STALYBRIDGE CELTIC (0) 0
ALTRINCHAM (0) 2
played on Saturday, 8 October 2016, at 3pm
The thirteenth league game of the season produced Altrincham's first win of the campaign and a first clean sheet. In a game of endeavour rather than quality, it was right-back Sam Patterson who scored the first goal. He cut in from the right and fired a low, well-struck shot into the net from the edge of the box in the 86th minute. And four minutes into added time, with Alty winding down time in the right corner, ex-Stalybridge midfielder Greg Wilkinson got himself towards the byline, right of goal, and fired a rising shot into the far corner of the net to make it 2-0.
The game was marred, soon afterwards, when Aaron Chalmers suffered what looked like a bad leg injury. A Celtic player had brought down Alty's Simon Richman and Chalmers collided with the prostrate Alty midfielder, injuring himself in the process.
- 86 mins: Sam PATTERSON (Stalybridge Celtic 0 ALTRINCHAM 1)
- 90(+4) mins: Greg WILKINSON (Stalybridge Celtic 0 ALTRINCHAM 2)
REFEREE: Mr R Wild (Rochdale)
Altrincham made three changes from their FA Cup win against Morpeth Town. Deasy replaced Dawber in goal and Doherty came in for the injured Hannigan in defence, while Richman replaced Joyce in midfield. Positionally, Goodall reverted to centre-back.
In addition to Alty boss Jim Harvey who had previously been the boss at the Bower Fold, both squads included players who had represented the opposition previously. For Celtic, McMillan, Summerskill, Owens, Chalmers and Madeley had all worn the Alty shirt, whilst former Celtic men in Alty's squad were Wilkinson, Marsh and HObson. Altrincham wore all-yellow today.
STALYBRIDGE CELTIC (Blue and white): 1. Tony McMillan 2. Nick Ryan, 3. Danny Wisdom, 4. Jay Gorton, 5. Keil O'Brien, 6. Matty Hughes, 7. Brian Summerskill, 8. Gary Gee, 9. Andy Owens, 10. Danny Wilkins, 11. Adam Mather. Subs: 12. Aidan Chippendale, 14. Sam Madeley, 15. Aaron Chalmers, 16. Eddie Toner, 17. Steve Tames.
ALTRINCHAM (All yellow): 20. Tim DEASY, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Josh DOHERTY, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. John CYRUS, 6. Alan GOODALL (c), 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Greg WILKINSON, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs: 12. Phil MARSH, 14. Sam HEATHCOTE, 15. Harry CAIN, 16. Craig HOBSON, 17. Charlie JOYCE.
Altrincham had yet to win in the league, whilst Celtic had won just once and that had been away from home.
Celtic kicked off up the Bower Fold slope. In just the second minute, Miller lost the ball and Mather's resulting 30-yarder only just cleared the bar. Celtic's bright start continued as a freekick hit the Alty wall before Mather fired over the bar. It was a lethargic start by Alty, who were looking for their first win in this, their thirteenth league outing of the season.
Belatedly Altrincham put together a decent move which ended with Richman's hook to the keeper (10 mins). Two minutes later, however, Cyrus lost the ball and a Celtic man went down over Goodall's leg as he tried to cover. Alty's captain was booked before the freekick was headed into Deasy's arms.
Play was pretty scrappy though Celtic won two corners in quick succession after 17 minutes. After the second, O'Brien won a header and the ball was cleared to Wilkins who lashed his shot over the bar. Altrincham were not showing much ambition and when Patterson, unable to see any movement for his team-mates, delayed taking a throw-in, he took so long that referee Wild awarded the throw to the opposition (24 mins).
A brighter moment for Alty came when Miller glided past three players on the left before Celtic terminated the danger. The improvement continued as Lawrie headed a Patterson cross but it went over the bar. Nevertheless, it was Alty’s best effort so far (29 mins). Next, Patterson was only halted on Celtic’s byline from a shrewd Wilkinson ball.
After Doherty had cut out a cross at one end, Reeves turned smartly past O'Brien into the box, where the defender bundled him down. However, Mr. Wild judged it a fair challenge.
