LEAMINGTON (0) 1 ALTRINCHAM (1) 2
after extra time
played on Saturday, 16 January, 2016 at 3pm
After extra time, Altrincham squeezed past Leamington in this FA Trophy replay, which was being staged after five previous attempts had been beaten by the weather. Two of these had been postponed after Altrincham and their supporters had travelled to Warwickshire. Hard work by the Leamington ground staff and volunteers had succeeded in producing a pitch was far better than had been expected after all the rain and drainage problems that it had endured.
Altrincham got off to an excellent start when Jamie Hood's blatant holding on Michael Rankine produced a fifth-minute spot kick for the visitors. The defender escaped with a yellow card but Rankine firmly drove his penalty kick past keeper Breeden. However, far from building on this advantage, Alty barely troubled the Leamington keeper for the rest of the afternoon.
In contrast, Alty goalkeeper Tim Deasy several times stood between Leamington and an equalizer. And, if Alty's first half had been disappointing, their post-interval showing was even more so. But the visitors somehow held out until The Brakes' striker Mackey headed home following a last-minute corner kick.
Ten minutes into extra time, a magnificent through-ball from substitute Sam Heathcote set Michael Rankine at goal. From more than 20 yards, he powered an excellent shot past Breeden to restore Altrincham's lead and see them through to Round Two, which involves a 500-mile round-trip on Tuesday to the Sussex coast to play Bognor Regis Town. As a consequence Tuesday's CSC match at Crewe Alexandra is now postponed.
- 5 mins: Michael RANKINE (penalty) (Leamington 0 ALTRINCHAM 1)
- 90 mins: Ben MACKEY (Leamington 1 ALTRINCHAM 1)
- 100 mins: Michael RANKINE (Leamington 1 ALTRINCHAM 2)
REFEREE: Mr Richard Martin
Damian Reeves was fit to return to the bench but Altrincham started with Josh O'Keefe in midfield and Michael Rankine as the front man. But, once again, Alty were without the experience of the long-term injured Coburn, Marshall, Clee and Densmore. Both of their recent loan signings, Josh Ginnelly and Dylan Mottley-Henry were not signed in time to participate in this game.
LEAMINGTON (Gold and black) 1. Tony Breeden (capt), 2. Ben George, 3. Connor Gudger, 4. Joe Magunda, 5. Jamie Hood, 6. Jamie Tank, 7. Lee Moore, 8. Richard Taundry, 9. Ben Mackey, 10. Jack Edwards, 11.Lee Chilton. Subs: 12. James Fry, 14. Will Green, 15. Rob Ogleby, 16. Ross Oulton, 17. Eddie Caviezel-Cox ALTRINCHAM (Red & white stripes, red shorts, white socks): 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 5. Luca HAVERN (capt), 6. Scott LEATHER, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 7. James LAWRIE, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 9. Michael RANKINE. Subs: 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 18. George BOWERMAN, 10. Damian REEVES, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 24. Rhain DAVIS.
This was the sixth attempt to stage this replay, which had been brought about by a 1-1 draw in the original tie at the J. Davidson Stadium in December. Considering the recent weather and the previously collapsed drain under the pitch, the surface looked to be in quite good condition though two corners were sanded at the clubhouse end.
Altrincham kicked off the tie, playing into bright sunshine, but it was The Brakes who had the first shot as Taundry's 25-yarder comfortably cleared the bar.
However, Altrincham were gifted the chance of an early goal when a Lawrie nod-on led to Rankine being blatantly pushed over from behind as he got into the box. The offender, Hood, only saw a yellow card as a penalty was awarded by referee Richard Martin (4 mins).
Rankine confidently drove the penalty past keeper Breeden to make it 1-0 to the visitors (5 mins). Just a few minutes later, the first chorus of "We're Going to Wemb-er-ley" emanated from the travelling supporters.
Breeden is well known as a goalkeeper who likes to make excursions outside his penalty and, aware of this, Lawrie tried an audacious lob from just inside his own half. However, the Leamington keeper just managed to get back to gather the ball (10 mins).
Altrincham, however, failed to build on their early lead and barely troubled Breeden for the rest of the half. For their part Mackey scuffed a 20 yarder wide (11 mins) and, following a Richman foul, Taundry's freekick 35 yards out went straight to Tim Deasy (15 mins).
After Lawrie had done well, O'Keefe won Altrincham's first corner, on their right, after 18 minutes. From this short-corner, a Sinnott cross was caught by Breeden. Leamington immediately counter-attacked and, from a Moore cross, Mackey headed against the crossbar from close range at the back post (19 mins).
Altrincham now had a decent chance when Crowther did well but from an O'Keefe cross, Lawrie shot disappointingly wide, across the face of goal, from the left (22 mins). Deasy then had to be alert after Leather had lost possession but Alty's next effort was a Sinnott 25-yarder which ran comfortably to Breeden.
When the lively striker Mackey rounded Leather, with the aid of what appeared to be a foul, a corner resulted for the hosts. Altrincham were not creating any clear chances and both sides were making too many mistakes to make the game a flowing spectacle but that was not altogether surprising in the slightly bobbly conditions.
After 32 minutes Leamington did threaten as Moore got in a cross but Mackey headed what was a difficult chance, wide. Next a Moult foul earned him a rather harsh booking. After this, Leather was penalised, 25 yards out, and with the sun having gone, the floodlights came on.
