Match Report


Vanarama National League North match
played on Tuesday, 9 August 2016, at 7.45pm


Just as last Saturday, Altrincham twice led in this game but ended with a draw. The night was marred by a serious injury to centre-back Tom Hannigan, who is set to be out for six weeks with medial ligament damage.

Altrincham took a 28th minute lead when good work from Patterson led to a well struck low shot by Lawrie from the edge of the box.

But the lead lasted just four minutes. The ball rebounded off an Alty clearance and ran back to goalkeeper Dawber, who elected to kick it out for fear of being penalised for handling a back pass. From the throw, Moyo's cross came in and the Alty keeper attempted to push it over the bar but the ball dropped down for Denton to poke home from virtually on the goal line.

When substitute Miller was brought down for a clear penalty, Jake Moult netted confidently from the spot to make it 2-1 in the 52nd minute. Halifax staged a late rally and equalised whilst Alty were down to ten men, Miller having been hurt as he cleared the ball and he had not got back onto the pitch when Jordan Sinnott punished his old employers with a well struck goal, seven minutes from time. Despite six added minutes, the game ended 2-2.


REFEREE: Mr Paul Marsden
ATTENDANCE: 1,836 (133 in away section)

Alty made three changes as Reeves, Heathcote and Miller moved to the bench whilst Richman started with Hobson and new loanee Metz deployed up front.


FC HALIFAX TOWN (Blue): 1. Stephen Drench; 2. Cliff Moyo, 3. Josh Wilde, 4. Kevin Roberts (c), 5. Danny Hone; 6. Scott Garner, 7. Josh MacDonald, 8. Nathan Hotte, 9. Tom Denton, 10. Jordan Burrow, 11. Richard Peniket. Subs 12. Tom Nicholson, 14. Matty Kosylo, 16. Jordan Sinnott, 15. Connor Hughes, 17. Jake Hibbs.

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow) 1. Andrew DAWBER, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. David LYNCH, 4. John CYRUS, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Alan GOODALL (capt), 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. Craig HOBSON, 10. Khius METZ, 11. Simon RICHMAN. Subs: 12. Sean MILLER, 14. Damian REEVES, 20. Callum PRESTON, 16. Jamie MENAGH, 15. Simon GARNER


Both sides had been relegated from the National League in 2015-16 and both had new managers; Neil Young for Alty and for Halifax it was former North Ferriby boss Billy Heath.


As usual one end and one side of The Shay were unoccupied as Halifax kicked off defending the home end. Alty were deploying Richman as right wing-back, Cyrus and Hannigan in the centre and Patterson on the left, with Goodall in what was effectively a sweeper role in the middle, making, at times, a 5-3-2 formation.

Alty were shading the game in the opening stages but there was no threat to either goal until Metz got in an effort from the right which was deflected across the face of goal and gained a throw on the left (9 mins). Next, a Lawrie curler went wide before Halifax's Macdonald earned a throw, which led to a corner won on the Fax right.

There was not much quality in the game but the blustery conditions did not help the players. For Halifax, Peniket shot wide after MacDonald had ridden a Moult foul in the build-up and been allowed to play on. The referee was either letting the play flow or missing numerous holding and shoving offences, depending on your point of view. One instance of this was a clear foul by Denton on Dawber after he had caught the ball.

Then Patterson did well on the edge of Halifax's box, keeping possession as he drifted to the left. He fed Lawrie and his well-hit, low shot from the edge of box put Alty 1-0 up in the 28th minute. Halifax responded with a good Peniket dribble but, at its conclusion, he fired over the bar. Alty had a good chance to make it 2-0 when a fine ball from the right by Moult put Lynch clear as he advanced into the left of the box. But he hit his shot comfortably over the bar (31 mins).

A ball then rebounded off an Alty player back towards the Alty goalkeeper. The keeper looked to the linesman for guidance as to whether he could pick it up or whether it was a back pass and got no help. So he opted to kick the ball out for a throw rather than collect it. From the throw, Moyo got in a cross from the right. As it dropped towards the near post, Dawber went to help it over the bar but only managed to push the ball into the air. And as it dropped, Denton bundled it into the net from point-blank range (32 mins).

The game was now littered with petty fouls and from a Lawrie freekick, from 40 yards out, right of goal, the ball only just evaded Moult's head in the box (38 mins). Just after an important Hannigan clearance, Moyo ran into the Alty box and was shepherded over the byline by Hannigan. However, the Alty centre-back, who has impressed in his short Alty career to date, remained on the ground (41 mins). After attention from physio Alan Ainsley, a stretcher was need to take the unlucky defender to the dressing room. It later emerged that he had medial ligament damage and was expected to be sidelined for six weeks. Miller now came on for Hannigan, amd Moult dropped deeper, as play resumed (44 mins).

With five added minutes announced, Halifax won a corner. Then a Goodall foul on MacDonald, just outside box, led to Halifax winning another corner, which the impressive Cyrus cleared (45+4 mins).

Before the break Dawber beat out a cross-shot as Halifax dominated the closing stages of the half but Alty were good value for their parity.


Alty kicked off and soon conceded a couple of freekicks in an otherwise quiet start to the second half. But six minutes into the half, Goodall's excellent ball found Miller, who advanced and drifted left into the box where he was clearly upended. A spot-kick was awarded and, for the second time already this season, Jake Moult stepped up and blasted his kick into the net to restore Altrincham's lead (52 mins).

But up front Alty were having little joy. The ball was not sticking with Hobson and Metz was seeing little of it. The tenacious Lynch now executed a fine tackle on Moyo in the Alty box before Burrow was replaced by Hibbs for the Shaymen (57 mins).

The hosts were having more of the attacking momentum and, next, a shot hit Goodall, who was playing well in his deeper role, and went out for a corner (64 mins). Two minutes later and Kosylo came on for MacDonald who had been a danger in the first half.

On 70 minutes, Roberts won Halifax a corner on the left, after which his side was penalised and Hone was booked after protesting. Then, Moyo fired over after a ball was cleared to him.

Alty made a change as Reeves replaced Metz (73 mins). Two minutes afterwards, Miller won Alty a corner after good work by Lawrie but the latter took it poorly. As Halifax countered, Richman was booked for holding. With Halifax getting forward with regularity, Hotte was replaced by ex-Alty man, Jordan Sinnott (80 mins). After a Reeves cross had been cleared a fine ball by Cyrus found Lawrie but he was unable to control it.

At the other end Halifax got in a dangerous cross from the right which Miller did well to get out of play but at the cost of an injury which left him off the pitch. He tried to come back for treatment but the referee made him go off and walk round the side of the touchline. As he waited to come back on, ten-man Altrincham conceded. The goal was a well struck effort from the inside-left position by Sinnott (83 mins), making it 2-2.

A Peniket lunge at Cyrus was followed by a Hobson foul on Hone and a fracas erupted, after which Hobson was booked (84 mins). Altrincham were now under the cosh as Halifax gained a corner (87 mins). Now Garner replaced Miller (89 mins).

Six added minutes were decreed, during which Alty were largely on the defensive. AFter Roberts had won a corner, another followed but the pressure was relieved by an Altrincham freekick. However, Alty held out for a creditable draw but the evening was ruined by the serious injury to Hannigan which leaves five players on the sick or injured list already this season (Densmore, Hannigan, Hattersley, Hasler-Cregg and Joyce).

Footnote: James Lawrie was also booked in this match.