Match Report


Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 18 August, 2015, at 7.45pm


A stirring performance from Altrincham was overshadowed by a bad injury to centre-back Tom Marshall who suffered a fracture to his right leg.

Altrincham had taken a 13th minute lead. Following a corner from the left, Bowerman shot at goal and in a melee, goalkeeper McKeown grabbed the ball but it was deemed to have crossed the line, through Michael Rankine's intervention, to the annoyance of the Grimsby players, who mobbed the referee and his assistant but to no avail.

Omar Bogle grabbed an equaliser after 42 minutes when he fired into Coburn's right-hand corner from Arnold's pass. The visitors dominated the opening stages of the second half but Alty defended valiantly. And, on the hour, when a cross from the Alty left seemed to be drifting out of play, goalkeeper McKeown for some reason tried to push it away but only succeeded in palming it down to Bowerman who netted smartly from just beyond the back post.

The goal seemed to deflate the visitors and Altrincham then looked quite comfortable but, eight minutes from time, Tom Marshall was injured as he tackled Bogle. After a lengthy delay, the centre-back was stretchered off with a broken leg. Ten minutes of added time were announced which actually extended into the thirteenth added minute, due to a late knock to goalkeeper Coburn.

Alty played out more than 12 minutes of added time without serious discomfort to continue their jinx over the Lincolnshire side. Alty moved up to 19th but now need to seek defensive reinforcements having lost two centre-backs to lengthy injury absences already this season.


REFEREE: Mr John Brooks

Altrincham were again without injured defender Luca Havern. Their squad was unchanged from Saturday's loss at Woking. Grimsby had Gowling in defence and Pearson on the bench.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): FROM 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 6. Scott LEATHER, 16. Tom MARSHALL 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Michael RANKINE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 20. Jordan SINNOTT Subs 15. Anthony GRIFFITH, 17. Tim DEASY, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE.

GRIMSBY TOWN (Sky blue shirts and socks, navy shorts ) 1. James McKeown, 2. Richard Tait, 22. Aris Nsiala, 23. Danny East, 20. Nathan Arnold, 6. Josh Gowling, 8. Craig Disley (capt), 16. Craig Clay, 11. Andy Monkhouse, 9. Omar Bogle, 10. Padraig Amond. Subs: 7. Jack Mackreth 3. Gregor Robertson, 5. Shaun Pearson, 15. Harry Clifton, 17. Josh Venney.


Altrincham were looking to record their first goals and points of the season. In contrast, Grimsby arrived at Moss Lane unbeaten and as the division's top scorers, with ten goals to date.

Mike Garnett's data gives us the historical record between Alty and Grimsby Town. To date, Alty were unbeaten in these matches.


With the floodlights on, Alty kicked off towards Golf Road and Leather was quickly in action to prevent a corner. It was fewer than three minutes into the game when Grimsby were caught offside in what was to become a regular occurrence.

There was no clear chance for either side in the opening stages; an An off-target Bowerman overhead effort and a wayward cross from Amond being the nearest to a goal threat in the first five minutes.

Despite Bogle being caught offside, the vocal Visiting fans were in good spirits as they barracked Coburn at every kick he took. Further forwards, a Bowerman shot from the edge of the box was saved by McKeown at the second attempt (7 mins).

With Coburn enjoying banter with the visiting fans behind his goal at one end, Rankine was starting to give Gowling and Nsiala a tough time at the other.

Grimsby landed their first shot on target on eleven minutes with a Bogle 25 yarder, straight to Coburn. But Town were flagged offside for the third time just afterwards (12 mins).

End to end play continued as the lively Bowerman won Alty a corner from the left. Sinnott's low corner was poked goalwards by Bowerman and, in a crowded goalmouth, McKeown grabbed the ball but not before it was judged to have crossed the line with the aid of Michael Rankine (13 mins). There was some delay in confirmation of the goal as the referee consulted the linesman, who had his flag raised. Once the goal had been confirmed, Grimsby players mobbed the two officials near the touchline.

After play had eventually resumed, Bogle volleyed over the bar (15 mins). Coburn now cleared into touch and, soon afterwards, he sliced into touch.

Alty were competing well with Bowerman continuing the good form he had shown at Woking on Saturday. Despite a decent amount of possession Grimsby were not getting much sight of the Alty goal. Indeed, Alty came closer to opening the score when Moult, from the right touchline, drove the ball goalwards and McKeown had to tip the ball out for a corner on Alty's left (23 mins).

After 26 minutes Coburn caught a cross superbly under pressure, after which Rankine won his side a corner off Nsiala. However, another miskick from Coburn miskicks was almost costly as it cannoned off a Grimsby forward and deflected just wide of Alty's goal (30 mins).

