Match Report


Vanarama National League match
played on Monday, 28 December, 2015, at 3pm


How Altrincham failed to take anything from this game remains a mystery as they totally dominated the second half. They won corner after corner but Leather's header onto the post was the nearest to a goal. Rovers won it with a 28th minute effort when Norwood got onto a through ball and dinked it past the exposed Deasy.

But Altrincham might earlier have snatched a third-minute lead as Lawrie slid a shot narrowly wide and, in the second half, the same player saw a shot and a header go close. Reeves spurned a glorious opening mifway through the second half with an uncharacteristic miskick with only Davies to beat. The result dropped Alty to twentieth.


REFEREE: Mr R Wigglesworth

For Altrincham, Josh O'Keefe returned, on the bench, after completing his suspension. Rovers were without Taylor-Fletcher.


TRANMERE ROVERS (All white): 1. Scott Davies, 4. Steve Jennings, 7. Lee Vaughan, 8. Jay Harris, 10. James Norwood, 11. Lois Maynard, 12. Michael Ihiekwe,16. Matt Hill, 17. Adam Mekki, 24. Steve McNulty, 29. Ben Tomlinson, Subs: 2.Ritchie Sutton, 13. Iain Turner, 14. Andy Mangan, 18. Cole Stockton, 23. Jake Kirby

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow and blue shirts, blue shorts, yellow socks): 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 5. Luca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 7. James LAWRIE, 9. Michael RANKINE, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 11. Nicky CLEE, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 18. George BOWERMAN, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE.


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

Today's referee, Mr Wigglesworth, was the man who awarded then rescinded a penalty for Altrincham against Chester FC in the FA Cup this season.


Rovers kicked off attacking the away end on a breezy, dull but dry day. Following a foul on Crowther, Alty won a corner from Sinnott's freekick. Following this, some impressive Crowther skill gave him the space to cross and Lawrie slid in on the ball, at the back post, but poked the ball just wide (3 mins).

At the other end, great cover by Moult halted Mekki in the box, and Rovers gained a corner. Fouls on Sinnott and Rankine followed before a Sinnott cross won another corner on Alty's right. This led to a smart save at the foot of the post by Davies from Rankine, and another corner followed for Alty (6 mins).

Tranmere then threatened as Tomlinson headed a corner wide and, in the 11th minute, a Tomlinson cross from the right byline had to be cleared by Leather. When Vaughan deliberately threw the ball into the crowd after conceding a throw, Mr Wigglesworth failed to take any action, an accusation that could be levelled at him several times in this game.

When Harris appeared to get hit by the ball in his face, it took three physios to treat him before he resumed. Rovers applied some pressure before Moult cleared a Tomlinson cross in the goalmouth, after which there was a wild shot by Hill (19 mins).

When Deasy half came out of his goal before retreating, an attempted lob was poorly executed by Tranmere and the ball went easily to Alty's keeper. When Sinnott had an opponent's arm round his neck, play continued before Havern was penalised 22 yards out but the freekick was hit into the Alty wall (25 mins).

When a Rankine crossfield run was halted in the Rovers' half there seemed little danger but the ball was played forward by Maynard, allowing Norwood to poke it past the advancing Deasy to make it 1-0 (28 mins).

After Richman had won possession he got on the end of a return ball but he shot at the keeper (31 mins). At the other end, Vaughan fired wide from right of goal (33 mins).

Altrincham now won three corners in succession but nothing came from any of them. Rovers replied as a Maynard cross from the right was headed goalwards by Norwood but well saved by Deasy (38 mins). Rankine now changed into a numberless shirt for reasons that were none too clear.

Following an Alty freekick, 40 yards out, by Sinnott, a Richman shot cleared the bar (41 mins). Deasy now had to save well with his legs, from Norwood, after a Sinnott error in his own box. From the resulting corner, Rovers hit the bar and it then needed a defender's block on the line before Deasy smothered the ball, right on the line (42mins).

Having more than matched Tranmere for the first half hour or more, the hosts were now applying pressure. Following a good Rovers move, Mekki scooped the ball over the bar.


Alty kicked off and went onto the front foot with McNulty twice hoofing clearances into the stand before Richman was halted in the box from a Griffin throw.

When Moult got to the byline, Rovers hacked the ball clear as the visitors were enjoying strong vocal support from the travelling fans. Griffin was then penalised and booked but Alty continued to press as a Rankine curler went narrowly wide from 18 yards (54 mins).

Next, a cross won Alty a corner but the score remained unaltered before Clee replaced Rankine (61 mins). Alty had been on top in this half so far but a good home-side move led to them scooping a shot wide (64 mins).

An impressive Sinnott tackle led to a wild Lawrie shot from 18 yards before Lawrie played in Reeves and an equalizer seemed a formality. But, uncharacteristically, the Alty striker totally miskicked as he tried to flick the ball past the exposed keeper (66 mins).

Davies now spilt a Lawrie shot but the ball was cleared and, in the 68th minute, Altrincham won two corners in succession. Then Mekki strolled off at a snail's pace to be replaced by Mangan (70 mins) as Alty remained firmly on top.

After a counter-attack by Harris and Norwood had been halted, Sinnott won another corner after which Moult hit a shot well wide (75 mins). Next, Richman miskicked after getting into the box before a Clee cross was deflected onto the roof of the net for another corner; this was followed by a Clee shot which gained yet another corner (78 mins).

Keeper Davies clearly fouled Reeves as he awaited the corner but escaped with no more than a talking to. Following Crowther's corner, Lawrie cleared the bar from seven yards (79 mins). A cynical Tomlinson foul was punished by a freekick but no card. However, Maynard did soon see yellow for his foul on Leather (81 mins).

Next, from an excellent Crowther cross, Lawrie headed wide. Alty were creating chances but they were going begging (83 mins). An opponent's holding on Lawrie escaped Mr Wigglesworth's attention before Clee won a corner on the left. From this, Leather's header hit the keeper's back post (85 mins).

Each side made a change as Stockton came on for Tomlinson and Bowerman for Crowther (86 mins). Keeper Davies then had to stop a ball on his goal-line as Alty continued to dominate.

Havern was now sent upfield. Following a Clee throw, Bowerman went down in the box but play continued. At the other end, Deasy had to be alert to save a counter attack but soon Alty had won yet another corner through Clee. With Rovers hanging on, from a cross, Havern just could not turn the ball into the net from close range (90+3 mins).

Another good Deasy block halted Maynard's counter attack before Leather won Alty another corner, which Havern headed wide (90+4 mins). Alty had dominated the second half but paid the price for failing to take their chances. They dropped to twentieth place in advance of a visit to Chester on Saturday but a performance like this will surely bring a better outcome on another day.