Match Report


Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 20 February 2016 at 3pm


With just one win in their last eleven league matches Altrincham remained nineteenth after this hard-fought draw with Guiseley. The game was played in rain throughout, on a pitch made heavy by recent wet weather, but referee Derek Eaton passed it fit following a 2pm inspection. Alty's injury woes continued as, already without the injured Richman before kick off, they lost left-back Adam Griffin to injury before the interval.

Guiseley had the better of the first half but fell behind in the 43rd minute when substitute Scott Leather fed Michael Rankine. He made space well before blasting a shot past young Guiseley keeper Atkinson from outside the box. The Lions equalised in the 56th minute when Rob Atkinson netted with a free header following a freekick.

Rankine then missed a great chance to win the game when he hit the bar from six yards, from Reeves's feed, six minutes from time.


REFEREE: Mr Derek Eaton (Gloucestershire)

Lawrie and Havern started as Leather and Margetts moved to the bench. At the back, Sinnott returned after injury whilst Richman was ruled out, although his foot injury has proved to be bruising rather than a fracture.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts white socks): 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Jordan SINNOTT, 5. Luca HAVERN, 28. Marcus HOLNESS, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 7. James LAWRIE 19. Ryan CROWTHER 15. Josh GINNELLY, 9. Michael RANKINE. Subs: 27. Jonathon MARGETTS, 10. Damian REEVES, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 6. Scott LEATHER, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE,

GUISELEY (All yellow): 17 Daniel Atkinson, 4 Danny Lowe (capt), 12 Danny Hall, 36 James Hurst, 6 Jake Lawlor, 16 Liam Dickinson, 23 Emile Sinclair, 25 Robert Atkinson, 33 Adam Smith, 8 Danny Boshell,19 Nicky Boshell. Subs 34 Anthony Dudley, 11 Gavin Rothery, 3 Ben Parker, 9 Adam Boyes, 35 Oliver Norburn


Mike Garnett provides the historical record between Altrincham and Guiseley.


This game was in doubt as referee Derek Eaton made a 2pm inspection of a surface which had been partly covered by rainsheets borrowed from Lancashire Cricket Club. But the Gloucestershire official declared the pitch fit and the covers were removed as rain continued to fall - and this was to continue throughout the match. So the great pre-match efforts of groundsman Neil Brown and his volunteers proved to be worthwhile.

Altrincham kicked off towards Golf Road but conceded an early freekick and then a second-minute corner, won by Hurst on their right. The sticky surface did not aid flowing football but there was plenty of effort from both sides in the opening stages.

After a Lawrie shot had been blocked, young keeper Atkinson spilt a Ginnelly cross but the ball was cleared by a team-mate (10 mins). When Sinnott lost the ball to Nicky Boshell, the ball ended up with Sinclair but he fired over the bar. On their right, Guiseley's Smith was looking a threat but his next cross drifted beyond the back post for a goalkick as rain steady fell.

Alty came to life as Ginnelly won the ball and forced a save from 30 yards with a good shot from left of the goal (13 mins). Next, a Lawrie cross was cleared and a few minutes afterwards Griffin won the ball but Rankine was caught offside (15 mins). On 18 minutes a well-hit Crowther low shot flew wide from 20 yards from Rankine's feet. The sides traded freekicks as, firstly, Crowther was tripped 35 yards out and then Holness fouled Dickinson 30 yards out on Guiseley's right. From this, Smith's shot deflected off Griffin and hit the outside of the wrong-footed Deasy's left-hand post, for a corner (21 mins).

Guiseley soon won another corner as a Hurst cross came off Holness as the visitors retained the forward momentum. Alty replied as a Lawrie 20-yarder was saved (25 mins). Guiseley were shading the game so far and gained another corner when Smith beat Griffin and his cross was deflected over the byline. Atkinson's nod from the corner went to Deasy (29 mins). The rain was now getting heavier as a Sinnott shot went easily to the keeper.

Griffin now went down for treatment and seemed to have a problem in the hamstring area. He could not continue and was replaced at left-back by Leather (35 mins).

Guiseley won another corner when a Smith cross found Nicky Boshell, whose shot was deflected out of play. A Smith volley was saved by Deasy following the corner (37 mins). As half time approached a Lawrie cross was punched clear and then a Ginnelly shot was blocked.

Alty won a freekick 45 yards out for which there was a booking for Nicky Boshell. However, Rankine nodded Sinnott's freekick to the Guiseley keeper (41 mins). Just after Lawrie had been blocked in the act of shooting, Leather fed Rankine who stepped to his right and planted an excellent 20 yard shot past the keeper to put Altrincham ahead (43 mins).

It should have been 2-0 a minute later as O'Keefe played in Ginnelly but the keeper blocked his effort and a Rankine follow up was also blocked (44 mins). So after two added minutes Altrincham went in a goal to the good but arguably Guiseley had edged the first half performance.


It had continued to rain steadily throughout the interval before Guiseley kicked off towards the Golf Road end. As in the first half they started the better of the two teams and it took Deasy's legs to save a snap shot from 20 yards (48 mins).

After Rankine had been tripped 30 yards from goal, keeper Atkinson gathered Sinnott's freekick at the second attempt (52 mins).

Just inside his own half, O'Keefe was harshly penalised. From the freekick the ball reached Smith, right of goal. His cross back into the goalmouth found Rob Atkinson unmarked and he headed home near the back post to make it 1-1 (56 mins).

Alty's response was a great Crowther cross which was only inches too high for the incoming O'Keefe but a corner was won. Next a good Crowther run to the byline earned another corner (58 mins).

On 62 minutes, Boyes came on for Dickinson and soon Guiseley had Alty on the back foot again.

Rankine won a freekick, 35 yards out on the left, but Ginnelly's freekick was poor. The Burnley loanee did better soon afterwards as his cross had to be cleared before Leather's 25-yarder flew wide (69 mins).

Now Reeves replaced Crowther (70 mins) and Alty now won two successive corners followed by a freekick but nothing came of these deadballs. Next, Lawrie sidefooted a shot to the keeper.

But Altrincham raised their game for the closing stages and, next, an O'Keefe nod almost found Ginnelly in the goalmouth. O'Keefe, who was getting forward well in the second half, now saw a shot saved at the second attempt (76 mins).

In the 78th minute, Rothery replaced Nicky Boshell. Two minutes later, Altrincham went close as Ginnelly got to the byline and his low was smartly cross clipped onto the outside of the upright by Reeves at the near post (80 mins).

A big chance came when Moult intercepted the ball and found Reeves. He elected to pass inside rather than shoot himself and from his feed Rankine hit the bar from six yards (84 mins). At this point Norburn replaced Smith for The Lions.

Rankine now battled well but spooned his shot yards over the bar from the edge of the box (86 mins). Alty kept trying as a Sinnott cross just evaded Lawrie. Three added minutes were played but Altrincham could not get the winner and so remained nineteenth as their fourth successive home game ended without a win in that sequence.

A draw was probably a fair outcome but it will have pleased the visitors more than the hosts who now have a fortnight to gather themselves for what they hope will be a charge up the table away from the relegation zone.