ALTRINCHAM 0 BROMLEY 0
played on Saturday, 9 April 2016, at 3pm
On an afternoon when all of the main contenders for relegation lost, except bottom club Kidderminster Harriers, Altrincham were unable to take advantage of those six defeats to lift themselves out of the bottom four. The best chance fell to Josh Ginnelly after 56 minutes but he put the ball the wrong side of the post when put clear.
Referee Rushton did not help the cause as, twice, he failed to agree with strong penalty appeals as Altrincham dominated the attacking momentum in the second half without getting the vital breakthrough. Bromley remained dangerous on the counter attack and, but for wasteful shooting, especially by Ademola, they could have snatched a win.
REFEREE: Mr Steven Rushton (Staffordshire)
Griffin returned from illness and reserve Adam Saville was named on the bench for the first time. Crowther also started while loanee Phillips was out injured and not in the squad. Holness was suspended folowing Tuesday night's bizarre events so Leather moved to centre-back.
ALTRINCHAM (Purple shirts, black shorts, white socks) 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 6. Scott LEATHER, 5. Luca HAVERN, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 7. James LAWRIE, 15. Josh GINNELLY, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 9. Michael RANKINE. Subs: 10. Damian REEVES, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 27. Adam SAVILLE
BROMLEY (All yellow) 1. Alan Julian, 6. Jack Holland, 5. Rob Swaine (capt), 15. Lee Minshull, 20. Adam Coombes, 13. Joe Anderson, 19. Sean Francis, 7. Pierre Joseph-Dubois, 4. Ali Fuseini, 10. Bradley Goldberg, 18. Moses Emmanuel Ademola. Subs: 23. Alex Crean, 25. Rohdell Gordon, 24. Michak Stanic-Stewart, 27. Thomas O'Connor, 29. Jordan Higgs
Altrincham won the reverse fixture 3-1, one of only two away league wins this season.
Alty were wearing purple cancer awareness shirts today, with keeper Deasy in pink.
Alty won the toss and allowed Bromley to kick off, attacking the away end. After an early handball offence by Ademola, a Goldberg shot blocked was blocked after a long ball had landed behind Leather. The first corner arrived in the third minute, for Altrincham. This was not well taken by Lawrie, but his follow-up cross was better but a Ginnelly nod went wide.
Bromley, who must have one of the tallest sides in the league, were beginning to settle but there was little to trouble either keeper until Ademola got in a shot, but straight to Deasy (9 mins). Mr. Rushton set the tone for his performance as he ignored a clear hold on Rankine in the box. Although the man in black did penalise Swaine, soon afterwards, when he jumped in on Ginnelly, the Bromley giant escaped without a booking (10 mins).
On 13 minutes, Ginnelly was wrestled down but the referee again saw no reason to halt play. However, he did award Alty a freekick just outside the box when Bromley again transgressed. Alty tried to repeat the Sinnott lay-off to Rankine routine which had produced a goal in midweek, but this time the shot was blocked (15 mins).
After an indifferent start, Alty were now improving but they surrendered the initiative by being caught offside and then Goldberg was tripped by Moult, 40 yards from goal.
Alty's best move to date arrived in the 21st minute but Ginnelly was halted by a last ditch tackle, which gave Alty another corner. Good tackles by Leather and then Havern, combined with solid defending from Bromley, underlined how the defences were on top.
Crowther embarked on a jinking run that got him into the box where he was barged over but Mr. Rushton again saw nothing to warrant play being stopped (29 mins). Next, a Bromley move was halted in the Alty box. When the 6ft 4inch Minshull threw himself to the ground, shortly afterwards, looking unconvincingly for a freekick, the referee took no action.
There had been little quality on view so far and the same was applicable to the match officials as, yet again this season, the fourth official proved totally incapable of working the substitutes' board. Game after game it falls to the Alty tannoy announcer or their kit man to show the hapless fourth officials what to do to display the correct numbers on the electronic screen. With Bromley's Gordon readied to come on, the referee lost patience and resumed the action. Obviously the Bromley management were so cheesed off that they decided not to make a substitution at all at this stage!
