FOREST GREEN ROVERS (2) 2 ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
played on Saturday, 28 November, 2015, at 3pm
A disastrous start saw FGR take the lead after just 43 seconds when Parkin took advantage of a Moult slip to score with a low shot across Deasy from left of goal. Parkin was then left unmarked to convert a corner to make it 2-0 in the 19th minute.
Altrincham hardly threatened at this stage as FGR dominated in a match played in dreadful conditions; a gusty wind and rain which was, at times, torrential. But when Bennett was sent off for retaliation against Richman just before half time, Altrincham were given hope.
But despite seeing more of the ball in the second half, they only seriously tested keeper Arnold with a Reeves effort. Then, Alty who were the only National League club not to have suffered a red card this season, picked up two in five minutes. O'Keefe harshly saw red when his tackle on a slippery surface led to him sliding into Guthrie (78 mins) before Havern picked up a second yellow for holding Frear (83 mins).
Any hopes of a comeback disappeared with the dismissals.
- 1 min: Jon PARKIN (Forest Green Rovers 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 19 mins: Jon PARKIN (Forest Green Rovers 2 ALTRINCHAM 0)
REFEREE: Mr S Rushton (Staffs)
ATTENDANCE: 1,292 (43 away end)
Lawrie and Havern returned to the starting eleven in place of Bowerman and Heathcote.
FOREST GREEN ROVERS (Green and black) 1 Steve Arnold, 6 Dale Bennett, 4 Charlie Clough, 16 Aarron Racine, 17 Kurtis Guthrie, 8 Sam Wedgbury, 10 Marcus Kelly, 11 Elliott Frear, 24 Darren Carter, 20 Jon Parkin, 9 Keanu Marsh-Brown. Subs: 2 David Pipe, 19 Rob Sinclair, 23 Jonathan Maxted, 7 Aaron O'Connor, 26. Brett Williams
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): 17. Tim DEASY, 5. Luca HAVERN (capt), 6. Scott LEATHER, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 10. Damian REEVES 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 7. James LAWRIE, Subs: 9. Michael RANKINE, 11. Nicky CLEE, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 18. George BOWERMAN.
Mike Garnett reminds us of the history of games betweeen the two clubs:
- At Altrincham: p8-w3-d4-l2-f14-a15
- At FGR: p8-w1-d3-l4-f11-a18
- All: p16-w4-d7-l6-f25-a33
Alty elected to play with the gusty wind behind them but, after changing ends, fell behind after just 43 seconds. A slip by Moult allowed the burly striker, Parkin, to drive home a shot from left of goal, which went into the bottom far corner of the net.
A Lawrie error soon put Alty under threat again but Deasy beat the ball out. FGR continued to press as, first. a Frear cross was cleared before a great Leather block inside the box prevented another goal (7 mins).
FGR were camped in Alty's half as, now, Sinnott cleared the ball before Deasy had to smother the ball after Sinnott had been beaten by Frear on the FGR left.
Belatedly, Alty got a toehold in the game as a Richman cross just evaded Reeves in the goalmouth in what was the first real Alty attack. Moments later Lawrie's deflected effort from 20 yards hit the post after another good Alty move (13 mins). A corner resulted in what was now lashing rain.
But FGR threatened again as Deasy had to beat out a Marsh-Brown shot for a corner (18 mins). From the right the corner was converted by an unchallenged Parkin (19 mins).
After a Leather clearance had been charged down, Havern was drawn into a foul and was booked (21 mins). An FGR header hit the post from the resulting freekick (22 mins). Next a Guthrie shot deflected to Deasy. However, Guthrie was soon booked for his reaction following a foul on him.
However, Altrincham rallied to win a corner on the left which produced another, on the right, both taken by Lawrie (27 mins) The visitors' improvement continued as a Griffin cross led to a chance for O'Keefe but he lifted his shot over the bar (29 mins). Another Alty corner followed soon afterwards.
After a scrappy few minutes, another Alty corner arrived, off Clough, and another followed it. At the other end, Bennett fired across goal before a cross from FGR's right bounced across Alty's box. When the lively Frear won a corner on the left, Clough's resulting chip clipped the top of Deasy's bar (41 mins).
Following a foul on Moult, 40 yards out, Sinnott hit his freekick wide. As half time approached, Lawrie lost the ball and Guthrie's shot gained a corner. In added time, a foul by Richman gave FGR a right-wing freekick in their own half. However FGR's Bennett was shown a red card for a two-footed lunge in retalation. After arguing, he finally trudged off leaving Alty a potential route back into the game against ten men.
|Half-Time: FOREST GREEN ROVERS 2 ALTRINCHAM 0|
Each side made a change at the break. FGR's Pipe came on for Marsh-Brown and Alty introduced Rankine for Crowther, as torrental rain fell.
Four minutes into the half the retreating Sinnott superbly cleared off the line from Guthrie after a good FGR move, the Alty right back ending up in the back of his own net.
Frear won a corner and his side soon earned a second (52 mins) as FGR coped well with their one-man deficit. For their part, Alty were moving the ball too slowly to unlock the FGR defence. But the visitors were now seeing more of the ball as a Rankine shot was blocked before an O'Keefe effort suffered the same fate. Next, Lawrie fired over.
As rain lashed down,Lawrie won the ball and a great Griffin pass fed Reeves, whose low shot was just reached by a stretching FGR keeper (62 mins). But then Frear counter-attacked and struck the side netting. Another counter attack saw Guthrie beat Leather but he fired badly wide (67 mins).
After 70 minutes Bowerman and Clee replaced Griffin and Reeves and soon there were horrendous conditions as the squally wind increased. Pipe's challenge left Bowerman down in the FGR box but his penalty appeals were ignored (73 mins).
Following a foul on Richman, Bowerman won a corner, after which Clee had a shot headed off the line. On 76 minutes Parkin went off and Williams came on before a Wedgbury shot flew wide. When OKeefe tackled Guthrie on halfway, the slippery pitch led him to slide into his opponent. Referee Rushton harshly produced a red card which might not have appeared had FGR not already lost a player (78 mins).
Two minutes later OConnor came on for Guthrie. Then, as Frear advanced up the middle, Havern tugged him back and saw a second yellow. So, Alty had seen two reds in five minutes after none all season before that (83 mins).
The officials further upset alty when a seemingly excellent tackle by Leather was penalised on the side edge of the box but the score remained 2-0 till the end.
Alty's poor start to the game had left them too much to do and to lose two players a week before an important FA Cup match at Colchester was a harsh blow when this game had already, effectively, been lost.
|Full-Time: FOREST GREEN ROVERS 2 ALTRINCHAM 0|