Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 30 April 2016, at 5.30pm


Altrincham suffered their fourth relegation since 1997 when they were comprehensively beaten by a Braintree Town side which secured a deserved place in the promotion play offs with this victory.

Braintree took a 17th minute lead when the impressive Akinola miscued a shot across goal and Cheek was on hand to convert from close range at the back post. Cheek made it 2-0 three minutes before the break when he converted a cross, following a fine run by Brundle.

Brundle added the third when he converted a cross after Akinola had got to the byline.

  • 17 mins: Michael CHEEEK (Braintree Town 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)
  • 42 mins: Michael CHEEEK (Braintree Town 2 ALTRINCHAM 0)
  • 63 mins: Mitch BRUNDLE (Braintree Town 3 ALTRINCHAM 0)

REFEREE: Mr Oliver Yates (Newcastle-u-Lyme, Staffs).

Ryan Crowther was once again an absentee, along with the four long-term injured players. Goalkeeper Tim Deasy was again playing when far from fit and was unable to take goalkicks.


BRAINTREE TOWN (Orange and blue) 1. Tom King, 17. Sean Long, 15. Mark Phillips, 3. Sam Habergham, 5. Matthew Paine, 6. Matt Fry, 7. Mitch Brundle, 8. Kenny Davis, 10. Simeon Akinola, 30. Alex Woodyard, 23. Michael Cheek Subs: 9. Sean Marks, 11. Daniel Sparkes, 14. Taylor Miles, 25. Harry Cardwell, 2. Remy Clerima

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.


This match was televised live as much depended on it; a point was needed by The Iron to secure a place in the play-offs whilst nothing less than a win could help Altrincham survive, against the odds, in the National League. Even an Alty win would also require Halifax to lose and Guiseley to do no more than draw.


Despite the bright sunshine, the floodlights were on at Cressing Road as The Iron kicked off. However, play soon stopped for treatment to a facial injury to Long but resumed after his recovery (3 mins).

For Alty, goalkicks were again being taken by Leather, as Deasy bravely saw out the season despite an injury which made kicking difficult.

After a quiet opening, a great Habergham cross was hacked clear by Leather (8 mins). Alty were now getting hemmed into their own half but the nearest to a Braintree goal threat was a shot which flew over from 20 yards (11 mins).

Alty's first effort on target was a Ginnelly long shot which ran comfortably to keeper King. Soon, Leather was forced to concede a corner, which was immediately followed by another. Following this, Griffin blocked a Davis piledriver (15 mins).

Next, Leather tripped Akinola as he got past him, left of goal. Soon after this, when Akinola miscued his shot from the left, across goal, Cheek slotted home at the back post to give his side the lead. And this coincided with the tannoy announcing that Guiseley were 2-0 up, so it was looking grim for Alty. The announcer kept updating the scores adversely affecting Altrincham but seemed more reticent about any of those at the top of the table affecting Braintree.

After a Holness foul had conceded a freekick on the Iron's right, Deasy came out of goal too far as he punched the ball and it landed behind him. Fortunately, from the loose ball, a Brundle header went across the face of goal (21 mins).

From a Braintree corner, gained off Holness, Davis's shot from the edge of the box deflected off Deasy for another corner.

The home side's corner count continued to rise before Moult was caught late by Cheek. But then Sinnott lost the ball and Moult, in covering, tripped his man and earned a booking (29 mins).

Brundle now won another corner, after which a great Akinola turn gave him an opening but he shot wide (30 mins).

In a rare foray to the other end, a fine Moult cross glanced off Reeves or Lawrie for a goalkick (34 mins). At the other end Akinola spooned a shot over the bar from Davis's feed but he was awarded a corner (38 mins).

As the interval beckoned, a fine run by Brundle got him past Griffin and, from his cross, Cheek netted at the back post to make it 2-0 (42 mins).

On 45 minutes, Reeves won Altrincham a corner but this was cleared. In the three added minutes, an excellent Sinnott ball got Ginnelly forward. He was halted in the box but Lawrie gained another corner which, again, came to nothing.

The interval score of 2-0 was a fair reflection of the home side's superiority.


Alty were out early for the second half and soon Holness was busy, stopping Akinola in the box. The already booked Moult escaped with a piece of blatant holding before a Habergham cross from the left byline was nodded just over the bar by Paine (50 mins).

When King came out to kick clear, Rankine ran into him. After treatment the keeper played on. During this break, Richman came on for Lawrie (53 mins). Similarly, Deasy was now knocked over by Akinola but the ball was cleared.

Next, Deasy beat out a Habergham shot before Rankine was booked for his challenge on Phillips (58 mins). With Halifax leading and Guiseley also winning, it looked to be all over for Alty.

Once more Akinola got to the byline and Brundle scored from close range in the centre of the goalmouth, to make it 3-0 (63 mins). Akinola had been excellent so far.

The Iron now introduced Marks for Cheek (65 mins). After this, Griffin's blatant holding got him a yellow card as news came of Halifax drawing and Guiseley being 3-2 up (68 mins).

After Richman had lost the ball in his own box, Alty hacked the ball clear. However, up the pitch, Alty remained unable to create anything in the way of a goal threat.

Rankine was now felled but Sinnott's freekick was deflected out for a corner, which King collected (72 mins). Three minutes later Miles replaced Davis.

Following a Reeves misheader back towards his own goal, Deasy had to save a shot from Brundle. For Alty a rare shot saw Leather's 30 yarder clear the bar (77 mins).

After fouling Rankine, Paine was booked and then Sparkes replaced Akinola before Braintree won a 79th minute corner.

As Braintree eased up, Alty enjoyed a bit more possession but could make no inroads on the 0-3 deficit. Braintree were deserved winners of a game in which Altrincham never looked like scoring.

And so Alty's fourth spell in the top flight of non-League football had come to a disappointing end. With a managerial announcement expected shortly, the summer looks like being a busy time as the club looks to rebuild for a challenge on the Conference North title.


Copyright: 2016 Altrincham FC