ALTRINCHAM (1) 1 EASTLEIGH (0) 1
played on Tuesday, 15 September, 2015, at 7.45pm
Altrincham came within three minutes of defeating the ambitious visitors from Hampshire but substitute Yemi Odubade drove home an 87th minute leveller as Eastleigh mounted sustained late pressure on the home goal.
Eastleigh arrived at the ground at 6.50pm following motorway problems and the referee delayed kick off till 8pm. The visitors started the better of the two sides but Altrincham gradually came into the game and took a 29th minute lead. The goal arrived after Griffin had won the ball well and set Lawrie running up the inside-left channel. From outside the box he fired an excellent left-footed shot past goalkeeper Noice.
The second half developed into a bad tempered affair with five bookings in an eight-minute spell early in the half. Altrincham came under late pressure and could find no outlet when they did manage to clear the ball. Eventually the pressure told as Eastleigh brought on forwards Midson and Odubade. Following three corners in quick succession, the ball was lashed home from right of goal by Odubade.
- 29 mins: James LAWRIE (ALTRINCHAM 1 Eastleigh 0)
- 87 Yemi ODUBADE (ALTRINCHAM 1 Eastleigh 1)
REFEREE: Mr Adrian Holmes
Alttincham played With another injury weakened side (Coburn, Clee, Richman and Marshall were out and O'Keefe was only on the bench following his knock). They faced an Eastleigh team with selection problems of its own. The Spitfires had lost their keeper to injury and Strevens to suspension and had several others missing.
Altrincham brought in Luca Havern, for his first start since returning from injury, as Sam Heathcote moved to the bench.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 6. Scott LEATHER, 22. Andrew PARRY, 5. Luca HAVERN, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 7. James LAWRIE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 9. Michael RANKINE. Subs: 10. Damian REEVES, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 24. Rhain DAVIS, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE
EASTLEIGH (Blue shirts with white sash, blue socks, white shorts):: 13. Lewis Noice, 2. Joe Partington, 20. Dan Harding, 3. Michael Green, 4. Will Evans, 8. Josh Payne, 5. Jamie Turley , 10. Jai Reason, 11. Ross Lafayette, 17. Lee Cooke, 9. James Constable. Subs: 12. Jack Midson, 7. Yemi Odubade. 15/ Jack Alexander, 16. Tony Lee, 29. Chris Todd.
Mike Garnett kindly provides details of our record against Eastleigh
- At Altrincham: P1-W0-D1-L0-F3-A3
- Away: P1-W1-D0-L0-F2-A0
- All: P2-W1-D1-L0-F5-A3
Kick off was delayed to 8pm, as Eastleigh had been delayed on the M6. They arrived at 6.50pm but Mr Holmes allowed them additional time to prepare.
Alty kicked off towards Golf Road in front of a predictably low gate caused by the 425 mile return trip to be travelled by away fans for a Tuesday night fixture and TV competition from live transmission of both Manchester clubs' matches in the Champions' League games.
After a first-minute handball by Reason, Rankine fired wide from the edge of the box. For Altrincham, Parry had been deployed in midfield as Havern slotted into the Alty back four.
Constable won a third minute corner on the left off Havern, after which Griffin mis-headed a clearance which led to a Payne volley over the bar. Despite their delayed arrival it was Eastleigh who were setting the game's early agenda. Next, a Constable cross had to be cleared after a good move on their right. A corner followed for the visitors and this skimmed off an Alty head to the back post where an Eastleigh man headed wide (9 mins),
Followng Reason's second handball of the game, Evans and Turley sandwiched Rankine who was awarded a freekick 45 yards out (13 mins). When Reason won a freekick, 22 yards out, Payne's freekick flew inches over the bar (15 mins).
It took a fine Densmore block now to halt Eastleigh as Partington's run on the right opened up Alty. The pressing continued as Lafayette made space well but shot just over the bar (17 mins).
But Alty now settled into the game a bit better. After a Payne foul on Moult, Altrincham gained a corner but were penalised after Sinnott had taken the kick.
After 27 minutes, Sinnott, via Lawrie, found Rankine whose blocked shot was given as a goalkick. Two minutes later, Altrincham took the lead with a fine goal. An excellent tackle by Griffin in his own half led to him putting Lawrie on a run in the inside left channel. Lawrie advanced and hammered a left-footed shot past Noice from outside the box to make it 1-0 (29 mins).