When Miller was tripped as he got free, Celtic's Gee was booked (37 mins). The resulting Lawrie freekick deflected to McMillan (38 mins). Alty's good spell was punctuated by Owens's 25 yarder which flew just wide of the post. Then, at the other end, a Wilkinson sliced shot was equally close, from Miller's improvised pass (41 mins).
Play continued rather scrappily before Owens hit a shot across the face of goal from the left. In the final scheduled minute of the half, Richman found Wilkinson, whose perceptive, threaded ball got Reeves free. His first-time shot was smartly blocked from close range by the advancing McMillan (45 mins). In the one added minute a Patterson cross was sliced to the keeper, constituting a rare shot on target!
So the interval arrived with the score goalless and neither side having shown much in the way of flair.
|Half-Time: STALYBRIDGE CELTIC 0|
Alty kicked off, up the slope, and soon a Doherty cross won a corner. Six minutes into the half, another Doherty cross gave Reeves a header, which looped to McMillan. At the other end, Doherty blocked Owens's well-struck shot.
Now Chippendale replaced Summerskill for the hosts (52 mins). Two minutes later, following a throw, it needed a great stop at the base of his right post for Deasy to block Chippendale's effort.
Soon Chippendale impressed again as he got round Patterson but the ball was cleared. Ryan and then Gorton fouled Miller and play was generally scrappy.
soon after the hour-mark, Doherty did well and via Miller, Moult hit a low shot wide from 25 yards. Now Sam Madeley, who started out at Alty Youth, replaced Wilkins (62 mins). Lawrie now covered well against Wisdom but at the cost of a corner, soon followed by a freekick, 30 yards out, for a Miller foul. Chippendale's freekick deflected just wide for a corner.
It needed a fine Deasy save from Owens to keep out Celtic after a move in which Patterson had rugby tackled an opponent. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Wild booked Alty's right-back (69 mins).
Despite the moderate quality of the game, the travelling Alty support was in good voice and maintained sustained vocal support for their side. Half chances came and went as, first, a long throw by Celtic was headed over bar by O'Brien, before a Wilkinson curler went wide from Marsh's lay-off (72 mins).
The lively Chippendale now got past Cyrus, who seemed to be carrying a knock, but his shot across goal went wide.
With fifteen minutes left on the clock, former Alty trialist Aaron Chalmers (brother of Lewis) came on for Ryan. Next, Mather sliced badly wide from an Owens feed.
In the 85th minute, Marsh had a shot blocked and a corner followed. This was taken deeply and Marsh, at the back post, earned another corner from a deflected shot. Although Goodall headed the corner over the bar, Alty were soon ahead. Patterson cut in from the right, past Wisdom, and fired home an impressive, low shot with his left foot, to make it 1-0 to Altrincham (86 mins).
Some idiot or idiots then threw red smoke flares onto the pitch for reasons that only they would understand. Celtic responded as an Owens header brought a save from Deasy. Hobson now had the ball in the net but was deemed offside. Next, a foul on Deasy after he had caught the ball saw him needing treatment to his left leg before resuming (90+1 mins).
A good combination between Marsh, Lawrie and Wilkinson ended with the last named's shot being blocked on the line. For Celtic, a Chippendale shot was held by Deasy (90+2 mins).
Wilkinson now took the ball into the Celtic left corner and won a freekick. Following this, he managed to burst into Alty's right side of the Celtic box and from the byline unleashed a rising shot which flew past McMillan into the far side of the net to wrap up the points at 2-0 (90+4 mins).
A minute later, Richman was brought down in his own half by a Celtic player, but the offender's team-mate, Chalmers, was unable to avoid colliding with the prostrate Richman and injured himself (90+4 mins). After lengthy attention from Dave Pover and Alan Ainsley, the teams' respective physios, the midfielder was stretchered off with his leg splinted (90+9 mins).
Moments after restarting the game, Mr Wild blew the final whistle to confirm Altrincham's first win and first clean sheet in the league this season. Curzon Ashton's win leaves Alty still five points from safety but, since Jim Harvey's arrival, things have been looking up.
|Full-Time: STALYBRIDGE CELTIC 0|