had more than matched the promotion aspirants before then but had barely threatened to score themselves.

The second half was, if anything, even poorer in quality. Sainte Luce looked the liveliest player on the pitch but Parton was scarcely troubled. For Alty, the introduction of Crowther and Perry prompted an improvement in the closing stages but several fumbles by the Gateshead keeper were the nearest to a goal for the visitors.

An unhappy afternoon also saw Cavanagh booked and he now faces a two-match ban for ten cautions.


REFEREE: Mr Richard Wigglesworth (Doncaster)
ATTENDANCE: 957, 54 in away stand

Altrincham were without the injured Shaun Densmore and Sean Williams but Peter Cavanagh rejoined the eleven starters, after suspension. Parton came into the side for Coburn in Alty's goal.

Gateshead's Valentin Gjokaj was suspended after being sent off last Saturday.


GATESHEAD (White shirts and socks & black shorts): 32. Joel Dixon, 16. Craig Baxter, 5. James Curtis, 9. Jon Shaw, 10.Josh Gillies, 25. Matthew Pattison, 4. Jamie Chandler, 12 Robert Ramshaw, 19. Michael Rankine, 23. Alex Rodman 27. Kevin Sainte-Luce. Subs: 1. Adam Bartlett, 3. Ryan Wilson, 14. Dillon Morse, 29. Jake Orrell, 31. Adam Campbell,

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts & socks, blue shorts): 17.Dave Parton, 6. Scott Leather, 5. Gianluca Havern (c), 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 25. Peter Cavanagh, 26. Jordan Sinnott, 4. Jake Moult, 7. James Lawrie, 11. Nicky Clee, 10. Damian Reeves. Subs: 1. Stuart Coburn, 8. Simon Richman, 14. Kyle Perry, 19. Ryan Crowther, 9. Steven Gillespie.


Mike Garnett's records show the record of previous matches between Altrincham and Gateshead...


On a sunny and warm afternoon on Tyneside, the worn-looking pitch was well watered before kick off. Alty kicked off but conceded two early freekicks as it became clear the surface was bobbly and not conducive to a passing style of play.

After a Sainte Luce cross had been cleared, Clee almost played in Lawrie. Next, after seven minutes Lawrie tried an over ambitious 40-yard lob but it went wide.

As play drifted on there was not the remotest suggestion of a goal from either side as they laboured in the hot sunshine. The game was littered with misplaced passes, mis-control of the ball, petty freekicks and throw-ins, which made it a poor spectacle.

Typical was the Gateshead captain Shaw's mis-pass to Clee, followed by the Alty man's equal failure to find a team-mate (17 mins). Former Halifax striker, Jon Shaw is now The Heed's centre-back.

It got a bit better as a Leather shot was blocked then keeper Dixon, not for the last time, fumbled a Sinnott cross. It had been fairly even so far; if anything Alty were shading it.

After a Clee trip on Baxter by the left corner flag of the Alty half, the freekick was caught by Parton, easily. Havern was then alert as he halted Sainte Luce and then Rodman, after the ex-Tamworth man had got past Leather (24 mins).

As the half-hour approached, Gateshead were now enjoying more of the ball but the game's quality remained poor as Pattison overhit his cross. Rankine then threatened but slipped in the box.

Play meandered on ineffectually before a well-struck Lawrie 35 yarder cleared the bar (39 mins). From a routine probe on their left, Gateshead worked the ball to Rankine who turned and drove a low shot past Parton from the edge of the box to make it 1-0 (40 mins).

The goal had arrived out of nothing.

After the restart, a fine Moult ball got Griffin free but his cross was blocked. As half time beckoned, Gillies fed Sainte Luce but he blasted his shot from right of goal, well over the bar. Alty were a little unfortunate to be trailing at the interval.


The sprinklers came on at the break, leaving the goalmouth looking sodden to the right of the Main Stand.

The half began with Richman coming on for Clee. The Heed won an early corner on their left, earned by Rodman off Leather. But play soon reverted to its scrappy first-half standard.

A Curtis cross produced a Rankine header, which was saved low but comfortably by Parton. Alty did a bit better in the 50th minute when Marshall found Lawrie, whose cross-shot had to be tipped over the bar for a corner on the Alty left. But soon the hosts won themselves a corner, too, as Sainte Luce played the ball off Griffin on their right wing.

The almost inevitable caution for Cavanagh arrived on 54 minutes when he halted Sainte Luce's advance towards the box. He is now suspended for two games.

Parton saved Gillies's freekick at the cost of a corner, which Rodman headed over the bar. The same fate befell a shot from Rankine whilst Altrincham were not creating much at all.

However, on 63 minutes, Lawrie's low shot at the keeper took a bad bounce and Dixon fumbled the ball before he recovered it. After Reeves had almost got clear of Shaw, from a Marshall pass, Lawrie tripped Sainte Luce in the Gateshead half.

Next, Alty allowed Shaw to advance and feed Sainte Luce, whose shot was saved by Parton's legs before he gathered the ball (67 mins). For Alty, Lawrie looked the brightest spark but, when he located Griffin, the left-back's cross from the left byline went straight to the keeper.

Generally, Altrincham's forward movements lacked much impetus and consequently were far from threatening. However, after 73 minutes, a Reeves shot was deflected for a corner on the left, followed by an equally unproductive one from the right.

After 76 minutes, Crowther replaced Sinnott and Perry came on for Reeves. A forlorn appeal for a penalty by Gillies was rightly ignored by the referee before Alty began to get forward with a bit more serious intent than earlier in the game.

Lawrie forced a diving save from Dixon after a good move (81 mins) and then a Lawrie header drifted wide (85 mins). But an equalizer proved elusive and, as the game went into three added minutes, Parton had to save a Ramshaw shot.

Following an Alty freekick from half way on their left, keeper Dixon, for the third time in the game, dropped the ball and the referee was extremely generous in awarding him a freekick. This incensed Altrincham and a yellow card was waved at Marshall (90+1 mins).

As Alty protested further, the referee halted play to talk to Alty captain Havern. With the game in its fourth added minute, Dixon yet again dropped the ball and, in a melee, Perry ended up under a Gateshead player. But his appeals for a penalty were ended as the refree opted to blow the final whistle rather than make a decision about the incident.

SO, Alty had fallen to a 1-0 defeat in a game low on quality all round. If Gateshead make the play offs this suggests either that this was very much an off-day for them or that the standard at the top of the Conference is not very high this season.