Match Report


Vanarama National League match
played on Monday, 31 August, 2015, at 3pm


Bottom club Southport secured their first win of the season against an Alty side which enjoyed plenty of the ball but rarely threatened to score. With five players injured before kick off, (centre back loanee Andy Parry had been added to the list after Saturday's game), Alty then lost Simon Richman to injury inside the first five minutes. Things got even worse when Adam Griffin was penalised and Jones converted the resulting penalty despite Alty protests that it had not been a foul and, moreover, was outside the box (12 mins).

Nolan made it 2-0 after 24 minutes when Alty had been opened up on the Port right-wing. Substitute McCarthy completed the Southport scoring five minutes from time after Deasy had beaten out a Nolan shot. An unhappy afternoon was compounded by five bookings, with keeper Deasy relieved to see only yellow after handling outside his box.


REFEREE: Mr Martin Coy

Altrincham were without five of their first choices; centre-backs Tom Marshall and Luca Havern, goalkeeper Stuart Coburn and winger Nicky Clee had been missing on Saturday but now loanee defender Andy Parry had joined them for this game with an ankle injury.

In addition, Michael Rankine was on the bench after his hard work against Tranmere, so Damian Reeves returned and Ryan Crowther made his first start. Midfielder Jake Moult played alongside Scott Leather at centre-back.

Port, with just one goal and one point from six games, were without the suspended Josh Thompson and Andrai Jones, who were both sent off on Saturday.

SOUTHPORT (Old gold and black): 1. Andy Coughlin, 2. Matt Challoner, 3. Will Beesley, 4. Liam Nolan, 6. Luke Foster (capt), 8. Andy Wright, 10. Andy Bishop, 11. Gary Jones, 16 Paul Rutherford, 17. Louis Almond, 22. Mike Phenix. Subs: 7. Jamie Allen, 15. Connor McCarthy, 19 Jon Viscosi, 14. Charlie Joyce, 23. Courtney Cameron.

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Adam GRIFFIN,6. Scott LEATHER, 4. Jake MOULT, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon RICHMAN,18. George BOWERMAN, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 10. Damian REEVES, 19. Ryan CROWTHER. Subs: 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 9. Michael RANKINE, 22. Andrew PARRY, 15. Anthony GRIFFITH.


Mike Garnett's record of games between the two clubs shows:

Alty had not won a league match at Haig Avenue since 1996.

The referee, today, Martin Coy, had overseen Alty v Barnet last season when he left the pitch to a chorus of boos. He had sent off Alty's Tom Marshall in that game but failed to dismiss Barnet's already booked defender, N'Gala, after he had clattered Jake Moult.


Alty deployed Crowther on the right, Bowerman on the left, as Port kicked off towards the away end. Inside the second minute, Richman pulled up hobbling as he went in for a challenge. He briefly continued but, then, had to be replaced by O’Keefe in only the fifth minute, raising Alty's injury list to six.

Things got worse as Reeves was late tackling an opponent and was booked (6 mins). Despite this unfortunate start, Alty looked the better team and, after a Bowerman shot from the left had been fumbled by Coughlin, who had a jittery game, Crowther fired the loose ball over the bar from right (10 mins).

Then another misfortune struck as Griffin was judged to have conceded a penalty. Phenix went down but Alty protested that the challenge was both legitimate and outside the box, but to no avail. Jones netted with a fierce penalty kick (12 mins).

Alty continued to enjoy more of the ball as O'Keefe fired wide from 20 yards from a Sinnott feed (17 mins). Then, following a Crowther run and pass to Lawrie, the latter's cross was just too high for O'Keefe to get a clean header and the ball went over the bar. Alty continued to press as a Bowerman cross gave O'Keefe an angled header, which again went just over the bar (19 mins).

Southport were causing no threat to Alty's goal as Crowther and Lawrie fed Reeves, whose cross gained a corner. Once again, keeper Coughlin fumbled the ball, this time over his own bar, for a corner (23 mins). This was poorly taken by Sinnott; low and short. Immediately, Southport countered and advanced up their right, through Almond. The ball was cut back inside, via Rutherford, for the unmarked Nolan to drive home from about 15 yards, making it 2-0 (24 mins).

Bowerman won Alty a corner soon afterwards but this went to the keeper, unchallenged. It was still Alty who had the forward momentum as a Crowther lob ended on the roof of the net (29 mins).

Despite their good possession, the build-ups by Alty lacked a good tempo and were not being converted into a goal threat. Mis-passes and mis-control of the ball were not helping the visitors' cause, either.

A comedy of errors in the Southport box gave Alty another corner, from which a Leather header went to the keeper (41 mins). Southport belatedly threatened when Almond drifted past two ineffectual half-challenges but he fired over the bar. As the interval approached, a Densmore cross won another corner which came to nothing.

Following a Densmore mis-pass, Port countered and the retreating Densmore felled Rutherford and was booked for the third time this season (45+2 mins). At the interval, manager Lee Sinnott strode onto the pitch and appeared to inspect the area where the penalty had been conceded.


After the restart, Reeves went down in the box but Mr. Coy was unimpressed. He did award a freekick when Moult fouled Almond 25 yards out. The freekick was headed onto the roof of Deasy's net (49 mins). After Phenix had fouled Sinnott, a Lawrie pass went into touch.

Almond was booked after he caught Sinnott late. Next, Alty hearts were in their mouths when Deasy raced out and handled the ball outside his box but he escaped with a yellow card (54 mins).

Referee Coy was again unmoved by Alty penalty appeals as Bowerman was held in the Port box but when Crowther was felled, he gave a foul but produced no card. Rankine now came on for Crowther before an ambitious Densmore freekick landed on the roof of the net from right of goal (58 mins).

Referee Coy continued to upset Alty as Rankine was penalised when he was being fouled. Alty were now pressing forward but without threatening to score. Rankine was fouled twice in as many minutes and, from the second freekick, Leather poked wide and claimed a foul but the referee was again not interested (65 mins).

Phenix resumed after he had hurt himself in a collision with his own man in clearing the ball. Alty's best effort at this stage was a Bowerman shot, blocked in the box (72 mins). Now Griffin was booked for a foul on Almond. When the ball hit the ref it facilitated a Port attack but Alty survived it.

A fine ball from Lawrie, forward into the box, led to the falling Reeves's volley which hit the keeper (76 mins). Alty's fifth booking arrived as Rankine was penalised and he continued to show dissent after the caution. Yet when Foster again fouled Rankine he was not booked (78 mins).

It had been mostly Alty pressure this half but they had very little to show for it in terms of a goal threat. After a farcical moment when the ref stopped play for a home change, only for their substitute to be located, unready, at the far end of the pitch, play resumed. A Jones run won a corner for Port before McCarthy finally presented himself to replace Almond (83 mins).

Within two minutes the sub had scored. A Nolan shot from 20 yards was saved by Deasy but the loose ball was put in the net by McCarthy from almost on the goal-line (85 mins). 3-0 flattered the hosts but Altrincham could not complain given their own ineffectual attacking performance.

In the closing stages, Challoner halted Bowerman on the byline before Allen replaced Phenix (88 mins). McCarthy shot wide after Sinnott had lost the ball before Coughlin yet again fumbled the ball, from a Lawrie shot, gifting Alty a corner which he then punched clear (90+1 mins). After an impressive Leather tackle on Nolan, Bowerman won Alty another corner but, in keeping with the rest of the game, it came to nothing.

Just after Joyce had replaced Jones, Mr Coy ended proceedings. With six of their squad currently sidelined by injury, including three centre-backs and a goalkeeper, Altrincham have had a rough start to the 2015-16 season.