Rankine was caught offside for a second time (37 mins) before Sinnott was lucky to escape a booking after hauling back an opponent by an arm around the neck! A minute later a Leamington man went down under a Rankine challenge in the Alty box but the referee allowed play to continue (40 mins).
As half time approached, Griffin conceded a corner from a Chilton cross (42 mins). Following this, Mackey miskicked before a Chilton shot was diverted by Havern for another corner as Alty remained decidedly on the back foot. In the two added minutes, a Havern foul 35 yards out on the LFC left gave away a freekick.
Taundry's freekick gave a free header to Hood but his effort went just wide. So Alty retained their lead at the break but had been less than convincing for much of the first 45 minutes.
|Half-Time: LEAMINGTON 0 ALTRINCHAM 1|
Leamington were first to threaten after the break as the ball skimmed off Edwards's head for a goalkick. Five minutes into the half, Sinnott fouled Chilton and became the second Alty player to be booked.
From the resulting freekick, it took an impressive, point-blank save by Deasy from Mackey's diving header to keep The Brakes out (51 mins). As in the latter stages of the first half, Alty on were on their back foot again. Next a Taundry 30 yarder went to Deasy before Crowther relieved the pressure with a run that won a corner. From Lawrie's kick, Leather nodded wide (53 mins).
After a quiet first half, Crowther was now more in the game and soon he had a cross cleared. Alty were down to ten men for a couple of minutes as Havern had attention to what appeared to be a facial injury. He returned as Leamington won a corner off Sinnott (56 mins).
Soon, Deasy saved his side again as he kept out a Mackey shot with a block with his legs after the home forward had been left unmarked (58 mins). Leamington remained on top while Alty were presenting zero threat at the Leamington end.
However, just after the hour mark, Richman was put clear up the middle but his shot was deflected wide for a corner, from which Breeden saved a good Havern header. Home appeals for a penalty against Leather were then waved away before Breeden again advanced into the Alty half to direct a team-mate's freekick. The next excursion by the home keeper saw him near the touchline some 40 yards from goal where he fouled Lawrie as the Alty man threatened to get free. The Leamington keeper and captain was booked for this offence (66 mins).
As Havern's holding offence conceded a freekick, Heathcote was readied to come on but made to wait. Now Crowther jinked into the box but fired over from left of goal (70 mins). It was the wide man's last action before being replaced by Heathcote, a move which signalled a shuffled formation as Sinnott moved to midfield (71 mins).
Three minutes afterwards, Leamington made two changes as Oulton came on for Moore and Ogleby for Gudger. On 77 minutes, Mackey won a corner, followed soon after by a second, off Heathcote.
Inside the final ten minutes, Breeden went into the Alty half, again, to clear before an Ogleby shot won another corner. Alty were under pressure and were unable to keep the ball whenever they cleared their lines. For much of the game Rankine had been left stranded upfield with a gulf between his nine outfield team mates and himself but now Lawrie was providing closer support.
Alty survived when a great Mackey shot was only just scooped over the bar by Deasy for a corner (84 mins). Two more home corners followed as Alty hung on to their slim lead.
Leamington won a ninetieth-minute corner. Taken by Taundry from the right it was helped on towards goal to Mackey who headed home from close range to record a deserved equalizer (90 mins).
Moments after the restart a good Ogleby run led to Mackey scooping a shot over the bar from five yards. And three minutes into added time Alty were pleased to find Mackey flagged offside. So, extra time was necessary, with the momentum clearly in Leamington's favour.
|90 minutes: LEAMINGTON 1 ALTRINCHAM 1|
After changing ends, extra time started with Alty defending again. Following a foul by Havern, 20 yards out, a short freekick, by Taundry to Ogleby, forced a great save by Deasy from the latter's shot. The Brakes put the follow-up wide (96 mins).
Rankine now tried to beat Breeden from 40 yards but his effort flew well over the bar (97 mins) but, three minutes later, a superb ball up the middle from Heathcote found Rankine in some space. He advanced before blasting a tremendous shot past Breeden from more than 20 yards to restore Altrincham's lead, a situation which had seemed unlikely beforehand (100 mins).
The goal lifted Alty and, just before the extra-time half-time, another Rankine 20-yarder gained his side a corner.
After 108 minutes Leamington's third sub arrived as Fry replaced George. Next Breeden again came out and, this time, he headed clear before, first, Moult and then Leather did likewise at the other end. After a Sinnott shot had been saved, O'Keefe cleared the Alty lines but, yet again, there was a huge gap between Alty's defensive line and Rankine so possession was lost
After a home corner had been cleared, Mackey rounded Deasy but Havern made a magnificent block on the goal line. A wisely gloved Damian Reeves now replaced O'Keefe (114 mins) before Heathcote, and then Leather, cleared their lines as Leamington kept pressing.
Yet again, Altrincham were indebted to goalkeeper Deasy as he poked a shot round his right post for a corner. But Alty finally saw out the game assisted by a Richman ball to Reeves, who won a corner. Rankine wound down some time in the corner before Alty emerged 2-1 winners. But the result was hard on Leamington who, in terms of shots (24v9), corners (9v2) and overall pressure were the better side.
The win earns Altrincham a 500-mile return trip on Tuesday evening to Sussex club Bognor Regis Town in Round Two of the competition.
|After Extra-Time: LEAMINGTON 1 ALTRINCHAM 2|