ALTRINCHAM (0) 1 FC HALIFAX TOWN (1) 3
Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 6 October 2015, at 7.45pm
What is it about Altrincham when they play clubs at the bottom end of the table? Having lost 3-0 at previously winless Southport, FC Halifax Town arrived at Moss Lane on the back of a 7-1 home mauling and with just one win all season yet deservedly won this match.
After a dry start, rain fell throughout the majority of the game as Altrincham brought in Nicky Clee for his first start of the season to replace the injured Ryan Crowther. Michael Rankine was also still missing, with injury, as were long-term absentees Stuart Coburn and Tom Marshall.
The opening stages were fairly even, though Halifax looked the more threatening going forward. They took the lead in the 22nd minute after Jake Moult lost the ball 40 yards from goal. The resulting cross, from the right by Roberts, was headed home, unchallenged by Burrow, who had already gone close with another good header.
Altrincham were giving the ball away with regularity and things got no better in the second half, for which Alty introduced Densmore and switched to a back three. After a spell of particularly abject play from the home side, they suddenly scored an equalizer in the 56th minute. A deep cross from Griffin on the left was met by an excellent header, back across goal, by Damian Reeves to make it 1-1. It looked as if Altrincham had got out of gaol.
But, barely three minutes later, they fell behind again when a long ball was again headed home, unchallenged by the impressive Burrow. Altrincham did get forward for much of the final stages of the game without ever really looking like scoring. In the dying seconds of added time the already booked Havern was judged to have tripped an opponent inside the box. It was a very debatable decision for which the linesman flagged vigorously but, bizarrely, the already booked Havern, who was also the "last man" escaped a second yellow or a red, to Alty's relief.
James hammered home the spot kick to complete Altrincham's evening of woe.
Loanee Andy Parry hobbled off and must be a doubt for a Saturday, when Alty could face Aldershot minus five of their first team squad (Coburn, Marshall, Rankine, Parry, Crowther).
- 22 mins: Jordan BURROW (ALTRINCHAM 0 FC Halifax Town 1)
- 56 mins: Damian REEVES (ALTRINCHAM 1 FC Halifax Town 1)
- 59 mins: Jordan BURROW (ALTRINCHAM 1 FC Halifax Town 2)
REFEREE: Mr S Rushton
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): 17. Tim DEASY, 6. Scott LEATHER, 22. Andrew PARRY, 5. Luca HAVERN, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 7. James LAWRIE, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Damian REEVES, Subs: 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 21. Joel SWIFT
FC HALIFAX TOWN (All blue) 27 Matt Glennon, 2. James Bolton, 14. Matty Brown, 37. Julian Banton, 3. Scott McManus, 4. Kingsley James, 11. Samuel Walker, 6. Hamza Bencherif, 9. Jordan Burrow, 18. Sean Tuton 15. Kevin Roberts. Subs: 1. Jordan Porter, 7. Danny Hattersley, 16 Jake Hibbs, 24. Connor Hughes, 17. Josh MacDonald.
Mike Garnett's statistics summarise the history of matches between the two clubs:
- Home - p.3 w.1 d.2 l.0 f.3 a.1
- Away - p.4 w,3 d.0 l.1 f.13 a.11
- Overall - p.7 w.4 d.2 l.1 f.16 a.12
Halifax kicked off towards the away end and suffered an early scare when Burrow headed narrowly wide from a cross from the left (5 mins). At the other end, a Clee shot was saved easily by Glennon a minute later.
As the game passed the ten-minute mark it had been a fairly even encounter which had done more for Halifax's confidence than Altrincham's. The home side were showing little fluidity and struggled to keep possession for more than two or three passes at a time.
The visitors now began to have slightly the better of things and Leather was obliged to head out a Tuton cross for a corner. Rain now began to fall steadily and was to continue throughout the match.
Just after Moult had done well to battle for possession, he gave the ball away, some 40 yards from his goal. Halifax worked the ball to their right, from where Roberts's cross found the head of the unchallenged Burrow, who headed firmly into the net (22 mins).