Rankine was finding himself periodically isolated as the rest of team lay deep. Relief came as a Sinnott run led to Rankine winning a corner on the right (34 mins). Alty's next positive move featured Rankine battling well and his cross from the right was glanced wide by Lawrie's header (37 mins).
Soon after a Lafayette cross had been cleared, Eastleigh won a corner on their left. At the other end, a clever Rankine ball found Lawrie offside (40 mins).
With play going into a minimum of one minute of added time Eastleigh won a corner. From this Moult and Turley clashed heads with the Alty man having to go down the tunnel after treatment to an apparent cut around his left eye.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 EASTLEIGH 0|
Eastleigh came out early for the second half and went through a brief routine before hanging around for the referee and opposition. Altrincham finally emerged but with only ten men and it was only a little while after the resumption that Jake Moult joined the action. Presumably he had been receiving treatment for the blow he had suffered just before the break.
Two minutes into the half, Lawrie battled hard and won a freekick on the Alty right 30 yards out. But Sinnott's freekick went out for a goalkick.
Next Moult was penalised but Constable volleyed poorly over the bar after the freekick. A pattern of fouls now developed as the game descended into a bad tempered affair for a while. Next, Havern fouled Constable and was booked. From this, Payne shot wide after Reason had laid off the freekick (50 mins).
Deasy now produced a good save, at the second attempt, only to be fouled by Lafayette who was booked for his late challenge (51 mins). Two bookings in the match became three when Sinnott was booked for not retreating at a freekick on half way (53 mins).
The scrappy play continued as Rankine fouled Partington, and then a lunge on Bowerman by Turley saw the Eastleigh centre-back booked; so it was now four bookings. And still the petulance continued as there was a melee after Bowerman and Turley had clashed and it seemed that the Alty man was cautioned bringing the total to five yellow cards in about eight minutes (57 mins)!
The unedifying spectacle on the pitch continued as Constable went down looking for a foul that the referee failed to detect. As the game went past the hour mark the stoppages continued as Sinnott fouled Constable near half way.
In the 62nd minute Crowther replaced Bowerman, an act followed almost predictably by yet another foul, this time, on Densmore. Moments later Densmore was penalised for something the ref must have spotted off the ball.
Now Constable fouled Parry as the game reached farcical proportions with absolutely no flowing football whatsoever in what was, by a country mile, the worst half of football that Altrincham supporters have experienced all season.
Midway through the half the already booked Turley hacked down Rankine but he escaped any further punishment other than the freekick (67 mins). Moments late it was Moult who was fouled near the corner flag.
At last some positive action could be reported as Sinnott won a 69th minute corner on the right. From this Crowther bundled the ball into the net but his effort was ruled out... for yet another foul.
Richard Hill now introduced forwards Midson and Odubade for Lafayette and Harding (70 mins). Odubade, the pantomime villain of the piece to some Altrincham fans who recalled his Eastbourne days, soon got in a cross across the face of goal from the right (72 mins).
The other sub, Midson, now fouled Moult. After an Evans shot had gone wide, successive crosses from Crowther and Sinnott cross led to a blocked Lawrie shot with keeper Noice grounded. An Alty corner resulted, followed by a second, at which Noice flapped but the ball was cleared (76 mins).
Alty's attacks were largely up the left wing, where Crowther now beat his man which allowed Lawrie a shot which was beaten out for another corner. Next, Rankine got caught offside for the second time in as many minutes and he was to be flagged again a couple of minutes later for the same offence (84 mins).
But Eastleigh, buoyed by their double substitution, now applied some sustained forward pressure. First Havern blocked a shot; then Densmore conceded a corner. Alty blocked two shots before Heathcote replaced Sinnott on the Alty right (86 mins). Two more Eastleigh corners arrived in succession (86 mins).
From the latter of these corners, the ball came to Odubade, right of goal, and he drove a firm shot into the net to level the score (87 mins). Alty have yet to keep a clean sheet this season.
An Eastleigh freekick from the right now flashed across Alty's goal before four added minutes were announced. In the first of these, assistant manager Todd replaced Constable. A foul on Parry followed. As the evening drew to its conclusion Alty had everyone back defending and had no outlet when they did get the ball. Worryingly, Densmore ended the game hobbling after stretching for a ball.
A draw was probably a fair outcome but was nonetheless disappointing for the home side, having got so close to taking all three points.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 EASTLEIGH 1|