ALTRINCHAM (2) 3 LINCOLN CITY (2) 3
played on Saturday, 13 February 2016 at 3pm
This entertaining match started in quite crazy fashion. Despite kicking off, Alty, who were without the ill Michael Rankine, almost conceded inside thirty seconds when Caton was allowed to stroll through the centre of the home defence only for Reeves to be denied a minute later, at the other end, from a Margetts feed.
Inside three minutes Rhead wasted a clear chance by shooting straight at Deasy before a Crowther shot from 25 yards was not held by Farman and Ginelly was on hand to net the loose ball and give Alty an early lead (4 mins).
The open end-to-end play continued and, from Wood's cross from the right, Rhead, unmarked, headed just inside the post to make it 1-1 in only the seventh minute. And, inside ten minutes, it was 2-1 to Alty as Crowther's cross was volleyed home by Ginnelly.
On nineteen minutes Rhead had the chance to level the score again, this time from the spot, as Moult was penalised for a foul on Caton. But the big striker hit his spot kick comfortably wide.
However, on 33 minutes, the referee Richard Wigglesworth, who had already twice hurriedly blown for Altrincham freekicks when the home side were in possession, now awarded a harsh penalty for alleged handball against Alty. Unlike in October when he awarded a penalty to Alty against Chester, only to change his mind and rescind the award, this time he stuck with his snap decision. Rhead, this time, converted the penalty, so it was 2-2 at the break.
The second half took some time to come to life but City seized the advantage when Muldoon held off a challenge to convert a Farman long punt upfield (57 mins). Alty responded, but their equalizer was bizarre. Reeves, who was about to be subbed, chased down goalkeeper Farman, whose attempted kick clear cannoned off the Alty man and into the net, in the 65th minute.
- 4 mins: Jonny MARGETTS (ALTRINCHAM 1 Lincoln City 0)
- 7 mins: Matt RHEAD (ALTRINCHAM 1 Lincoln City 1)
- 10 mins: Josh GINNELLY (ALTRINCHAM 2 Lincoln City 1)
- 33 mins: Matt RHEAD (penalty) (ALTRINCHAM 2 Lincoln City 2)
- 57 mins: Jack MULDOON (ALTRINCHAM 2 Lincoln City 3)
- 65 mins: Damian REEVES (ALTRINCHAM 3 Lincoln City 3)
REFEREE: Mr Richard Wigglesworth (South Yorkshire)
Michael Rankine had flu so Damian Reeves returned to lead the Altrincham attack. For Jake Moult, it was his 150th start and 175th appearance for Altrincham, as he continued as the Robins' captain.
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, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 26. Dylan MOTTLEY-HENRY, 7. James LAWRIE 23. Callum WILLIAMS
LINCOLN CITY (Yellow shirts and socks and blue shorts): 1. Paul Farman, 2. Bradley Wood, 27. Jamie McCombe, 6. Chris Bush, 3. Greg Tempest, 7. Jack Muldoon, 8. Alan Power (capt), 9. Matt Rhead, 12. Terry Hawkridge, 18. Lee Beevers, 28. James Caton. Subs: 29. George Maris, 5. Luke Waterfall, 13. Aidan Grant, 19. Robbie McDaid, 21. Matt Sparrow.
Mike Garnett reminds us of the historical record in matches between the two clubs.
- At home: P3-W1-D1-L1-F4-A4
- Away P7-W1-D1-L1-F3-A7
- All P6-W2-D2-L2-F7-A11
On a cold but bright afternoon at the J Davidson Stadium this match got started in unbelievable fashion as chance after chance came in the opening ten minutes by which time it could have been three apiece.
Although they had kicked off, defending the away end, Altrincham could have been behind inside 30 seconds as Caton was allowed to run unchallenged through the centre of Alty's midfield and defence before Deasy saved his shot. Immediately, Alty responded with a corner, following which Margetts played in Reeves, but keeper Farman managed to block his close range effort (2 mins).
Then a Muldoon cross found Rhead unmarked but his under-powered effort was saved by Deasy as Alty again displayed poor defending (3 mins). The chances kept coming as Crowther advanced in the inside right channel. His shot from 25 yards could only be parried by Farman and Margetts pounced to net the loose ball (4 mins).
The crazy start to the game continued as a Wood cross from the right found Rhead, unchallenged again and, from a stationary position, his header dropped just inside Deasy's right post to make it 1-1 after seven minutes.
The reverse fixture had ended 1-1 after two early goals but this time play continued to switch from end to end and bring about chance after chance. Next, a Crowther effort had to be saved before a Tempest volley for Lincoln just cleared the Altrincham bar (9 mins).
A minute later and a Crowther cross from the right was met by an impressive first-time volley from Ginnelly to make it 2-1 (10 mins).
