ALTRINCHAM (0) 1 AFC TELFORD UNITED (1) 2
played on Saturday, 18 April, 2015, at 3pm
Altrincham's disappointing end to an otherwise successful campaign continued with this lacklustre showing against relegated AFC Telford United. Before the late introduction of three attacking substitutes Altrincham rarely looked like scoring. They fell behind after 39 minutes when Gray worked a one-two inside the box and was left with time to score comfortably. The second goal arrived when an off-target shot by Smith dropped to Farrell. Unmarked, he scored easily.
With eight minutes left Marshall's long ball was nodded back from beyond the back post by Perry and clee volleyed home. But it was not enough.
- 39 mins: Adam FARRELL (ALTRINCHAM 0 AFC Telford United 1)
- 53 mins: Tony GRAY (ALTRINCHAM 0 AFC Telford United 2)
- 82 mins: Nicky CLEE (ALTRINCHAM 1 AFC Telford United 2)
REFEREE: Mr S Rushton
Altrincham were without the suspended Jake Moult and Peter Cavanagh. But Sean Williams returned from injury. However, Stuart Coburn was sidelined by a calf problem. So Josh Samberg came in on the bench as cover keeper to Dave Parton.
For Telford, Mike Grogan (mouth infection) is out but Rod McDonald is back from illness.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks ). 17.Dave Parton, 6. Scott Leather, 5. Gianluca Havern (c), 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 8 Simon Richman, 26. Jordan Sinnott, 18. Sean Williams, 7. James Lawrie, 11. Nicky Clee, 10. Damian Reeves. Subs: 14. Kyle Perry, 19. Ryan Crowther, 9. Steven Gillespie, 20. Joel Swift, 24. Josh Samberg.
AFC TELFORD UNITED (Light blue shirts, dark blue shorts and socks) 31. James Montgomery, 23. John Disney, 4. Neill Byrne, 27. Ian Sharps (c), 11. Sean Clancy, 9. Adam Farrell, 20. Godfrey Poku, 24. Danny Ventre, 10. Tony Gray, 18. Sam Smith, 29. Ross Dyer. Subs: 25. Freddy Hall, 13. Andy Pryce, 16. Rod McDonald, 30. Bradley Reid... no fifth sub. named.
Mike Garnett tells us the record of previous encounters between the clubs.
- At home: 1-0-1-0-1-1
- Away: 2-0-0-2-2-5
- All: 3-0-1-2-3-6
On a sunny afternoon Alty kicked off, defending the away end, but it was a quiet start to the game. An early Sinnott mis-control and a Havern mis-clearance set the tone for much of what was to follow from Altrincham (6 mins).
For Telford, Farrell won the game's first corner, following which Parton caught a looping header easily. Next, a Dyer 20 yarder cleared the bar. At the other end, Telford hacked clear from Lawrie before a fine Leather 30 yarder just cleared the bar (10 mins).
Following another Telford corner, Parton punched clear for a throw and then a fierce Telford shot hit an Alty defender. As Altrincham tried to get forward, Griffin was caught offside twice in as many minutes. Next Clee's fine shot went too high, after Lawrie and Richman had got the ball to him with a neat move on the right.
A Scott Leather run led to a Lawrie cross, which gained a corner but this came to nothing (20 mins). Afterwards, Poku received a lecture for a foul on Clee before Marshall held Dyer near half way but Disney's resulting freekick was cleared.
Alty were not testing the visitors' keeper at all before a Reeves hook went high and wide and a Griffin cross went to Montgomery comfortably (26 mins). It was proving to be end of season fare until a Clee effort from 25 yards had to be tipped over for a corner on the right; but this was again wasted (31 mins).
After Clee had won the ball off Poku, his ambitious 50 yard effort went wide (35 mins). The next half chance arrived after Leather located Sinnott, but his volley went to the keeper.
Disaster struck with a misunderstanding between Williams and Sinnott, 25 yards out. Gray got the loose ball, played a one-two, advanced into the box and scored easily from a central position about 12 yards out (39 mins). Alty's appalling record against the bottom clubs was continuing.
The goal had come against the run of play but Alty had not seriously threatened to score themselves. After the re-start, Leather, who had a good first half, got to the byline and put in a fierce cross which flew across the goalmouth (40 mins).
After a Clancy cross, Farrell won a corner on the right, which Williams cleared but, with no one upfield, possession was immediately surrendered. Not long afterwards, Alty got to half-time looking a tired and uninspiring side.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 AFC TELFORD UNITED 1|
Telford kicked off after the referee had allowed the break to run well past the statutory fifteen minutes. The standard of play did not improve after the interval.
Visiting keeper Montgomery did have to stir himself to save a low Clee cross, after a Griffin pass, but there was nothing to set the pulse racing at all. Telford's second goal summed up the afternoon. A completely wayward shot from Smith, left of centre, flew by complete chance to Farrell. He was in space and scored easily to make it 2-0 (53 mins).
Serial offender Poku was booked for a late challenge on Griffin (54 mins) before Richman got a final warning for a foul. Next, a Lawrie foot-up offence, 25 yards from his goal, led to a Farrell freekick which was just tipped round the base of his right post by Parton for a corner. After this, Smith fired over (57 mins).
Now, Perry came on for Lawrie (58 mins) but Alty remained completely ineffectual in terms of attacking threat, with mis-pass after mis-pass and recurrently poor ball control. Things improved as a good Clee run and dribble threatened a goal but he fired over from 17 yards (62 mins).
Nothing of note happened until Reid came on for Dwyer for the visitors (69 mins). Two minutes afterwards, Crowther replaced Richman.He went on the left, as Clee moved to the right (71 mins).
Clee now made a fine run but produced a poor shot, wide, at the end of it. A promising Crowther run was halted by a cynical tug from Byrne, who was booked (75 mins).
Totally out of keeping with the general standard of the match, the resulting, excellent 27-yard freekick from Sinnott hit the inside of post and went out for a throw. Now Joel Swift came on for his debut, replacing Reeves (76 mins).
The attacking substitutions had improved Alty's performance and, now a corner was won from a Clee throw, followed by a second corner from the left. Following this, Clee shot well over the bar from Sinnott's feed. At long last Alty were getting forward with a bit more purpose than in the first 70 minutes.
A Marshall long ball now found Perry, who headed it back from beyond the back post and Clee volleyed it home from 15 yards to make it 1-2 (82 mins). Crowther's arrival had improved things and he now played in Clee but he mis-passed to an opponent in the box (85 mins).
In the 86th minute, McDonald replaced Smith. After this, Crowther was tripped and Disney duly booked. This time Sinnott's freekick flew wide, from the left. Telford's Farrell won a corner before Alty did the same at the other end (89 mins). Although another corner followed, Telford retained their lead.
When Crowther was barged over in the box (90+2 mins) and the referee gave no foul, Alty's last chance had gone.
Since securing survival in the division, Altrincham have not played well and, sadly, a place in the bottom third now seems likely rather than a comfortable mid-table finish. But amidst this disappointment, it cannot be forgotten that the players have punched above their weight for much of the campaign, to secure survival in this division weeks before it finale.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 AFC TELFORD UNITED 2|