ALTRINCHAM (2) 5 WELLING UNITED (0) 0
played on Saturday, 23 April 2016, at 3pm
Despite their biggest win of the season against relegated Welling United, Altrincham go into next Saturday's final game of the season, at Braintree Town, needing not only to win but also for FC Halifax Town to lose and Guiseley to do no more than draw for The Robins to stay up.
After a nervous opening in which Rankine missed two good chances, Altrincham went ahead out of nothing in the 33rd minute. A long ball was nodded on by Rankine to Sinnott who slotted home calmly in the 33rd minute. As the first half ended, Welling's Gayle conceded a penalty for handball from a Havern cross, which Rankine converted.
It became 3-0 five minutes after the break when, from Sinnott's cross, James Lawrie's shot into the ground beat goalkeeper Rodak. Alty scored a superb fourth with a one-touch move up the right which featured a magnificent exchange of passes by Leather and Sinnott before Reeves headed in Sinnott's cross from the right. That was after 66 minutes and, in added time, Rankine added a fifth as he lobbed the exposed Rodak.
- 33 mins: Jordan SINNOTT (ALTRINCHAM 1 Welling United 0)
- 45+3 mins: Michael RANKINE (penalty) (ALTRINCHAM 2 Welling United 0)
- 50 mins: James LAWRIE (ALTRINCHAM 3 Welling United 0)
- 66 mins: Damian REEVES (ALTRINCHAM 4 Welling United 0)
- 45+3 mins: Michael RANKINE (ALTRINCHAM 5 Welling United 0)
REFEREE: Mr John Busby (Leicestershire)
Alty welcomed back Marcus Holness from suspension. However, Simon Richman (injured ten days ago) was fit only for the bench whilst, in midweek, Neil Tolson had ruled out loanee Jimmy Phillips (knee) and had said that Ryan Crowther was unlikely to be fit, which he was not.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks) 17. Tim DEASY, 6. Scott LEATHER, 26. Marcus HOLNESS, 5. Luca HAVERN, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 7. James LAWRIE, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 15. Josh GINNELLY, 9. Michael RANKINE, 10. Damian REEVES Subs: 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 27. Adam SAVILL, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE.
WELLING UNITED (Pale and dark blue): 21. Marek Rodak, 7. George Porter, 8. Harry Lee, 16. Ian Gayle, 19. Kevin Lokko, 31. Ibrahim Kargbo, 18. Jack Taylor, 20. Sam Come, 24. Adam Yussuf, 34. Michael Bakare, 10. Luke Wanadio. Subs: 30. Kadell Daniel, 36. Victor Caicedo, 1. Michael McEntegart, 9. Sahr Kabba, 15. Nortei Nortey,
Before kick off, with two fixtures to be played, Altrincham could have finished anywhere from 19th to bottom of the league. However, a win today for Altrincham would be the only way of ensuring that the club's fight for National League survival would go to the final game of the season, irrespective of results elsewhere.
In 2000 both Alty and Welling were relegated at the same time from the Conference. So, with Welling already having already been relegated this season, Alty were not wanting a repeat of that season's conclusion. Indeed, the only certainty before kick off was that this would be the last time Alty and Welling would meet in a league match for at least one season.
Former Bromley boss Mark Goldberg was in charge of The Wings for the first time today
Alty took to the field accompanied by young girl footballers and infants as part of the FA Girls' football initiative. Welling kicked off towards the away end where their loyal band of supporters had commendably followed The Wings despite their relegation last week. An early Yussuf shot ran to Deasy before Rankine won a freekick 45 yards out. The freekick was laid off to Lawrie who advanced, under no pressure, but put his shot high over the Golf Road terrace roof (2 mins).
