Match Report

Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 3 October 2015, at 3pm


With this win Altrincham made it seven points earned in their last three games but Barrow will have left Cheshire disappointed not to have taken something from the game. Indeed, the visitors could have been two up inside five minutes and also hit the woodwork twice during a match in which Tim Deasy was the busier of the two keepers. Altrincham survived a torrid opening and enjoyed a good spell themselves midway through the first half. But Barrow again looked the more likely to score in the second half before an excellent passing move from Altrincham ended with Lawrie's through ball for Damian Reeves, who scored his first goal of the season in the 61st minute.

George Bowerman wasted a glorious chance to make it 2-0 late in the game, from a superb pass by substitute Nicky Clee. The win left Alty still in nineteenth place.


  • 61 mins: Damian REEVES (ALTRINCHAM 1 Barrow 0)

REFEREE: Mr S. Ross who replaced the referee named by the National League earlier in the week (S. Bennett)

Although Clee and Densmore returned to the squad after injury, Altrincham still had three players missing today as Rankine (bad back) joined long-term casualties, Coburn and Marshall, on the injured list. So Damian Reeves came into the starting eleven as the lone striker today.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): 17. Tim DEASY, 6. Scott LEATHER, 22. Andrew PARRY, 5. Luca HAVERN (capt), 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 7. James LAWRIE, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 11. Nicky CLEE

BARROW (Blue and white ) 12. Joel Dixon, 23. David Symington, 5. Danny Livesey, 2. Niall Cowperthwaite, 3. Neil Ashton, 6. Simon Grand, 4. Patrick Lacey, 7. Andy Haworth, 11. Dan Pilkington, 10. Andy Cook, 9. Jason Walker, Subs: 8. Alex-Ray Harvey, 14. Anthony Wilson, 17. Steve Williams, 18. Ashley Grimes, 20. Elliot Newby


Mike Garnett's statistics summarise the history of matches between the two clubs:

  • Home - p.38 w.20 d.14 l.4 f.79 a.39
  • Away - p.35 w,14 d.9 l.12 f.54 a.45
  • Overall - p.73 w.34 d.23 l.16 f.133 a.84


On a dank day at the J. Davidson Stadium, Barrow kicked off towards the well-populated away end. The Bluebirds started very brightly and inside 15 seconds Alty were relieved to see Cook offside as he hit the side netting after Altrincham had been carved open.

In only the third minute, Haworth got past Griffin and Walker won a corner. From this, Deasy made a superb stop, on the line, low to his left, pushing the ball away before Parry cleared. Alty were all at sea in the opening stages as, next, another Barrow corner was nodded over the bar.

It was not until the seventh minute that Alty began to settle a little and, soon afterwards, a Richman cross-shot was saved. But then Moult cleared the ball to an opponent and another Barrow corner arrived, on their right (11 mins).

Only a further two minutes later, Leather had to clear a Walker cross for another corner, after which Haworth miscued his shot very wide (14 mins). Alty had been decidedly second best so far and it did not improve as a good Haworth run was let down by a weak shot to Deasy (17 mins).

Altrincham were not causing goalkeeper Dixon any problems at all as their nearest threat at this stage was a Crowther 30 yarder which landed behind the terraces in Golf Road (21 mins). Next, it needed a vital tackle inside the box by Leather to stop Barrow after the hosts had been opened up.

Up front, Reeves was a lone forager, getting little change from the Barrow defenders. Altrincham's best moment to date came in the 29th minute when a Sinnott freekick, from 40 yards out, was met at the back post by a stretching Crowther but he could only poke the ball narrowly wide (29 mins).

And, after Lacey had tripped Richman, a Crowther cross found Reeves stretching but keeper Dixon made a vital block to keep the ball out. As Alty enjoyed a good spell, Ashton blatantly barged Richman over from behind, yet amazingly Mr. Ross saw no offence in the challenge (30 mins).

Barrow remained a danger as a 25 yarder by Symington flew just off target. Out of nothing a superbly struck low shot from all of 35 yards by Moult took a slight deflection off Dixon to earn the Robins a corner (34 mins).

