ALTRINCHAM (0) 1 SOUTHPORT (0) 1
played on Monday, 28 March 2016, at 3pm
Altrincham dropped back into the bottom four following this draw, as Boreham Wood's victory over Dover lifted them above the Robins.
After an uninspiring first half dominated by throw-ins, freekicks and errors, the second half improved when Alty took a 61st minute lead. Keeper Viscosi should have stopped Josh Ginnelly's shot but failed to do so. However, Port were level just a minute later when the ball was cleared out to Gary Jones whose instinctive shot from outside the box went into the net off the underside of the bar.
Alty did have the ball in the net on two other occasions, through Ginnelly and Leather, but both were ruled out for offside.
- 61 mins: Josh GINNELLY (ALTRINCHAM 1 Southport 0)
- 62 mins: Gary JONES (ALTRINCHAM 1 Southport 1)
REFEREE: Mr Richard Martin
Sam Heathcote was out, injured and fellow defender Marcus Holness remained unfit too, too. So Jimmy Phillips started for the first time, during his loan from Gateshead. Josh O'Keefe replaced Simon Richman in midfield and Ryan Crowther returned from injury on the bench.
Port included two ex-Alty loanees in Andrai Jones and Jonny Margetts.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts , black shorts white socks) 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 6. Scott LEATHER, 5. Luca HAVERN, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 7. James LAWRIE 15. Josh GINNELLY, 26. James PHILLIPS, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 9. Michael RANKINE, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 24. Rhain DAVIS, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 8. Simon RICHMAN
SOUTHPORT (Fluorescent Green) : 19. Jonathan Viscosi, 20. Mark O'Brien, 3. Alex Whittle, 4. Liam Nolan, 18. Andrai Jones, 5. Josh Thompson, 16. Paul Rutherford, 11.Gary Jones (capt), 23. Steven Hewitt, 27. Jonathon Margetts, 17. Louis Almond, Subs: 25. Max Crocombe, 8. Andrew Wright, 9. Craig Westcarr, 2. Matty Challenor, 24. Jack Ryan
After heavy overnight rain the pitch looked in good condition though, obviously, soft in places.
Mike Garnett reminds us of the history of games between the two clubs:
- At Altrincham P18-W10-D4-L4-F26-A21
- Away: Away P14-W3-D3-L8-F16-A25
- All: P32-W13-D7-L12-F42-A46
After changing ends, Alty kicked off, with Sinnott at right-back in place of Heathcote. Further forward, loanee Phillips made his full debut on the left, with Ginnelly on the right. Inside two minutes there had already been four throw-ins and the scrappy start went on... and on. By the time Griffin had taken a seventh-minute throw, we were already up to throw-in number thirteen. To compound the overall scrappiness the referee now fell over!
Things improved a little as Ginnelly got to the byline but a goalkick followed, which Viscosi planted directly into touch (8 mins). When Ginnelly was tripped, 35 yards out, Lawrie headed Sinnott's freekick well over the bar (10 mins).
Viscosi now kicked into touch for a second time before the sequence of throw-ins continued. With 24 throws counted by the 16th minute (there was little else to note), a fine Sinnott cross was nodded out for a home corner by a defender but it came to nothing (17 mins).
Southport's Gary Jones now hit a Havern headed clearance wide from 20 yards (21 mins). Ginnelly and Phillips then swapped wings before the visitors won a freekick from which O'Brien had a free header but he put it straight at Deasy (27 mins).
Another good Sinnott ball led to a Phillips cross from the right byline, which gained Alty a corner which, again, came to naught.
After Phillips had been penalised, against Thompson, Viscosi took the freekick and, for the third time, he kicked directly into touch! The ball was spending more time out of play than in it as the throw total had now gone beyond the thirty mark inside 32 minutes.
Reeves was fouled 35 yards out, in the 36th minute. Ginnelly laid the freekick off from to Moult whose shot went comfortably to Viscosi. At the other end, Leather fouled Almond just outside the right side of box. This was wasted as was a freekick won and taken by Ginnelly, which flew high and wide (40 mins).
Alty did put together a decent move as the interval approached but, at the end of it, Sinnott fired over from 25 yards. Lawrie then did well and Ginnelly actually netted the ball over the advancing keeper but he was given offside (42 mins).
So there had not been a lot to get excited about in the first half. And with Boreham Wood 2-0 up at the interval, there was more pressure on Alty to improve their performance in the second period.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 SOUTHPORT 0|
The second half began just as scrappily as the first half had been. Three minutes into the half, a direct Ginnelly run, 30 yards up the middle, was halted by a foul. The offender, Thompson, was booked. Lawrie took a poor freekick which went for a goalkick.
Next, a Havern long ball sent Reeves chasing and he won a corner as he poked the ball at goal. A poor Lawrie corner won another one, which was even worse, low and short of the goalmouth in its trajectory (50 mins).
Three minutes afterwards, Lawrie did much better as he almost got Ginnelly free. But then Port responded as a Margetts cross allowed Gary Jones to force Deasy to beat the ball away for a throw. Next, Andrai Jones's 35 yarder flew well over the bar.
Margetts now shot just wide from 18 yards from a Rutherford pass (56 mins). Both sets of supporters were subdued, with little to enthuse them on the pitch.
At last, though, there was something to cheer about as a fine ball up the middle from Lawrie found Ginnelly, whose shot went through keeper Viscosi's hands to make it 1-0.
The lead barely lasted 60 seconds as Gary Jones equalized from the edge of box after the ball had been half cleared. The Southport captain took an instinctive swing at the ball and it arced into the top corner, going in off the underside of the crossbar, to Deasy's left (62 mins).
After this blow, from a Ginnelly cross from the left, Phillips and the keeper collided but, predictably, the referee gave Viscosi the freekick as both went for the ball. Now Westcarr replaced Almond for the visitors (63 mins).
Leather now fouled Margetts, just outside the box. The freekick was played, right, to Rutherford as Alty failed to react anything like quickly enough. Fortunately Rutherford’s cross was dealt with. After 68 minutes, Crowther came on for Phillips.
Lawrie is the most mercurial of players and he now enjoyed a purple patch. First he turned superbly inside the box and got in a low shot which went narrowly wide across the face of goal. Then, following a throw, he got into the box and twice in succession had goalbound shots blocked. He was not finished yet as a short corner led to another fine shot from him, which Viscosi smartly tipped over for corner (70 mins).
Each side made a change; Rankine for Reeves (73 mins) for Alty and, a couple of minutes later, Wright for Hewitt for Southport. When Ginnelly scythed down Gary Jones just outside the Alty box, he could not complain at being booked (77 mins).
Alty had all eleven men back for the freekick but nothing came of it. For a foul on Griffin, Gary Jones was booked and so too was O'Keefe (81 mins). On 82 minutes, Margetts was then replaced by Ryan. Play drifted on for the remainder of the ninety minutes before four added minutes were declared.
In this spell, Rankine won two freekicks. From the second, 45 yards out, the ball fell to Leather who impressively blasted the ball home but the linesman's flag went up for offside (90+3 mins)!
So, Alty had drawn at home for the fifth time in their last eight fixtures at the J. Davidson Stadium. You could not fault the effort but there was insufficent guile from both sides to unlock their opponents.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 SOUTHPORT 1|