ALTRINCHAM (1) 2 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS (1) 2
Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 13 October 2015, at 7.45pm
A fiercely driven shot from Michael Rankine, as the game went into the sixth added minute, secured a point for an Altrincham side ravaged by injury. No fewer than seven first-teamers were missing for this game; Richman, Crowther and Densmore having been added to an injury list already comprising Coburn, Marshall and Parry, while Griffin was unavailable as his wife is expecting a baby.
Altrincham had taken a 21st minute lead when Lawrie's corner from the right curled directly into the bottom near corner of the net. But the cash-strapped visitors, who had nevertheless acquired six new faces in the past week or so, equalised after 38 minutes when an impressive passing move was finished off by Hassan. The normally dependable Alty acting captain, Luca Havern, made a bad mistake which allowed one of the visitors' new loanees, Whitfield, to put the Harriers ahead fifteen minutes from the end of normal time.
Despite constant pressure in the closing stages it semed to be all over for Altrincham till, ironically, the Harriers' Man of the Match, Hodgkiss fouled Sinnott on the edge of the box. The freekick was laid off to Rankine who blasted a low shot past keeper Snedker to secure a vital point for Altrincham.
- 21 mins: James LAWRIE (ALTRINCHAM 1 Kidderminster Harriers 0)
- 38 mins: Callum HASSAN (ALTRINCHAM 1 Kidderminster Harriers 1)
- 75 mins: Ben WHITFIELD (ALTRINCHAM 1 Kidderminster Harriers 2)
- 90(+6) mins: Michael RANKINE (ALTRINCHAM 2 Kidderminster Harriers 2)
REFEREE: Mr Tom Nield
Altrincham's injury jinx had continued last Saturday with Shaun Densmore suffering a medial ligament injury. He joined Stuart Coburn, Andy Parry, Ryan Crowther and Tom Marshall on the injury list to which Simon Richman was added with a dead leg and Adam Griffin (wife expecting a baby). So seven first-team players weare out tonight and the most senior substitute was teenager Sam Heathcote, with one National League start to his name.
Since his appointment last week, Harriers' new coach Dave Hockaday has already brought in six new faces. The latest two arrived on Monday, namely Ben Whitfield and Joe Ward, youngsters on loan from Bournemouth and WBA respectively. Both started as the manager made several changes as he sought the club's first win of the season.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): 17. Tim DEASY, 6. Scott LEATHER, 5. Luca HAVERN, 4. Jake MOULT, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 7. James LAWRIE, 11. Nicky CLEE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 10. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael RANKINE, 20. Jordan SINNOTT. Subs: 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 21. Joel SWIFT, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 24. Rhain DAVIS, 25. Ioannis STOUPPIS.
KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS (Yellow and blue) 13. Dean Snedker, 2. Jared Hodgkiss, 3. Lathaniel Rowe-Turner, 4. Luke Maxwell, 5. Kelvin Langmead, 9. Callum Hassan, 27. Zaine Francis-Angol, 15. Jordan Tunnicliffe, 33. Jordan Murphy, 34. Ben Whitfield, 35. Joe Ward. Subs: 1. Alex Palmer, 6. Joe Clarke, 10. Calvin Dinsley, 14. Jake Green, 17. Reece Styche.
Mike Garnett provides Alty's record in matches between the two clubs...
- At home: p24-w11-d5-l8-f34-a27
- Away: 24-9-6-9-26-39
- All: 48-20-11-17-60-66
Curiously, the match kicked off three minutes early with the visitors attacking the away end on a chilly but dry evening. The first half chance came when Reeves fed Lawrie but his shot was saved (2 mins). Altrincham were deployed in a 4-4-2 formation with Sinnott and Clee out of position as full-backs, whilst Rankine and Reeves made a rare start in tandem up front.
A lively start by the hosts next witnessed Reeves chasing a back pass but a lucky bounce saw the ball end up with Snedker. With Moult and O'Keefe comprising Alty's central midfield, a Rankine flick went to keeper Snedker. Alty had the better of the opening stages of a game which started at a good pace.
