Match Report


Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 8 March 2016 at 7.45pm


Altrincham slipped further into the relegation fight as they completed a run of six successive home league fixtures, none of which they have won. In fact, it is now just one win in their last 13 National League games.

Gateshead went ahead in the 11th minute when they broke upfield after an Alty attack had been ended by a foul by O'Keefe. Hamilton got up the left and his cross was converted by Johnson.

Two minutes after the interval Altrincham got level when a Ginnelly freekick was whipped in and fumbled badly by Heed keeper Russell. Holness arrived to bundle the loose ball home at the back post. But, just five minutes later, a goalkeeping slip at the other end allowed Johnson to restore Gateshead's leak. His innocuous looking shot from the edge of the box seemed to skid on the soft surface past Deasy's waiting hands and carried on into the net.

Alty went close, especially with a shot from Reeves which fizzed past the wrong side of the post, but the visitors wrapped up the game, five minutes from the end of normal time. CJ Hamilton broke free up the inside left channel and finished impressively past the exposed Alty goalkeeper.

Deep into added time Alty won a penalty for a foul on Reeves. Moult's firmly struck spot kick had enough power to get through Russell's hands to make it 2-3.


REFEREE: Mr Joe Johnson

Reeves replaced the injured Rankine and O'Keefe came in for Crowther.


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), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 7. James LAWRIE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 15. Josh GINNELLY, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs 6. Scott LEATHER, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 19 Ryan CROWTHER 23. Callum WILLIAMS

GATESHEAD (Sky blue): 1. Sam Russell, 30. Andre Bennett, 3. Matthew Pattison, 5 James Curtis, 29. Alex Whitmore, 6. Ben Clark (capt), 26. Patrick McLaughlin, 12. Gus Mafuta, 28. Christopher Hamilton, 9. Jon Shaw, 20. Danny Johnson. Subs: 25. Brendan Pearson, 2. Craig Baxter, 4. Jamie Chandler, 14. Darren Holden 8. Robert Ramshaw,


Mike Garnett provides the historical record between Altrincham and Gateshead...


Alty kicked off with O'Keefe occupying "the hole" with Lawrie on the right and Ginnelly on the left. The hosts had an early scare as fine long ball located Hamilton on the left but his shot was blocked (3 mins). Otherwise the opening was uneventful until Moult won the ball, played a one-two with Lawrie, but blasted over from the return pass (8 mins).

After Ginnelly had been fouled on the left, Gateshead took the lead in the eleventh minute. A promising Alty move ended with O'Keefe heading the ball wide but he had leaned on an opponent in doing so and was penalised. From the freekick Gateshead worked the ball up the left where Hamilton got forward and crossed to the unmarked Johnson. He drove the ball past Deasy from near the edge of the box.

Alty's lax marking almost cost them further in the 13th minute as, from the right, 19 yards out, Johnson hit the bar with a curling shot hit the bar.

Ginnelly was looking Alty’s most likely forward threat but he was getting little success against a strong Gateshead back line. And when Moult was fouled on the edge of the box, left of goal, Ginnelly put his freekick well wide (18 mins).

Referee Johnson, who showed a lenient attitude throughout, produced no cards when Mafuta fouled Lawrie, who retaliated (21 mins). Reeves was then caught offside from a fine Lawrie through-ball. When Pattison clattered Moult, very late, again no card was produced by Mr. Johnson. Alty were feeding Ginnelly as often as possible and from his cross, there was a superb flick by Reeves which forced a good stop from Russell in the visitors' goal.

After Havern had been penalised half way, a Heed corner followed. Gateshead were keeping a cap on Ginnelly but were producing little threat of their own going forward. Following a Bennett foot-up against Reeves, Ginnelly's freekick from the left was cleared but the Burnley loanee soon won a corner with a good run. This was cleared to Sinnott and his ball found Reeves whose stretching effort was saved (37 mins).

Alty continued to press but a Lawrie cross was cleared before the same player was fouled, 30 yards out. However, Sinnott's freekick went to keeper Russell, as did a Lawrie cross a few minutes later (43 mins). Just before the break a fine ball by O'Keefe located Ginnelly but he was halted. Having shown remarkable leniency on a couple of earlier occasions, now Mr. Johnson booked Griffin for a minor foul (45 mins).

So Alty trailed at the break despite having had more of the attacking play.


Gateshead introduced Ramshaw for Pattison at the interval, as they kicked off towards Golf Road. After an immediate Alty freekick, another arrived as Ginnelly was impeded on the left. His freekick was whipped in to the box and fumbled by keeper Russell. Holness dashed in to bundle the ball home at the back post to make it 1-1 (47 mins).

Hopes were now high that Altrincham would kick on and take points from the game but out of nothing they fell behind again just five minutes later. Johnson hit a weak 20-yard shot. As Deasy crouched to collect it, the ball seemed to skid off the damp surface rather than bounce up into the waiting arms, and it evaded him completely to nestle in the net. It was something of a freak goal (52 mins).

Three minutes later, a dangerous Reeves cross flew across the face of Gateshead's goal. Following a Deasy punch clear, Alty went up to the other end and gained a corner, which was poorly taken by Ginnelly (58 mins). Altrincham continued to have the forward momentum, with a good Lawrie run followed by an excellent ball from Moult to Richman, but the latter's cross was blocked (62 mins).

Alty went close to a second equalizer on sixty-seven minutes when, from an O'Keefe lay-off, Richman's shot flew inches over the bar from the edge of the box. Then Gateshead captain, Clark, conceded an unnecessary corner which Alty took short and then almost bundled the ball into the net. The pressure continued as a Richman cross went into the goalmouth and after a Russell punch, another Alty corner arrived (68 mins).

A rare Gateshead foray saw Johnson put Hamilton clear but Deasy advanced and blocked his shot impressively (73 mins). However, Hamilton then won a corner off Sinnott.

George Bowerman came on for his first league appearance for more than two months, replacing Lawrie (76 mins). Altrincham continued to press as O'Keefe laid the ball off to Reeves, whose firm shot from the edge of the box went inches wide (78 mins).

Mafuta, who had escaped a booking in the first half, was finally cautioned for a foul to ironic cheers from the home crowd (81 mins). Alty’s attacking play was concentrated up the left and via Ginnelly for the most part but then Richman got up the right and from his cross, Reeves did very well to twist and get a header on target. Russell tipped it out for a corner from under his crossbar (83 min +s).

From the corner a firm Richman header had to be cleared off the line, prompting manager Aspin to berate his defence (84 mins). But then disaster struck as a clearance set Hamilton free up the inside left channel. His electric pace took him clear and he finished well, slotting the ball past Deasy's left hand as the Alty keeper advanced to meet him. So it was 3-1, despite Alty having enjoyed the lion's share of the second half attacking (85 mins).

Altrincham were unable to create any clear chances in the closing stages but then from a Ginnelly cross, Reeves was fouled and a penalty awarded. Moult struck it well but Russell got both hands to it, low to his right. However the ball had enough momentum to take it into the net and make the final score 2-3.

So Altrincham had concluded their six successive home games without a win but they could take some consolation from responding positively to the loss of a freak goal and having the lion's share of attacking play.