MACCLESFIELD TOWN (2) 3
ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
played on Tuesday, 10 November, 2015, at 7.45pm
Altrincham's already injury-weakened squad (Coburn, Marshall and Densmore all out) was further weakened by the absence of both Luca Havern and James Lawrie who had picked up knocks last Saturday. In addition, both Nicky Clee and Michael Rankine were only fit enough to be deployed as substitutes. So it was always going to be an uphill battle in this match but, in the opening stages, Alty were the better side.
Sinnott's rasping shot hit the crossbar before Kristian Dennis scored to give Macclesfield a 13th minute lead with their first meaningful attack. A Sinnott cross then gave the unmarked Damian Reeves a chance to level the score but, completely out of character, he missed the target from four yards (21 mins). Macc put a flattering angle on the half-time score by netting again after 40 minutes. The goal arrived somewhat fortunately when Macc counter-attacked and Whitaker was challenged as he shot, the ball going into the ground and bouncing over the wrong-footed Deasy into the net.
After an entertaining first period, a disappointing second half saw Macclesfield largely on top and they made it 3-0 after 82 minutes when the ball was worked infield from the left for Holroyd to score from 18 yards. Altrincham will be looking for an upturn in fortunes before their televised clash at Bromley next Saturday.
- 13 mins: Kristian DENNIS (Macclesfield Town 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 40 mins: Danny WHITAKER (Macclesfield Town 2 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 82 mins: Chris HOLROYD (Macclesfield Town 3 ALTRINCHAM 0)
REFEREE: Mr Rob Jones
ATTENDANCE: 1,801 (328 from Alty)
Altrincham were without seven "first choice" players from their starting eleven tonight. They were the long-term injured defensive trio of goalkeeper Stuart Coburn, right-back and captain Shaun Densmore, and centre-back Tom Marshall plus James Lawrie and Luca Havern who were injured in last Saturday's match. Additionally, striker Michael Rankine and winger Nicky Clee were only sufficiently fit to be named on the bench. So teenager Sam Heathcote made his second start of the season, at centre-back in place of Havern, and there was a rare start in the same eleven for wide men Ryan Crowther and George Bowerman. So Jake Moult became Altrincham's third captain this season following the injuries to Densmore and Havern.
Macclesfield made several changes following their recent dip in form.
MACCLESFIELD TOWN (Blue and white) 13. Shwan Jalal, 4. Neill Byrne, 6 .Paul Turnbull, 8 Paul Lewis, 9 Chris Holroyd, 12 Dan Cowan, 14 Kristian Dennis, 15 Tony Diagne, 18 Danny Whitehead, 19 David Fitzpatrick, 23 Danny Whitaker. Subs 1 Ritchie Branagan, 10.Jack Sampson, 11. Danny Rowe, 25 Reece Styche, 2 Andy Halls.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): 17. Tim DEASY, 6. Scott LEATHER, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 10. Damian REEVES, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 20. Jordan SINNOTT Subs: 9. Michael RANKINE, 21. Joel SWIFT, 25. Ioannis STOUPPIS, 11. Nicky CLEE, 23. Callum WILLIAMS
Mike Garnett provides the statistics on previous games between the clubs...
- Home: P110-W52-D27-L31-F232-A172
- Away: P98-W29-D26-L43-F142-A190
- Neutral: P8-W5-D0-L3-F16-A15
- All: P216-W86-D53-L77-F390-A377
On a mild, dry but blustery evening at the Moss Rose, a minute's silence, led by representatives of the British Legion, was respectfully observed before kick off to mark Remembrance Day.
Having changed ends, Macclesfield kicked off playing into the breeze and, almost immediately, they put the ball into touch. Following Sinnott's throw, the ball was played back to him and he hit a good shot narrowly over the bar from right of goal (1 min). Indeed, Alty started the game well and almost went ahead in the fourth minute when Sinnott, again, connected cleanly with the ball, his rasping shot from right of goal hitting the top of the cross bar from 30 yards after Bowerman had advanced up that flank.
Sinnott was the stand-out man in the opening stages as, next, his well-taken free-kick led to a fortuitous goalkick for Macc, when a clearance cannoned off Jake Moult (7 mins). Next, a Bowerman cross from the right was just too high as Alty remained on top.
