Match Report


FA Cup Round Two match
played on Sunday, 6 December, 2015, at 2pm


Altrincham were the better side for much of this game but paid the price for defensive lapses, losing to a goal in the fourth added minute at the end of the match.

They got off to a great start when Jake Moult expertly lobbed the United keeper from outside the box in just the third minute. But 11 minutes later Alty gifted the hosts a leveller when Leather dwelt on the ball and lost possession, Harriott going on to score.

The start to the second half was even more electric as Rankine scored after 16 seconds but, again, the lead could not be held. When Deasy slid to collect the ball, low down near his right post, the ball escaped his grasp. The resulting cross was headed in by Lapslie at the back post.

Late on Deasy made a couple of fine saves and at the other end, Clee had a great chance to net a third for Alty. But when Leather's clearing header came to Harriott, the United man lashed a shot past Deasy to clinch a very late winner in the fourth and final minute minute of added time.


REFEREE: Mr Andy Davies
ATTENDANCE: 2,592, including 398 from Altrincham

With O'Keefe and Havern both suspended after their dismissals last week; Coburn and Marshall long-term injured and Densmore having missed the last nine matches, Altrincham were short of numbers. There was pre-match hope that Densmore might be named in the squad but he was ruled out. So five of their seven subs were youth or reserve players.

Although this was their first visit to Colchester's Weston Homes Community Stadium, Altrincham had previously played at United's former ground, Layer Road, during the Essex club's two-season spell in the Conference.


COLCHESTER UNITED (Blue and white) 12. Jamie Jones, 3. Matthew Briggs,6. George Elokobi, 8. Alex Gilbey, 10. George Moncur, 11. Gavin Massey, 18. Tom Eastman, 20. Tom Lapslie, 24. Richard Brindley, 31. Callum Harriott, 45. Marvin Sordell. Subs 4. Joe Edwards, 9. Chris Porter, 14. Tosin Olufemi, 15. Frankie Kent, 17. Sammie Szmodics, 19. Macauley Bonne, 29. James Bransgrove.

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts, with blue trim, blue shirts, yellow socks): 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 6. Scott LEATHER, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 10. Damian REEVES, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 7. James LAWRIE, 9. Michael RANKINE, Subs: 11. Nicky CLEE, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 18. George BOWERMAN, 21. Joel SWIFT, 24. Rhain DAVIS, 25. Ioannis STOUPPIS, 22. Harry CAIN.


Mike Garnett reminds us of the history of games betweeen the two clubs:


Alty, playing a 4-4-1-1 formation with Rankine behind Reeves, elected to change ends, so Colchester kicked off on a dry but blustery afternoon. The visitors enjoyed good vocal support from the start from almost 400 travelling supporters. However, an early Alty corner, won by a Sinnott throw, was poorly taken by Lawrie.

The "U"s then won a dubious freekick when one of their players attempted to head the ball at knee height and was deemed by the referee to have been subject to a high boot. The hosts immediately lost the ball and from outside the box, Moult chipped the ball over keeper Jones, who was well off his line, and netted an opening goal for Altrincham (3 mins).

United responded but Deasy saved a Harriott effort at the cost of a corner. Alty almost doubled their lead on seven minutes when a great Reeves chip almost emulated Moult's goal but the ball just landed on the roof of the net.

Next, Richman forced a save after good build up before United won a corner. Soon after Deasy had saved a cross shot, disaster struck for Altrincham when Leather delayed a clearance, the ball was nicked away from him and Harriott went on to score an equalizer (14 mins).

The next goal threat came in the 19th minute when Harriott's extravagant stepovers led to his shot over the bar. For neither the first nor the last time the referee failed to spot a foul, this time on Crowther. Nevertheless, the visitors were giving as good as they got from their League One opponents who were making plenty of unforced errors.

Rankine was being repeatedly held by Eastman without sanction before Harriott shot very wide. A cynical trip on Crowther by Harriott did earn a freekick but not the booking it merited.

After Heathcote had headed clear, a Harriott shot flew nearer to the corner flag than the goal. A Gilbey double foul then saw him react aggressively and get a yellow card. The freekick, 35 yards out by Sinnott, was pushed out for a corner by Jones; Rankine won another corner on left and another corner followed from Crowther which, in turn, produced a fourth, which was caught by keeper Jones (38 mins).

Eastman almost removed Rankine's shirt but again no freekick was awarded. Two Sinnott shots were then blocked, after good Crowther play, before Leather cleared a Colchester advance followed by equally good defensive work from Heathcote.

With added time being played, a corner for Alty came from a Sinnott throw. From this a Leather header went just over the bar. Alty had been more than a match for Colchester in the first half.


Alty kicked off the second half and Rankine scored after just 16 seconds, having been put through up the middle. He tucked the ball away well, past the advancing keeper.

Alty were then obliged to a fine Heathcote block after they had been opened up. But, once more, Altrincham were unable to hold their lead for long and, once again, they contributed to their own downfall. Deasy was favourite to grasp a through ball but he failed to hold it as he slid to collect near his right post. The loose ball was crossed and Lapslie headed in at the back post to allow Colchester to level at 2-2 (53 mins).

Moments later, a glorious chance to go 3-2 up was spurned when a Sinnott cross from the right corner was shinned over the bar by Rankine (54 mins). The chances continued as a good Griffin ball was headed wide by a stretching Reeves.

A piece of impressive ball control from Crowther led to his run which won a corner following which a Heathcote shot was blocked (63 mins). Jake Moult played superbly today and, just after he had cleared the ball, Clee replaced Crowther (66 mins).

Having conceded a throw, Harriott petulantly kicked the ball away but saw no card. Now Szmodics replaced Lapslie (69 mins). Alty were creating the better chances and next a fine Clee run ended with a shot wide across the face of goal (76 mins). When Harriott fouled Clee, he was finally booked for persistent fouling.

A good run by Briggs saw Richman adjudged to have fouled him on the edge of the box. The Alty midfielder was booked and before the kick was taken, Olufemi came on for Brindley (81 mins). Deasy beat out Moncur's freekick for a corner, from which the Alty keeper saved a header at the near post, conceding another corner which the now busy Deasy punched clear. Another corner followed which Leather headed away.

Now Colchester introduced Porter for Massey (83 mins). After Elokobi had won a freekick 40 yards out, a Colchester corner was cleared. On 88 minutes Bowerman replaced Reeves up front.

In the first of four added minutes, Deasy tipped over a header for a corner. Alty then had a great chance to wrap up the game as an excellent Bowerman ball put Clee in on goal. He made space well but his shot was saved.

With Alty looking set for a well-deserved replay a Kettering ball was headed clear by Leather but fell for Harriott. He hit a shot past Deasy to give his side a very fortunate victory in a game in which they had been second best for much of the time.