Amond was now flagged miles offside for Town before a Bogle shot deflected to Coburn. Bowerman then intercepted the ball and advanced, feeding Rankine but the return pass, a back heel, was cleared (34 mins).

There was danger for Alty when Arnold got past Bowerman in the Alty box but his cross was badly headed wide at the back post (38 mins). Just after Town had hit Alty's side netting from the left, Marshall conceded a corner on Town's left. Nsiala headed this over the bar at the back post (41 mins).

Town's pressure told when Arnold advanced up the right and played the ball inside, where Bogle scored with a fine, left-foot shot, low into the right corner of Coburn's net from the edge of the box, making the score 1-1 (42 mins).

After the restart, Rankine battled well to win a corner off Nsiala but Leather was pushed over to give Alty a freekick. East's shot from 30 yards was easy for Coburn but Grimsby won a corner in added time. Again Nsiala climbed well but headed over the bar (45+1 mins).


Grimsby started the second half well and went close to a goal after 49 minutes with a ball across the Alty box. The hosts remained on the back foot as Town won a freekick against Richman, 30 yards out and fairly central. From this Bogle hit the post with a good effort (52 mins).

Marshall had to concede a corner as Alty remained under the and after this Coburn impressively beat out two thumping shots in succession as Grimsby dominated (55 mins). It was not long before the Alty keeper had to save well again, this time from Arnold (57 mins).

Bogle continued to be caught offside... twice in a minute,in fact! The excellent Grimsby support was then stunned as Alty took the lead against the run of secpond-half play. A looping cross came in from the Alty left and seemed to be drifting out of play at the back post. Rather than let it go out, McKeown opted to stretch for it but only succeeded in palming the ball down to the ground. From a difficult angle, beyond the back post, Bowerman hooked the ball into the net from right of goal to make it 2-1 (60 mins).

Town responded with a corner, a header over the bar and a freekick against Lawrie, 30 yards out right of centre. Rankine relieved the presure by winning a throw. Following this, Denmore won the ball but his low cross was mis-headed, low down, to the keeper by Rankine (66 mins).

Despite his two goals, Bowerman was now taken off and Clee came on (67 mins). When Gowling felled the hard-working Rankine the Grimsby defender was booked. Mackreth then replaced Monkhouse (69 mins).

Following a Rankine header to McKeown, Marshall won the ball, leading to a blocked shot from Sinnott from Rankine's feed. Town now seemed to have lost their spark a little as Alty enjoyed some possession. But when Lawrie got to the byline, Sinnott blasted his shot well over (72 mins).

Just after the Grimsby keeper had raced to the touchline to clear, Alty's O'Keefe replaced Sinnott (73 mins). With Alty looking comfortable now, Rankine turned and shot, his effort deflected just wide, off McKeown, for a corner. From this, Lawrie lifted a shot miles over the bar 975 mins).

Alty continued to do well and Grimsby's frustration showed when they mobbed the referee after being caught offside yet again (80 mins).

However, in the move which resulted in Arnold winning a corner, Marshall went down after challenging Bogle (82 mins). It immediately looked bad as several pitchside figures ran on with physio Alan Ainsley. After some five minutes of treatment, the unfortunate Alty defender was stretchered off with a broken right leg (87 mins).

Before play resumed, Reeves replaced the stricken Marshall. Moult now moved to centre-back and Reeves was to play in a deeper than customary role. In the final minute of normal time, Pearson replaced Tait for Grimsby.

Ten added minutes were displayed by the fourth official and, in the first of these, Grimsby won a corner on their left.

Alty now got forward but Lawrie sliced his shot over the bar after a good Clee and Lawrie move on the left. Soon after, Lawrie did well and found Clee, who was tripped. Nsiala was booked for his foul (90+5 mins).

A minute later, Coburn was hurt in an aerial challenge and assistant manager Neil Tolson came on to treat him before physio Alan Ainsley arrived from treating the injured Marshall in the dressing room. Scott Leather and Natahn Arnold wre named Men of the Match as Coburn was treated at length (90+8 mins).

Ten minutes into added time, Clee was penalised 35 yards out and goalkeeper McKeown came up to the Alty end. Though Mckeown got a header in the aftermath, Alty cleared their lines and won a freekick (90+10 mins). The game had just entered its thirteenth minute of added time when the final whistle sounded on an excellent win for Altrincham, overshadowed by Marshall's injury.

With Havern also sidelined, Scott Leather is the club's only remaining experienced centre-back as Alty plan for their long trip to Dover. This was an excellent team performance, and a game of great entertainment for the supporters.