On ten minutes, Macc began to get a foothold in the game and an impressive Leather covering tackle was needed to redeem a team-mate's underhit back pass. Another fine Leather tackle was soon needed but Macclesfield were now to score with, effectively, their first real shot at goal. Dennis received the ball on the front edge of the box, left of centre; he turned well and drove a low shot across Deasy into the far corner of the net (13 mins).
The goal, against the run of play, naturally lifted the home side and, next, Leather was booked as his tackle on Lewis came through the Macclesfield man (16 mins). From this, Fitzpatrick's freekick was headed very narrowly over the bar.
Arguably, the turning point in the game arrived in the 21st minute. After Crowther had won a throw, taken long by Sinnott, the ball came back to the Alty right-back. His excellent low cross located the unmarked Reeves, four yards from goal, slightly right of centre. A deserved equalizer seemed to be just a formality but, completely out of character, Alty's normally lethal marksman sidefooted his effort wide of Jalal's left post.
At the other end, Deasy had to rush out to make a flying header to clear a long ball by Whitehead. Alty's next chance was Crowther's 30-yarder, which flew just wide of the keeper's right post (25 mins). A through ball almost got Bowerman in on goal but a combination of the wind and a slick surface from the recent rain took the ball to Jalal (28 mins).
From a Macc corner, won off Heathcote, by a Holroyd cross, former Alty loanee Turnbull headed well wide. But then Heathcote had to concede another corner, this time off Lewis, but it ended up with an Alty goalkick.
Reeves's excellent nod on, from a Deasy kick, again just reached Jalal ahead of an Alty player (32 mins) before a well-struck Richman left-footer from 25 yards flew too high. It had been a good, entertaining game so far and Altrincham were still enjoying plenty of possession before O'Keefe was booked for a foul near half way (39 mins).
Next, Bowerman cut the ball back from the byline but as the move broke down, Macc immediately broke forward and, from the edge of the box, centrally, Whitaker's shot was half blocked by a tackle but the ball reared up off the surface and looped over Deasy into the net to give Macclesfield a flattering 2-0 lead (40 mins).
Despite the interval deficit and their severe manpower shortage, Alty had played well and, but for Reeves's uncharacteristic miss, would have been well in the game at the break.
|Half-Time: MACCLESFIELD TOWN 2 ALTRINCHAM 0|
Alty kicked off the second period, defending the away end, and it proved to be a prolonged scrappy start to the half.
Things looked up a little brighter when Sinnott found Reeves in the box but the striker was flagged offside (54 mins). Then a Fitzpatrick cross, from the left, came off Leather for a Silkmen corner. But, really, there was very little in the way of incident to note. However, the hosts were comfortable with their lead and enjoying the majority of possession before Clee came on for O'Keefe (64 mins).
Three fouls in as many minutes on Alty players, (Moult was the victim twice and Crowther once), tested Mr Jones's patience and he belatedly produced a card for the last offender, Cowan (67 mins).
But the second half was proving a much poorer spectacle than the first 45 minutes as Macc made a change with Rowe on for Lewis (70 mins).
Macclesfield continued to press, whilst Altrincham had been no threat to the Macclesfield goal in the second half. Next, Rankine replaced Crowther (75 mins).
A home corner arrived off Leather and this was only just cleared after bouncing across the box (78 mins). Macc were now keeping the ball well and they made another change as recent loan signing Styche came on for Dennis (80 mins). Almost immediately, from the left wing, Styche fed the ball inside to Whitaker, who relayed it to Holroyd and he scored from 18 yards with a low shot from the centre of the pitch. So, it was now 3-0 (82 mins).
A defiant chorus of "We're still in the Cup" from the Alty fans responded to the taunts from the home supporters as Rowe forced a good save from Deasy with a strong shot from left of goal (83 mins). A Leather 30-yarder did win Altrincham a corner but soon Deasy had to beat out a fierce 25 yarder at the other end (85 mins).
There was a late flurry as a Sinnott shot was not held by Jalal but the keeper regathered the ball just ahead of Bowerman. Macc counter-attacked and a header had to be saved by Deasy. The last action was a freekick for a foul on Rankine but, from Sinnott's freekick, the hosts scrambled the ball away (90+3 mins).
In retrospect, a case could be made for this game's outcome being decided before kick off through the decimation, by injury, of the already small Altrincham squad. The Robins had been competitive throughout the first half but their stretched resources were decidedly second best after the interval.
|Full-Time: MACCLESFIELD TOWN 3 ALTRINCHAM 0|