Alty had deployed Lawrie centrally with Moult, whilst Sinnott was to the right and Ginnelly on the left. Corne's blatant shirt pull on Ginnelly was not given before Yusuff got in another shot at Deasy after Alty had lost the ball. Ginnelly saw his shot blocked after a good Lawrie feed but a corner followed when keeper Rodak blocked the ball. After the corner, a Lawrie shot won another corner, this time on the right (8 mins).
A fairly uneventful few minutes passed before Yussuf got in his third shot of the game but it ran easily to Deasy (15 mins).
Alty missed a great chance to go ahead when a fine ball from Moult put Rankine through but his poor first touch led to a shot which only clipped the top of the bar. Moments later, Lawrie won the ball and then Reeves fed Rankine who turned but shot well wide (20 mins).
Bakare, who had earlier been caught by Lawrie, now sat down for treatment before walking off to be replaced. The other players took this interlude as an excuse for a drinks break and referee Busby seemed powerless to get the game restarted until they chose to do so after Caicedo had replaced Bakare (23 mins).
Alty then took the lead when the ball broke, out of nothing, fro m Rankine's head to Sinnott. From a central position he stroked the ball home from 12 yards or so (33 mins). A stoppage soon followed for a head injury to Leather but he recovered to play on.
Another fairly uneventful spell followed before Moult and Yusuff collided and a minor spat ensued. The ref booked Yusuff and, after talking to his linesman, he also booked Moult (42 mins). Inside the first of the three added minutes, a Sinnott shot was blocked by Rodak but then a follow up led to Alty being awarded a penalty for handball against Gayle from a Havern cross. Despite the visitors' protests, Rankine's spot kick just beat the dive of Rodak to make it 2-0 (45+3 mins).
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 WELLING UNITED 0|
With all the players on the pitch, there was a delay till the match officials entered the arena to start the second half. Five minutes into the second half Alty again scored out of nothing as a ball from Sinnott located Lawrie. His shot, hit into the ground, bounced up and into the net past the keeper's right hand to make it 3-0 (50 mins).
Next a great Ginnelly run led to his cross, which was just too high as Rankine's stretching header landed on the roof of the net (51 mins). On 54 minutes Kabba came on for Yussuf. Leather was then fouled by Porter who was booked (56 mins). After this a good Rankine header was saved from a Sinnott freekick.
Daniel replaced Welling's Porter (58 mins) before a Lokko header just cleared the bar from a cross (60 mins). Savill was now readied to come on as Sinnott was not moving easily but the change was deferred. When Rankine was fouled, the freekick on the left by Ginnelly was overhit.
Altrincham then scored a superb 66th minute goal. Griffin won the ball and it was worked across the back to Leather. He and Sinnott exchanged passes twice, a move which included a smart backheel from Sinnott. At the end of the move up the right wing, Sinnott's cross was met by a fine reverse header from Reeves, who had ghosted in towards the back post. So it was 4-0, and it was a goal to remember (66 mins).
Alty were now dominant and on 72 minutes a tremendous 35 yarder, left footed, from Rankine flew marginally wide. Two minutes later, Reeves put Rankine clear but he missed the target as he dragged his shot across the keeper and wide of the far post from right of goal.
Altrincham now changed goalkeepers as Callum Williams came on for his league debut to replace the less than fit Tim Deasy (75 mins). Almost immediately, Holness sliced the ball out for a corner, which Lawrie cleared (77 mins).
Sinnott's run now won a corner but play drifted on before an ambitious shot from Ginnelly ran to the keeper (84 mins). Savill finally came on, for Reeves, after 85 minutes.
With two normal minutes left, Richman came on for Moult. Deep inside the three added minutes, Sinnott's ball put Rankine running at Rodak from right of goal. As the keeper advanced, Rankine lobbed him expertly to make it 5-0 and conclude the proceedings.
The win keeps Alty's hopes alive but they must now win at Braintree next Saturday and hope that FC Halifax lose and Guiseley do no more than draw to ensure their survival in the National League.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 5 WELLING UNITED 0|
Copyright: 2016 Altrincham FC