Match Report


Vanarama National League North match
played on Saturday, 27 August 2016, at 3pm


Altrincham fielded three debutant starters with one of them, striker Emile Sinclair, giving them the ideal start with a goal after just 35 seconds. But that was to be as good as it got as, for the fourth match out of six this season, an Alty lead did not translate into a win.

In fact, the home defence fell apart in a seven-minute spell in which they conceded three times. Former Alty striker Ryan Brooke equalised from close range after 17 minutes after Altrincham had failed to defend a corner. Three minutes later Altrincham were carved open up their left side, Brooke got clear and Ennis converted the chance. Curzon took a 3-1 lead on 24 minutes when Ennis advanced in the inside-left channel and Rowney's shot got past Dawber in the Altrincham goal.

The final nail in the coffin arrived in the 62nd minute when debutant centre-back Moran tripped an opponent and Ennis converted from the spot. Alty belatedly introduced Damian Reeves to the game and he got a well-taken goal five minutes from time. Alty remain nineteenth but seem little nearer to a settled side as the number of players used this season rose to 25, with 20 of them debutants for the club.


REFEREE: Mr Kevin Mulraine

Altrincham again rang the changes, partly by choice and partly of necessity. Captain Alan Goodall was ill, as was Charlie Joyce. But manager Neil Young opted to drop Damian Reeves and Sam Heathcote to join Simon Richman on the bench, In the places of Goodall, Heathcote and Reeves, he selected three players signed earlier in the week. These debutants were, at the back, teenage loan signing Joe Moran; in midfield Guine-Bissau midfielder Fabio Bassangue and up front Emile Sinclair, who partnered loanee Nyal Bell.

If Lawrie and Moult were discounted from the Alty eleven, Curzon could have boasted players in their starting line up who collectively had made comfortably more appearances for the Robins than those in the red and white stripes today. Danny Hall, Ryan Brooke and Liam Tomsett had all turned out for Altrincham in their careers.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Andrew DAWBER, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Adam SUMNER, 4. John CYRUS, 5. Joe MORAN, 6. Fabio BASSANGUE, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Jake MOULT (capt), 9. Emile SINCLAIR, 10. Nyal BELL, 11. David LYNCH. Subs: 12. Danny HATTERSLEY, 14. Damian REEVES, 15. Billy HASLER-CREGG, 16. Sam HEATHCOTE, 17. Simon RICHMAN

CURZON ASHTON (All blue) 1. Hakan Burton (capt), 2. Chris Rowney, 3. Joe Guest, 4. Jonathan Hunt, 5. Danny Hall, 6. Michael Flynn, 7. Liam Tomsett, 8. Ryan Brooke, 9. Neil Cummins, 10. Paul Ennis, 11. Iain Howard. Subs: 12. Ryan Hall, 13. Cameron Mason (GK), 14. Jordan Wright, 15. Max Hazeldine, 16. Rory Gorman.


Altrincham were looking for their first win of the season in this, their sixth league game of the season. After three promising draws, they had lost their last two games to start this match in 19th place in the 22-club division.

The two clubs had never met in a league match previously, their previous encounters being cup ties. Mike Garnett reveals the record to date...


Following a heavy rain shower before kick off, Alty kicked off towards Golf Road and, almost immediately won a freekick. Lawrie's freekick, from the right, 40 yards out, was half cleared but Sinclair pounced to mark his debut with a close-range goal after just 35 seconds.

Sinclair then won Alty a corner before a foul by Lynch on Ennis, as he attempted to recover a Lawrie mis-pass earned him an early booking (4 mins).

Curzon came to life after their shaky start as a Flynn cross from the right gained a corner for The Nash. At the other end a Moult 30-yard volley was saved. Alty's good start continued as a fine Moult pass fed Sinclair, whose cross flew across the box but no one was on hand to finish it off (10 mins).

After 15 minutes Ryan Brooke won a corner against his former club, which Dawber spilt, but the ball was cleared. A minute later, Flynn got behind Sumner on the visitors’ right flank and won a corner. This was headed back from the back post by an unmarked player and the similarly unattended Brooke nodded home from close range against his former club to make it 1-1 (17 mins).

Before the goal, Simon Richman had already been prepared to come on. He now did so, replacing Bassangue who had not seemed to be in injured before his withdrawal (17 mins).