But Lawrie's corner was very poor, too short and too low to get beyond the first defender. At the back it took another great Leather tackle to halt Barrow, before Havern did equally well to stop Cook's advance. However, another Barrow corner arrived and, a couple of minutes later, a nod on put Cook through up the middle of the pitch. His well-hit shot thudded back off Deasy's left post and was cleared. Alty's good spell had been curtailed (39 mins).

After a Walker shot had been blocked, Pilkington's cross won yet another Barrow corner, which had resulted from a good Cowperthwaite run. From the corner, a header by Cowperthwaite hit Alty's cross bar (42 mins).

Before the interval an underpowered shot by Lawrie from 25 yards (43 mins) was followed in added time by a Lawrie freekick, which was cleared to Sinnott, but he fired well over the bar.

So Alty got to the interval on level terms but could consider themselves fortunate, and grateful to the visitors' profligacy, to have done so.


Inside the first minute of the second half, a Haworth 30 yarder just cleared the Altrincham bar but then a Lawrie back heel fed Richman but he mis-hit his shot very wide (48 mins).

After Cowperthwaite had shot wide following Haworth's advance on the right (51 mins), the two sides traded offsides. The visitors were looking the more likely to score as it now took another good save from Alty's ex-Barrow keeper, Deasy to stop a Pilkington effort, which came after two Alty men had been caught going for the same ball near half way, leaving a gap behind them.

But, then out of Altrincham's attacking mediocrity came a superb passing move which, via half a dozen crisp passes, led to Lawrie slotting the ball forward for Reeves. The Alty striker, who had not yet scored this season, took this chance with his trademark aplomb, slotting the ball past the advancing Dixon to give Altrincham the lead against the run of play (61 mins).

The officiating was questionable on several occasions in this match but none more so than when Reeves was fouled three times and the adjacent linesman failed to raise his flag. Belatedly, Mr. Ross did award a freekick, to the right of the box. Symptomatic of Alty's below par set pieces in this game was Lawrie's overhit dead ball kick (67 mins).

A Barrow mis-header set Reeves free but instead of advancing on his own, he made a poor pass inside and the ball was cleared (70 mins).

There was the customary farce with the electronic substitutes' board which seem to flummox the majority of fourth officials in this league as Harvey came on for Pilkington and Wilson for Lacey. When Alty then brought on Bowerman for Reeves, the fourth official had given up on mastering the digital device altogether (71 mins).

Barrow's wastefulness in front of goal continued as Cook nodded a header well wide (72 mins) before a wild shot flew off target from Symington.

When Densmore replaced Sinnott, the fourth official with the assistance of Alty's announcer, Steve Raftery, finally managed to get the board to work! (74 mins).

Densmore settled into right midfield. Barrow next gained a corner from a deflected shot. Before this could be taken, Crowther needed treatment before he gave way to Nicky Clee (77 mins). The Barrow corner produced a Wilson header which earned another corner, this time on their right, which Deasy caught.

Bowerman was soon involved. First of all he was halted as he advanced but then Lawrie, on a counter attack, misjudged a return pass to the Alty substitute. Next, Bowerman was caught offside from a Clee feed (81 mins).

Barrow kept looking for an equalizer and now the lively Haworth won a corner, which produced a great block by Deasy from Cowperthwaite (84 mins). At the other end, Bowerman won a corner on the counter, after which an Ashton handball in his own area escaped any punishment.

With three minutes left, a Cowperthwaite shot into the ground bounced over the bar but somehow earned a corner as Alty remained on the back foot (87 mins). But on another counter-attack a clever ball, inside, from Clee set Bowerman free. Inexplicably he opted to try and dribble the ball rather than shoot and ended up getting his feet in a tangle and losing the chance (88 mins).

Substitute Newby came on for Walker (89 mins) after which a Barrow header went wide of Alty's net before four added minutes were announced. Bowerman was twice more caught offside in added time but Altrincham saw out the game to bring their tally to seven points from their three games in the past week.

Barrow had enough chances to have won this game but Alty right-back Scott Leather was a deserved winner of the Man of the Match award, though keeper Tim Deasy cannot have been far behind with two or three important saves. Although the win lifts Alty six points clear of the team behind them, results elsewhere left them still in nineteenth place. Next up is a home game against FC Halifax Town on Tuesday night.