Vanarama National League North match
played on Tuesday, 16 August 2016, at 7.45pm


It was a night to forget at the J. Davidson Stadium as, after three broadly promising draws this season, Alty crashed to their heaviest home defeat for many a year. Altrincham gave a debut to former Crawley Town goalkeeper Callum Preston and coach Simon Garner also started his first match for the Club, at left-back, after two appearances from the bench this season.

It was all effectively over for Altrincham inside 17 minutes, by which time they were three down. The floodgates opened for the first time on the seventh minute when the tricky Hardy got in a low cross from the right, which Rowe netted. Five minutes later it was 0-2 as a speculative low shot from outside the box by Dixon evaded Preston's dive.

It was 0-3 another five minutes afterwards when Goodall's fine tackle stopped Dixon's advance but the ball ran to Daniels, who scored. Next, Hardy made it 4-0; his goal arrived when Cyrus sliced the ball, Preston then punched it into the air and, although half-cleared, the ball came to Hardy. From an acute angle on the left byline he scored.

By the end of the 37th minute it was 5-0 to Fylde as Dixon scored again after Cyrus had missed a low cross from the Fylde left. By this stage, the visitors' nickname "The Coasters" seemed doubly appropriate.

Alty made two changes at the break but conceded again within 90 seconds of the restart. After Alty had failed to challenge Hardy on the edge of the box, Bond's shot went in off the underside of the bar.

At 0-6 and with 43 minutes still to go, it looked as if the visitors would at least match the seven scored here by Slough in 1991 in a 7-3 win but a combination of the visitors taking their foot off the gas and Alty making a better fist of things meant that there was no further scoring. Damian Reeves did hit the post for Altrincham but the game ended with Fylde keeping the ball for periods as the hosts struggled to make an impact.


REFEREE: Mr Kelvin Sarsfield

Altrincham were still without the injured Tom Hannigan and Shaun Densmore whilst Craig Hobson was also out following his injury last Saturday. Alty made a change in goal as Callum Preston came in for his debut and at left-back, Alty coach Simon Garner, made his first start for the Club.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, red shorts, red socks) 1. Callum PRESTON, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. David LYNCH, 4. John CYRUS, 5. Simon RICHMAN, 6. Alan GOODALL (capt), 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. Danny HATTERSLEY, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Simon GARNER. Subs: 12. Jamie MENAGH, 14. Sean MILLER, 15. Charlie JOYCE, 16. Sam HEATHCOTE, 20. Andrew DAWBER

AFC FYLDE (All orange) 1. Rhys TAYLOR, 2. Danny HOLMES, 3. Tom KENNEDY, 4. Josh LANGLEY, 5. Steve WILLIAMS, 6. Adam BOND, 7. James HARDY, 8. Caspar HUGHES, 9. Danny ROWE, 10. Bohan DIXON, 11. Brendon DANIELS. Subs: 12. Matty BLINKHORN, 14. Richie BAKER, 15. Dom COLLINS, 16. Matty HUGHES, 17. George NEWELL.


Following three successive 2-2 draws, against teams all in the top five at kick off tonight. Altrincham were seeking their first win of the season in their first-ever encounter with full-time AFC Fylde.


In their first visit for a league match at Altrincham, AFC Fylde kicked off towards the away end where about thirty fans were housed; more were in the main stand.

After a quiet start, it was Altrincham who gained the match's first corner from a Fylde misheader. A second corner on the right followed and, then, a third corner, this time on the left. But then Fylde took the lead as Alty's left hand side was exposed by Holmes's pass to Hardy and his low cross from the right was netted by the unmarked Rowe (7 mins).

Just five minutes later, Dixon picked up the ball 25 yards out and, as he moved forward, the Fylde bench exhorted him to shoot. He did so, but did not get a lot of power behind the ball. Nevertheless, from 20 yards, the low shot eluded Preston to his right and went in to the net just inside the post.