Just three minutes later Altrincham were carved open up the Curzon right flank. Brooke got past two Alty men and got clear. His cross from the right found Patterson the isolated lone defender in the goalmouth. He did his best, off balance, to clear but the ball ran to Ennis, who beat Dawber from 18 yards (20 mins).

Any hopes that the poor defending was over were soon dispelled as Curzon scored a third goal in the 24th minute. This time Ennis was allowed to advance up the inside-left channel. His low cross found the unmarked Rowney inside the box and he scored with a low shot to make it 3-1 to the visitors from Tameside.

The three goals had been an unwanted rerun of the poorly defended five first-half efforts netted by Fylde in the previous home match at the J. Davidson Stadium.

Altrincham were still looking shaky as a foul on Flynn by Sinclair, near half way, earned him a booking (28 mins). Indeed it could easily have been 4-1 when a Flynn long ball found Cummins, unmarked, but the forward's header ran to Dawber. Next, Brooke volleyed wildly over the bar as Alty laid themselves open at the back yet again (29 mins).

As the half-hour marked past, Altrincham began to stabilize their performance though Curzon's confidence was such that Ennis even tried a 60 yard lob, which went wide (34 mins).

Altrincham breathed a sigh of relief when Guest was allowed to run into their box, where he went down under a challenge. Appeals for a penalty went unanswered by the referee (38 mins).

Things looked up a little as Bell forced a good save before Richman saw a shot blocked. Soon after a Curzon corner had been dealt with, Sinclair was fouled and Flynn booked (45 mins).

So, for the fourth time this season, Altrincham had taken the lead in a match only to be pegged back and, in this case, comprehensively so. The mood was sombre as the players went off for the interval.


Curzon kicked off towards Golf Road and, as in the first half, had the first chance. This arose after Sinclair had won a freekick 25 yards out right/centre. From this, the ball fell to Moult but keeper Burton saved (46 mins).

Alty continued to have the better of the opening stages before Sumner had to clear a good cross from the left by Howard. Then Flynn fired over from 20 yards (51 mins).

Two minutes later Billy Hasler-Cregg became Alty's 20th debutant player of the season to date when he replaced Bell. The sub was soon involved as a ball had to be cleared off Hasler-Cregg's foot in the box, an Alty corner resulting (55 mins).

The corner was cleared to Lynch who fired over the bar from 19 yards. Cummins then shot wide at the other end. Next, Hasler-Cregg won a corner on the right.

Alty were fortunate when Cummins was played into the box by Brooke but the striker's poor control allowed the ball to run to Dawber. But after Cyrus had half-cleared a Curzon ball, Moran dwelt on it and, as he was challenged, he conceded a penalty for a trip. Ennis netted the spot kick to make the score 1-4 (62 mins).

Heads dropped again as Guest eased past two defenders but shot wide (63 mins). After a couple of Alty probes had come to nothing, Ryan Brooke limped off for Curzon to be replaced by Ryan Hall (70 mins).

Following a Lawrie freekick awarded for a foul on Sinclair, Cyrus got in a header, which went just wide. Now Damian Reeves cane on for Sinclair (74 mins).

From a Lawrie freekick, Reeves volleyed a decent chance over the bar from close range (78 mins) and, soon afterwards a Moult shot was blocked before Lawrie fired well over the bar (79 mins). Curzon now brought on Wright for Tomsett (80 mins).

Ennis put a freekick, awarded against Moran, over the bar (83 mins). However, Altrincham did get some consolation in the 85th minute when Reeves picked up the ball outside the box, right of goal. He drifted infield before firing a fine left-foot shot past Burton from 19 yards to make it 2-4 (85 mins).

Soon Reeves had another shot saved but then Ashton brought on Hazeldine for Cummins (88 mins). The visitors saw out the four added minutes without any real alarms. But in the first added minute Richman was booked for a foul on Rowney.

Ten goals conceded in two successive home games tell their own story about Altrincham's performance and with the side still looking far from a settled one, it can only be hoped that a more successful formula is found soon. On the positive side, Sinclair showed signs of being a useful acquisition and Reeves underlined his ability to find the back of the net in adverse circumstances. But, overall, it was a dispiriting afternoon.