In the tenth minute, Lawrie, who was in acres of space, mishit his shot but Snedker fumbled it and a throw in to Alty resulted. Kidderminster fired an early warning when Bournemouth loanee Whitfield made an impressive 40 yard run. But his shot deflected to Deasy.
When Clee fed O'Keefe, who relayed the ball to Reeves, the striker's effort was blocked by Harriers' keeper (16 mins). Alty had been largely on the front foot so far but then Rowe-Turner got to the by-line before being halted. For Alty, a Lawrie cross won a corner on the right. This was cleared back to Lawrie who fed O'Keefe and his shot prompted a good save at the cost of another corner on Alty's right. From this, Lawrie scored directly with a left footed inswinger which crept in near the base of the near post (21 mins).
Kidderminster responded well as Hassan almost converted a low cross from Rowe-Turner (23 mins). After O'Keefe had been upended, from a freekick, 25 yards out, Sinnott shot over the bar. Two or three Alty moves broke down with a misplaced pass before Bowerman got into the box but his cross was cleared (37 mins).
Harriers then put together an excellent passing move on their right which culminated in Hassan hammering a shot into the roof of the net from a central position about 12 yards out (38 mins). It could have got worse when Sinnott, who otherwise played well at right-back, lost the ball to Angol whose run was only halted by Deasy smothering the ball (39 mins).
It was now a good spell for Kiddy. The burly Hassan muscled past Leather and Havern but poked his shot wide from eight yards, right of goal (41 mins). Before the break Sinnott won a corner after a Rankine shot had been blocked (43 mins). Hassan continued to be a handful as now Ward fired over the Alty bar. In the second added minute Sinnott gained his side a further corner but this was cleared.
After taking the lead, Alty had rather lost their way and surrendered the initiative.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 1|
Two minutes after the interval, a Clee cross was headed over his own bar by a defender as Rankine closed in, almost on the goal line. Soon, a Clee long ball won another corner before Deasy was called upon to block a shot by Rowe-Turner from inside the box (50 mins).
Clee was having a good game and after his advance, a Reeves lay off to O'Keefe led to the midfielder firing over the bar (53 mins). Now Kiddy brought on Green for Murphy (54 mins). Play continued to be entertaining but with neither side creating a clear opening. Bowerman did get to the byline but put in a weak cross to the keeper before Rankine fired over the bar from Reeves's lay off (71 mins).
Shortly after Rowe-Turner had conceded a corner on the Alty right, Lawrie's corner went to the keeper. The ball was played up the middle where Havern uncharacteristically dwelt on it and was dispossessed by Whitfield. The loanee got clear and, from the edge of the box, blasted a shot past Deasy to give the Harriers a 2-1 lead (75 mins).
The visitors now introduced striker Styche for Angol (76 mins). The substitute soon committed a naughty foul on Leather who reacted and both players were lectured (80 mins). When Sinnott was laid low by an elbow from Hassan in an aerial challenge, the Harriers' player was booked (83 mins).
As time ticked away Altrincham sustained their pressure on the visitors but O'Keefe now shinned a shot to the keeper. The midfielder was then replaced by Heathcote (86 mins). Almost immediately Heathcote had a shot blocked in the box, With keeper Snedker now spinning out time at every opportunity, a Heathcote cross led to a Reeves effort which was half blocked and ran to the keeper. After Whitfield had received treatment for what appeared to be cramp, he was replaced by Clarke (90+1 mins).
With a minimum of five added minutes being played, it looked as if the visitors would secure their first win of the season. But just after being announced as the visitors' Man of the Match, Hodgkiss fouled Sinnott just outside the front of the box, left of centre. Sinnott laid the ball off to Rankine who blasted home a fierce, low shot into the net to secure a point (90+6 mins). The Alty players fell on Rankine in celebration as he ran back towards the bench.
With such a weakened side, Altrincham had shown great spirit to keep going and earn themselves what could prove to be a vital point. For the visitors, the disappointment was palpable, having got so close to a first victory. On this showing that victory should soon arrive.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 2|