The goal did jolt Altrincham to inject a little more tempo into the match as both Reeves then Clee had blocked shots. But the rash of Altrincham mis-passing reached epidemic proportions as the rain intensified. It took a good block by Griffin to halt a Roberts' goalbound shot on the half hour mark.
Altrincham continued to labour but got some encouragement when Reeves battled well to win a corner. From this, Halifax's keeper and a defender collided but Altrincham could not take advantage (36 mins).
After Burrow had pushed Moult over, from the freekick near the left touchline 40 yards or more from goal, the ball was played short to Griffin whose curling cross hit the far post as keeper Glennon stood, oddly motionless, watching it drift past him (37 mins). Following this, Sinnott fired over from 25 yards.
Before half time, a great ball into the box by Sinnott just evaded the head of Reeves (41 mins). Then as good a move as Alty had put together so far resulted in a Lawrie shot winning a corner on the left. Although this was cleared, another fine Sinnott ball bounced off a defender to the grateful Halifax keeper (43 mins).
As the interval approached, Havern was booked for a foul 25 yards from goal. Sinnott's strong finish to the half was underlined as his 25 yarder went wide, following a counter attack initiated by a Parry run.
Perhaps things would improve for the second half.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 FC HALIFAX TOWN 1|
Altrincham brought on Densmore for Clee at the break, with Densmore and Griffin now deployed as wing backs ahead of a back three of Leather, Havern and Parry.
With rain pouring down, a mistake from Moult drew a foul from the exposed and already booked Havern but he escaped with just a freekick against him. Soon afterwards, Burrow shinned a good chance wide after an advance by Halifax on their right (49 mins). Then Griffin was penalised and booked as he advanced up the left (52 mins).
The rain was heavier as Lawrie was scythed down and the offender was booked (53 mins). Halifax still looked the more threatening as a 25-yard shot flew just wide of Alty's net. It then took a fine Leather tackle to halt Tuton's run; a corner resulted.
Alty continued to give the ball away and just after a Havern pass had gone to an opponent, Lee Sinnott rose from his seat to berate his team. It worked. Out of nothing, a deep Griffin cross from the left was expertly headed back across the keeper and into the net from towards the back post by Reeves to level the scores quite unexpectedly (56 mins).
Yet the Alty mis-passing continued as now Lawrie plated the ball to an opponent. From a long ball forward, Burrow headed firmly home to restore the visitors' lead barely three minutes after surrendering it (59 mins).
After Lawrie had been felled on the edge of the box, Densmore put his freekick far too high and over the bar (61 mins). Four minutes later Parry was beaten on the Alty left but Fax's shot hit the side netting. Meanwhile Alty laboured to string a move together. When they did Havern found Reeves who went down under a challenge in the box and the ball ran to Densmore who put in a badly overhit cross from the right byline (69 mins).
After a Walker 30 yarder had cleared the bar, Bowerman came on for Sinnott (73 mins). Three minutes afterwards, Halifax's Hibbs replaced Walker. On 77 minutes Glennon was booked for timewasting before Halifax won a corner off Deasy. There was a further break in play as substitute McDonald replaced Tuton whilst Parry was being treated after stretching to clear.
The injury curse of the Alty defence continued as Parry was unable to continue and Heathcote replaced him in the back line (82 mins). Apart from a Leather 25 yarder which cleared the bar, Alty had not threatened a goal since Reeves's equalizer (85 mins).
Overhit pass followed miskick as Altrincham went in search of a late equalizer. Havern fed Bowerman who won a corner before Reeves had the ball in the net but only after the flag had been raised for offside (89 mins).
Two minutes into added time, Halifax introduced Hughes for Man of the match Burrow. And in the fourth added minute Havern was judged to have tripped an opponent in the box. Not only was Havern already booked but he was arguably the last man yet, although a spot kick was given, the Alty man escaped further sanction. James hammered the spot kick past Deasy to secure a 3-1 win.
Alty now face Aldershot Town in Hampshire on Saturday and will need to show a dramatic improvement if they are to take anything from that match.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 FC HALIFAX TOWN 3|