LINCOLN CITY (1) 2
ALTRINCHAM (0) 1
played on Saturday, 5 November 2016, at 3pm
On a day when they went out of the FA Cup and found themselves bottom of the league (as BPA won at FCUM), it was nevertheless a greatly encouraging second-half performance from Altrincham at high-flying Lincoln City, who lie second in the top level of the Vanarama National League.
Lincoln were pressing forward for most of the first half and deservedly led 1-0 at the interval, courtesy of former Dover defender Sean Raggett's headed goal from a corner after 21 minutes.
However, Altrincham put in an improved second half showing with Miller, in particular, getting forward on the left. But a mistake by Cyrus allowed City to double their lead on the hour mark, against the run of play.
Altrincham continued to get forward and with fifteen minutes left, Cyrus headed home a corner. But City were able to strangle the visitors' revival and emerge as 2-1 winners.
- 21 mins: Sean RAGGETT (Lincoln City 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 60 mins: Alan POWER (Lincoln City 2 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 75 mins: John CYRUS (Lincoln City 2 ALTRINCHAM 1)
REFEREE: Mr Steve Rushton
ATTENDANCE: 3,529 inc. 161 from Altrincham
Altrincham were without suspended captain, Alan Goodall, but Tom Hannigan returned after completing his three-match ban. On the eve of this match Altrincham had signed defender Curtis Obeng and midfielder Simon Lenighan, who both started today. However, Kidderminster Harriers had not allowed recent loan signing, Wayne Thomas, to play.
Andrew Dawber replaced Tim Deasy in goal whilst Craig Hobson was out with a broken bone in his foot.
Lincoln were unchanged from the side which beat Chester 5-2 last time out.
LINCOLN CITY (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Paul Farman, 2. Bradley Wood, 3. Sam Habergham, 32. Luke Andersen, 8. Alan Power, 5. Luke Waterfall, 9. Matt Rhead, 25. Sean Raggett, 28. Nathan Arnold, 30. Alex Woodyard, 31. Theo Robinson. Subs: 4. Elliott Whitehouse, 7. Jack Muldoon, 10. Adam Marriott, 11. Terry Hawkridge, 14. Taylor Miles, 27. Jamie McCombe, 29. Jack Wetherell, 21. Richard Walton (gk)
ALTRINCHAM (Yellow and blue): 1. Andrew DAWBER, 2. Curtis OBENG, 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. John CYRUS, 6. Tom HANNIGAN, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon LENIGHAN, 9. Greg WILKINSON. 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs 12. Phil MARSH, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 15. Sam HEATHCOTE, 16. Sam PATTERSON, 17. Billy HASLER-CREGG, 18. Danny HALL, 20. Tim DEASY
Mike Garnett's records summarise previous results between our clubs:
- Home: P4-W1-D2-L1-F7-A7 Away: P3-W1-D1-L1-F3-7 All: P7-W2-D3-L2-F10-A14
On a cold afternoon, Alty kicked off towards the away end but soon a Lincoln shot cleared the bar from left of goal (2 mins). The game got off to a scrappy start with Lincoln showing little of the style that had blown away Chester last week.
Altrincham were enjoying good vocal support but it was City who won the game's first corner (9 mins). This was headed just over the bar by City.
So far, play had been largely in Alty's half and the continuing need to defend led to Hannigan conceding a corner (12 mins). The Imps then hit the Alty bar from a 25-yarder (14 mins). Alty did then get forward but Wilkinson was penalised as Reeves saw his shot saved.
The Imps gained a freekick after a Wilkinson foul before a foul on Hannigan halted any danger (19 mins). Next, Dawber saved a low Robinson shot. Anderson now won a corner, following a poor Dawber kick, as Rhead loitered to hinder the Alty keeper.
With three Alty players left upfield, Raggett headed the corner home, unchallenged, as the ball came to him from the right (21 mins).
The next ten minutes were fairly scrappy and uneventful but included two more fouls by Wilkinson. For their part Alty seemed to be under instructions to favour the left flank as virtually every kick upfield from Dawber went that way.
After 37 minutes, Altrincham had their first real sniff of goal as Reeves was played in but he delayed his shot and this was blocked.
There was a scare when Moult was upended to win a freekick, only for Hannigan to go down off the ball and need treatment from physio Alan Ainsley before continuing (41 mins).
Lincoln won two corners as the interval approached. The second of these arose after what looked a clear foul on McWilliams by Anderson but, to add insult to injury, McWilliams was booked for protesting (45+2 mins). From the freekick, Dawber was jostled and palmed the ball into his own net but it was rightly disallowed.
The first half had been largely one-way traffic towards Alty's goal but they had done well to keep the margin to one goal at the break.
|Half-Time: LINCOLN CITY 1|
For the second half, Patterson came on for the presumably injured Hannigan before the Imps kicked off. Moult was deployed at centre back now in place of Hannigan. Five minutes into the half, Dawber saved comfortably from Arnold's shot before a decent Alty move ended as a Miller cross deflected to Farman (52 mins).
Indeed, Miller was looking lively now on the Alty left where McWilliams was also doing well. But then a poor ball by Lenighan meant that Cyrus had to cover well. Alty were soon grateful for an awful miss by Robinson as, unmarked, he headed wide from five yards from across from the left (55 mins). He was then subbed by Muldoon (57 mins).
Alty were still enjoying good vocal support when, out of nothing, Cyrus mis-passed the ball from his own six-yard line to Arnold. He fed Power who netted past the exposed Dawber to make it 2-0. The goal had come when Alty were having as good a spell as they had enjoyed all afternoon (60 mins).
Next, Dawber had to save well from Anderson after a smart backheel by Rhead, following which Richman replaced Lenighan, who had had a quiet debut in central midfield (64 mins). With City still waiting to take a corner, Marsh now replaced the other Alty debutant, right-back Curtis Obeng (65 mins).
Altrincham lifted their spirits as they won themselves a corner, following which a Miller 25-yarder was only just gathered by Farman (67 mins). With Moult playing well at the back, Altrincham continued to get forward but Wilkinson was then booked for his fifth foul of the afternoon (71 mins).
Lincoln took off Rhead and introduced former Gainsborough and Scunthorpe man, Hawkridge (73 mins). Miller's industry soon won Alty a corner on their left. And Cyrus headed home Wilkinson's corner from the left to make it 2-1 (75 mins).
Richman's introduction had improved things in the Alty midfield and they continued to hold the upper hand over the following minutes. After another Alty corner, however, a Wilkinson mispass led to a Dawber save from Anderson (79 mins).
With Alty on top, Lincoln tried to slow down the game. Alty kept going forward but Lawrie dragged his shot wide (84 mins). However, City now successfully kept the ball and got into the corner at Alty's end to wind down the clock and they reached full-time with their lead intact.
It may have been another defeat for Altrincham in this troubled season and a day on which they dropped to bottom of the league due to BPA's win at FCUM, but their second-half performance was uplifting as was the excellent support given to the team from the away stand at Sincil Bank.
Next up is a visit from a powerful Salford City side as Altrincham go in search of their first home win in the league this season.
|Full-Time: LINCOLN CITY 2|