After 39 minutes Lawrie won a freekick, 40 yards out but play then switched as the lively Goldberg did well but his shot deflected out for corner. At the other end, a Moult shot was well saved for a home corner, from which Rankine got in a firm header, which Julian beat out (42 mins). For Bromley, Coombes had a well-struck shot saved but after two minutes of added time the goalless first half reached its conclusion.
Altrincham had improved after a quiet start but parity was a reasonable reflection of the game so far.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 BROMLEY 0|
For the second half, Bromley finally brought on Gordon as a substitute for Francis. The game now improved and became more open. Three minutes into the half, a fine move ended with Ginnelly finding Lawrie, who fed Rankine who "scored" but was given offside.
After 51 minutes, Goldberg got in a shot, which Deasy beat out. Play again switched as, now, Lawrie had a shot which also had to be beaten out, this time for a corner. Following this, Rankine went down in the box but no penalty was given.
Steady rain now started and continued, albeit with lessening intensity, for the rest of the game. There was good vocal support for Alty but, when Lawrie seemed to be tripped, the home crowd turned its attention to baiting Mr. Rushton who booked the Alty man for alleged diving (55 mins). Leather again did well to break up an attack before Rankine put Ginnelly clear but the teenager put the ball the wrong side of the post. It had been the best chance of the match (56 mins).
Alty nearly threw the game away when, first, Crowther lost the ball then Deasy missed his attempted kick clear but Leather covered well. However, possession was regained by Bromley and with Deasy 18 yards from his goal line, somehow Alty managed to clear (59 mins).
Four minutes later Moult went down after seeming to turn his ankle but he played on. When Rankine was pushed to the ground by an arm across his back even that was insufficient for referee Rushton to award a penalty (65 mins). However, when Gordon pulled down Griffin in a less contentious area at the other end, the ref did award a freekick to Alty.
From a fine Sinnott ball, a Ginnelly shot won a corner, at which point O'Keefe replaced Moult who was still troubled by his knock. It was hardly a surprise to the crowd that the subs' board showed O'Keefe as replacing number "19", who was Crowther when, in fact, it was "4", Moult who was being taken off.
Next, Crowther's corner was headed well over the bar by Rankine. Eighteen minutes from time, Goldberg got a break when the ball ran free from a Havern tackle and then Leather slipped as he tried to cover. But, to Alty relief, Goldberg shot wide. Sinnott's mis-pass soon gave Goldberg another opening but he fired over the bar.
At this point Bromley's Higgs came on for Coombes and Reeves replaced Crowther for Altrincham. The Alty winger has featured in 33 games this season but has yet to complete ninety minutes in any match.
With time running out, Rankine was just beaten to a ball before a Lawrie cross went out for a goalkick. So far, the second half had been mainly Alty going forward but not creating clear chances. Bromley, however, were getting sights of the Alty goal but wayward shooting let them down as, now, Ademola fired over after a Higgs feed (82 mins).
With six of Alty's main rivals for relegation losing, a goal for Alty would have transformed their plight but it just would not come. Indeed after a Havern mispass, they were thankful that Ademola shot badly wide from 18 yards (86 mins). Two minutes later, following a good Leather block, Minshull hit the loose ball miles over the bar but a slight deflection meant that he had won a corner.
Alty continued to live dangerously as Lawrie gave the ball away but Deasy saved the resulting shot. Three added minutes could not break the deadlock and so Alty recorded their eighth draw in fourteen matches. Yet, despite a run of just two wins in twenty matches, they remain with a chance of escaping relegation but are now faced by three of their final four games being away from home and all four fixtures are against opposition which is either itself fighting for survival (Torquay United, Welling United) or going for a play-off place (Eastleigh, Braintree).
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 BROMLEY 0|