Play then got positively boring as there was no goal during the next five minutes! For Alty, Crowther was looking lively and Holness was impressing, at the back, too. But just as we thought that the excitement of the opening stages was waning, a penalty was awarded against Moult for a foul on Caton. But Matt Rhead, from a substantial run-up, smacked his spot-kick well wide of the post to Deasy's left (19 mins).
For the second time in the game referee Wigglesworth stopped play to award Alty a freekick when they had possession and should have played on. But Alty now constructed a good move before a Margetts shot was blocked and ran to Farman (28 mins). Play again switched as a Muldoon shot, which was drifting just wide, was held by the diving Deasy after Rhead had won a header.
On 32 minutes Mr. Wigglesworth awarded Lincoln a penalty for alleged a handball by Moult which seemed unavoidable rather than, in any respect, deliberate. Having missed earlier, Rhead nevertheless stepped up again and this time he beat Deasy who had guessed correctly, going to his left. So it was 2-2 after 33 minutes.
Alty's cavalier defending was exposed again after the restart as, once more, Caton was allowed to stroll through the middle of the Alty team. He got round Deasy as the keeper raced out of his box, but Sinnott had done well to get back and clear the ball before it could get to the net (34 mins).
After Leather had won a freekick near the centre circle, Holness's freekick gained a corner on the left which was soon followed by another freekick. Following this the ball came back into the goalmouth, in the form of a looping cross from the right by Crowther, but Reeves's close-range header hit keeper Farman (37 mins).
Fouls by Rhead and Muldoon (twice) led to freekicks but no real danger before Margetts turned well but fired well over the bar into Golf Road. As the half drew towards its end, a Ginnelly cross gained a corner on the right but neither this, nor two added minutes of play, could affect the 2-2 scoreline.
And so a quite remarkable forty-five minutes came to its conclusion.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 LINCOLN CITY 2|
After the plethora of action in the first half, the opening to the second period was a relatively quiet affair. In the 52nd minute, with City appealing for a foul against Leather, Mr. Wigglesworth allowed Lincoln to advance. Caton got into the box before hooking the ball wide as he went down under a challenge from Deasy. There ensued a couple of minutes of chaos as play stopped and no one seemed to know what was going to be the referee's decision. He engaged in a debate with several City players before play resumed with a throw-in by Bush. In keeping with this game's strange nature, the throw almost bounced into the Alty net.
Next, Power shot narrowly wide from the edge of box whilst Alty had not really got going in this half. Crowther was now penalised in The Imps' half. Farman's long freekick reached Muldoon, who did well to hold off a challenge in the Altrincham box before lashing home a shot to give his side a 3-2 lead (57 mins).
Following the re-start a Crowther mishit back-pass from 40 yards out, gave away a needless corner, as Alty remained below par. Things looked up as Moult got Sinnott into the box but he was dispossessed.
With the paperwork for a substitution involving Mottley-Henry and Lawrie already in the fourth official's hands, Altrincham equalised and, in keeping, with this eventful game, the goal was an unusual one. Tempest played a routine pass back to Farman from 30 yards or so out but, instead of the goalkeeper putting his foot through the ball, he twice tried to tee it up to volley clear. As he did this Damian Reeves closed him down and when Farman finally did try to clear the ball, it cannoned off the Alty striker's back and into the net to make it 3-3 (65 mins).
Before he could bask in his goal, Reeves was immediately substituted by Lawrie, whilst Crowther was withdrawn in favour of Mottley-Henry (66 mins).
After several uneventful minutes Barnsley loanee Maris replaced ex-Gainsborough man Hawkridge for the visitors (72 mins). Henry now did well before play switched and Deasy had to save from Maris.
Farman had another shaky moment as he failed to hold a Ginnelly effort as Alty got on the front foot (76 mins). From a Ginnelly flick, Richman volleyed well over the bar. A foul by Beevers on Henry was followed by another on Margetts by Bush, who was cautioned as he showed dissent (78 mins). Sinnott's excellent freekick from the right touchline bounced off Margetts to the keeper (79 mins). Margetts was playing up top, with Lawrie behind him.
After Muldoon had fouled Sinnott in Alty's box he was booked (80 mins). Although Altrincham were enjoying some forward momentum they were not creating any serious chances as play approached the ninetieth minute. The home freekicks continued as Ginnelly, covering in his own box, was upended and then Moult also was fouled.
For the four added minutes, Lincoln introduced McDaid for Muldoon (90 mins). Three minutes into this period Sinnott cut in but saw his left-footed shot narrowly clear the bar. And so a most eventful game ended in a 3-3 draw. It was Alty's third successive draw in the league and, with just a single win in their last nine National League outings, they are inching rather than striding towards safety.
|Full Time: ALTRINCHAM 3 LINCOLN CITY 3|