Match Report


Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 19 December, 2015, at 3pm


Altrincham gave a good account of themselves against the league leaders and only a spot kick separated them at the final whistle. In a goalless first half, the home crowd had been silenced and, had Rankine not sidefooted a shot wide they might have been ahead at the interval. Deasy had made a good save from Waters at the other end.

Cheltenham started the second half with increased tempo but it took a penalty to break the deadlock. Havern's challenge allowed Wright to take and convert a spot kick in the 58th minute.

Alty responded and created several half chances. But when Sinnott's rasping 25 yarder hit the back of the net only to be ruled out for offside, Alty knew it was not to be their day.


ATTENDANCE: 2,591, including 54 from Altrincham

O'Keefe remained suspended so Altrincham's starting eleven were unchanged. Harry Cain, a youth team graduate and left winger was in the squad today.


CHELTENHAM TOWN (Ruby and white striped shirts, black shorts & socks) 1 Dillon Phillips, 2 Jack Barthram, 5 Aaron Downes (capt), 7 Harry Pell, 3 George McLennan, 6 Daniel Parslow, 4 Kyle Storer, 11 Jack Munns, 8 Billy Waters, 9 Danny Wright, 29 Ryan Jennings, Subs 12 Calum Kitscha, N Rowe, 18 James Rowe, 27. James Dayton, 30 Andrija Novakovich

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow and blue shirts, blue shorts, yellow socks): 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 5. Luca HAVERN (capt), 6. Scott LEATHER, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Michael RANKINE, 10. Damian REEVES, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 7. James LAWRIE, Subs: 11. Nicky CLEE, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 18. George BOWERMAN, 22. Harry CAIN, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE


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


Alty kicked off defending the away end. Alty started quite confidently and, after a promising Crowther advance, Alty's left-winger overhit his cross (4 mins).

After the linesman had failed to see the ball clearly go out of play, Town won a freekick. Following it, a Pell effort ran easily to Deasy.

From a Town counter-attack, Waters's fierce shot from right of goal, inside the box, was smartly helped over the bar by Deasy for a corner, which Downes headed wide (7 mins).

Cheltenham were on the front foot as Leather blocked a Wright shot in the box, followed by a great Griffin tackle (8 mins).

Soon after he had tackled back impressively, Crowther got upfield and saw his shot saved from a Richman feed. At the other end, Munns got to the byline unchallenged but Alty dealt with the danger.

From a Leather tackle on Wright, Town won a corner. For Alty Crowther looked lively as he made a good run but he poked his effort just wide, across the face of goal (14 mins).

Alty threatened but Rankine fired well over the bar and, a couple of minutes afterwards, a Rankine chip forced a corner off keeper Phillips (19 mins).

A Crowther advance on the left earned another corner, taken by Lawrie, but it was cleared by the first defender. However, Alty were doing well so far (24 mins).

The home support was quiet as now Leather got in a fine tackle on Wright before the same player also impressively halted the lively Waters.

Next, a Moult tackle left a man on the deck but play went on until Bartram fouled Crowther. The referee then went back and cautioned Moult for his earlier challenge (28 mins).

After a Sinnott slip had conceded a corner, Moult blocked a Pell effort in the box after which Waters fired well over from the right byline after a header had got him free (31 mins).

Alty enjoyed a good spell as from a Sinnott cross, Reeves flicked a shot to the keeper and a Sinnott cross was just too high for Rankine. Then a Rankine cross was well gathered by Lawrie, whose shot won a corner (36 mins).

Alty's best chance came after Leather's appeal won a throw from a bemused linesman. From this Reeves fed Rankine who sidefooted badly wide (38 mins).

But Alty continued on top as a Sinnott run led to his blocked shot followed by a Lawrie effort which went to the keeper. Soon another good Alty move won another corner as Town's support remained silenced (42 mins).

But when Griffin was beaten, a home cross was headed by Wright and saved by Deasy. Town player Storer hobbled off after treatment so the hosts completed the half with ten men. Alty had more than matched the league leaders and, but for some wayward shooting, might have taken the lead.


Town upped the tempo in the second half and now the wind seemed to be stronger than earlier and blowing towards the Alty goal.

Storer was back on for Town who now went close following a Deasy save and a melee in the box (48 mins). Alty responded as a Lawrie cross from the left flew inches ahead of Reeves in the box (49 mins).

From a cross, Wright's glancing header went wide but he was awarded a corner. From this, a shot cleared the bar from beyond the back post (53 mins). For Alty there was a wild first time shot over the bar from Lawrie, right of goal (54 mins).

Disaster struck as Havern brought down Pell on the front edge of the box and a spot-kick was awarded and the Alty captain booked. Wright converted the penalty after a stuttering run up (58 mins).

Five minutes later another good Crowther run won a corner via Richman. This was cleared to Moult who skied his shot from 20 yards (64 mins). For Town a 25 yard volley flew just wide from Jennings.

After another fine Leather tackle, as has become customary, on 67 minutes, Clee came on for Crowther. A Lawrie effort went over from 20 yards before a great Sinnott 25 yard shot flew into net as the whistle was blowing for offside against Reeves (72 mins).

Now Novakovich came on for Waters for Town and Munns was replaced by Dayton (73 mins).

From a Clee feed another Sinnott piledriver was cleared off Cheltenham's line as Alty responded well to falling behind (78 mins). Next Bowerman replaced Reeves (79 mins).

From a Clee cross, Rankine headed wide but Alty were giving it a good go. At the other end, a fortuitous corner from a deflection arrived for Cheltenham.

The ref failed to show the card that a cynical trip on Lawrie deserved and likewise failed to punish a block on Clee.

On 85 minutes, Rowe came on for Jennings for Town who succesfully played out time as well as four added minutes to secure a narrow win. Altrincham had given a good account of themselves but had paid the price for failing to convert a couple of decent chances.