After a Fylde corner had been seen off, Alty's Hattersley got in a long shot, which was beaten out and the rebound just eluded Reeves. Fylde went up to the other end and made it 3-0. Dixon advanced up the middle, but his run was superbly halted by a Goodall tackle inside the box. However, the ball ran to Daniels who made it 3-0 with less than 17 minutes on the clock.

Alty hearts were in their mouths again when the lively Hardy got into their box and went down under Garner's challenge but the referee waved away the penalty appeals (19 mins). Lawrie was trying to get his side into the game as he drew a foul and was then halted inside the box. There was brief hope as Hattersley then got onto a ball inside the Fylde box but the keeper blocked his effort (22 mins).

Next, a Fylde long shot was pushed out by Preston and just about cleared by the defence. There was a moment of farce as the referee lost his whistle, but a Fylde player found it for him in the centre of the pitch! Fylde remained dominant and, on the half-hour mark, they scored a fourth. This came after Cyrus had sliced a clearance, followed by Preston punching the loose ball upwards. It was half cleared but it was worked forward to Fylde's Hardy on the left byline. Nothing much seemed to be on but he somehow managed to score with a shot, unchallenged, from an acute angle.

Alty's defence looked porous every time Fylde attacked and they were unable to keep the ball for any sustained period. Next, Moult and then Cyrus made errors, which allowed in Rowe but the danger was cleared.

It was not long, however, before Fylde took a five-nil lead. A low cross from the left was missed by Cyrus in the centre of the Alty box and Dixon converted the loose ball without difficulty.

Lawrie's freekick was then caught by the Fylde keeper at the second attempt. Jake Moult was now playing as an auxiliary fifth defender before Goodall moved forward into midfield. As half-time approached Fylde won a corner after which a nod-down ran to Preston. Patterson was now caught offside, from a rare Alty move, before Lawrie's 35-yarder won his side a corner. This went off Hattersley's head for a goalkick (45 mins).

A stunned home crowd tried to come to terms with their team's poor showing during half-time.


For the start of the second half, two substitutes came on for Alty; Miller for Goodall and Joyce for Hattersley. So Moult and Cyrus resumed at centre back. But, within ninety seconds, Altrincham had conceded again. Daniels advanced unchallenged up the inside right channel before Hardy waltzed round the edge of the box. The ball was played back to Bond, who netted off the underside of the bar from the edge of box... 0-6 (47 mins).

Lawrie was now booked, for some reason, before a Rowe shot was blocked as Alty were opened up yet again. Then, after Fylde had lost the ball, Reeves was put clear but his low shot hit the base of Taylor's right post (51 mins).

Next, after a Fylde man had been fouled, Garner was booked (53 mins). Then Baker came on for Holmes for Fylde (54 mins). Reeves was foraging manfully, but alone, up front as Fylde comfortably held their 6-0 lead. When the visitors played in a routine cross from the right. Preston seemed to lose the flight and instead of collecting the ball it cannoned off his shins.

Lawrie continued to work hard and gained a freekick but Fylde soon threatened again as Dixon got into the Alty box and saw his shot blocked. After 59 minutes, Heathcote replaced Garner. He went to right-back and Patterson moved to the left.

As Fylde eased up a little, Alty enjoyed a short spell on the ball. The Coasters brought on Matty Hughes for Hardy, who had played very well (67 mins). Alty won a freekick as Williams was booked for Fylde. From an up and under ball by Miller, the Fylde keeper flapped but the ball was cleared.

Preston then had to come out to kick clear from Dixon who soon had to go off injured. With Fylde now keeping the ball, like in a training exercise, Blinkhorn replaced Dixon (80 mins). Fylde were now just passing the ball around at back and managing the game expertly.

Altrincham had been comprehensively beaten. In the first half, every time Fylde had gone forward, they had looked likely to breach a jittery Alty back line and, with little width available, Altrincham were not a danger going forward. So, after three games in which there had been hints of promise, as draws were gained off teams now at the top end of the table, this evening had comprehensively sent Altrincham back to the planning table. Above all, defensive confidence urgently needs to be built ahead of a trip to bottom-placed Gainsborough Trinity.