ALTRINCHAM (1) 1 WREXHAM (1) 1
played on Tuesday, 9 February, 2016 at 7.45pm
Altrincham gained a hard-earned point against play-off hopefuls Wrexham. It was Altrincham who took the lead in the 12th minute. In fact they might have done so as early as the fifth minute when Simon Richman's shot from the edge of the box hit the crossbar. But it was a fine run up the right and into the box by Ryan Crowther which set up Josh Ginnelly for the opener.
Altrincham then played some excellent football but could not add to their score before Wrexham equalised, against the run of play, on 30 minutes. Jackson was allowed too much space on the left and his cross was met by an excellent looping header from former Barnsley man, Simon Heslop. After that the visitors had the better of play, though Altrincham still had their own attacking moments in the second half. Wastefulness in front of goal cost the Welshmen in the second period as, on three occasions, they fluffed their lines badly from close range.
- 12 mins: Josh GINNELLY (ALTRINCHAM 1 Wrexham 0)
- 30 mins: Simon HESLOP (ALTRINCHAM 1 Wrexham 1)
REFEREE: Mr Busby (Oxfordshire)
On the eve of the match, Altrincham were buoyed by an extension to Josh Ginnelly's loan from Burnley. With Crowther back after illness, Lawrie dropped to the bench.
For Wrexham, captain Jennings and right-back Vidal were pre-match doubts but Jennings started.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks) 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 6. Scott LEATHER, 28. Marcus HOLNESS, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 19. Ryan CROWTHER 15. Josh GINNELLY, 27. Jonathon MARGETTS, 9. Michael RANKINE Subs: 10. Damian REEVES, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 26. Dylan MOTTLEY-HENRY, 7. James LAWRIE.
WREXHAM (All yellow) 30. Rhys Taylor, 23. Simon Heslop, 4. Manny Smith, 5. Blaine Hudson, 6. Jamal Fyfield, 12. Mark Carrington, 14. Kayden Jackson, 3. Sean Newton, 10. Connor Jennings (capt), 11. Adriano Moke, 15. Robert Evans. Subs: 16. Wesley York, 7. Lee Fowler, 9. James Gray, `18. Ross Whirl, 25. Mark Beck
Mike Garnett reminds us of the historical record in matches between our two clubs.
- At home: P7-W1-D3-L3-F5-A10
- At Wrexham P7-W2-D2-L3-F7-A11
- All P14-W3-D5-L6-F12-A21
After Wrexham had won the toss and elected to defend the away end, Altrincham kicked off the first half with light rain falling on a pitch which had passed a pitch inspection at 2pm. Early on, Jennings had a shot blocked before a wild cross flew into Golf Road from Newton (3 mins). But it was Altrincham who almost opened the scoring in the fifth minute as an effort from just outside the box by Simon Richman struck the top of the bar from a Josh Ginnelly feed
Following a freekick, Wrexham won the game's first corner and by the time Rankine had hit a 30 yarder wide, the game had gone a bit quiet (11 mins). But then an impressive dribble up the right and into the penalty area by Crowther allowed the Alty winger to get in a cross which Ginnelly converted towards the back post to give Altrincham the lead (12 mins).
Altrincham now enjoyed a good spell. Margetts dispossessed Fyfield who was booked for throwing his body at the Alty striker as he got free on the Alty right about 40 yards out from goal (15 mins).
With Alty on the front foot, Heslop took out Rankine to concede a freekick, 40 yards out. The visitors did threaten when a good cross came in from the left from Newton which Griffin, on the turn, did well to head to safety (20 mins). Next, Rankine and Margetts combined well and a corner was won by Richman.
When Crowther tripped Moke near the Wrexham left touchline and inside the visitors' half, the Alty man was booked (22 mins). But Altrincham almost doubled their lead on 25 minutes when Ginnelly brought the ball down well and executed a clever chip which only just cleared the bar.
Successive crosses from Richman and Crowther maintained Alty's forward impetus. After a freekick for a foul on Richman, Rankine knocked the ball on to Ginnelly, who went down under a challenge in the box, but referee Busby was unimpressed. However, the Oxford based official did give Ginnelly a freekick shortly afterwards as Alty continued to set the pace.
However, against the run of play, Wrexham equalised. Jackson was allowed time to get in a cross from the Wrexham left which was expertly headed in by Heslop, the ball looping into the far corner of the net to make it 1-1 (30 mins).
The goal lifted Wrexham's performance although neither side created any chances as the game moved towards half-time. Just before two added minutes started, a Margetts run was halted before the lively Ginnelly did well and almost found Rankine with his pass (45 mins). Just after a Jennings shot had been blocked, half-time arrived.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 WREXHAM 1|
The first action after the break featured a Crowther cross, after which Moult skied an effort off target. But there was little excitement before Leather half-cleared and then Deasy punched the ball away, seemingly catching Wrexham man Evans in the process. After treatment Evans was fit to resume (55 mins).
When Smith tripped Rankine, 35 yards out, Ginnelly's freekick cleared the bar. A good Alty spell followed as, first, a Crowther cross was cut out and then a long ball put Ginnelly clear but his shot, from the left, flew across the face of goal (60 mins).
Alty then survived an almighty scramble in their goalmouth which ended as Leather stretched well to head the ball over his own bar for a corner after an earlier Deasy block. Wrexham now brought on the tall Beck for Moke (62 mins). But Wrexham were soon knocking at the door again and after Jennings's run and Carrington's cross, Deasy was unable to hold the ball yet, somehow amidst the scramble, Wrexham only gained a corner (63 mins).
Hudson headed the corner wide before Alty did get to the other end where a Margetts effort was blocked before Wrexham's Carrington forced another save from Deasy.
However, Altrincham almost snatched a second goal as a fine Griffin cross was met by Rankine's flying header, which was somehow blocked on line by keeper Taylor (67 mins). A less dangerous effort came in from Margetts but this was also saved.
Referee Busby who, until now, had done a decent job now penalised a superbly timed tackle by Leather, which he compounded by addressing a lecture at Leather in his captain's presence.
The third desperate scramble of the second half in the Alty goalmouth arose in the 72nd minute but it culminated in a corner rather than a goal for The Dragons. Following the corner, Hudson miskicked badly right in front of goal. It was proving to be an entertaining game as now Crowther got in a 25 yarder, which was beaten out by Taylor (73 mins).
When Margetts was blatantly pushed, two-handed in the back by Hudson, on the Alty left, a freekick was awarded but amazingly no booking resulted.
Next, a Crowther cross was skied by Ginnelly before Wrexham responded with an impressive Jackson run which gained a corner. End to end action continued as a wonderful ball from Sinnott put Crowther free but he shot well off target (78 mins).
Alty survived a scare as Fyfield ran towards the left byline but his team mate miskicked a presentable chance in the Alty box. Now Mottley-Henry replaced Crowther for the hosts (84 mins).
The final stages plus two added minutes failed to produce any serious chances for either side before Mr. Busby blew for full time. Whilst Altrincham will regret not building on their one-goal lead when they were on top, Wrexham will point to some poor finishing from several close-range chances in the second half.
|Full Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 WREXHAM 1|