Match Report


Vanarama National League North match
played on Saturday, 19 November 2016, at 3pm


Altrincham supporters have become accustomed to seeing their side lose this season, with 12 losses in the league before today's game, but this thirteenth defeat was the hardest to take as the Robins largely dominated the game only to concede three poor goals in the closing 14 minutes after making substitutions.

Wilkinson's deflected shot had given Alty a 31st minute lead before they dominated the second half. But the nearest they came to a second goal was when Miller hit the post.

With Altrincham in control, Jim Harvey brought on Marsh for Reeves (68 mins) and then Obeng for Lawrie on 75 minutes. A minute later, McGowan nodded down a freekick taken from near the centre circle and Monkhouse poked the ball home, much against the run of play to make it 1-1.

An excellent Moult header from a Miller cross made it 2-1 to Alty and a second league victory of the season looked on the cards (82 mins). Alty then made a further change as Goodall replaced McWilliams at left-back. Then two scrambled goals, both initially credited to Monkhouse (but later substitute Hearn was given credit for the winner), in the 86th and 90th minutes from balls into the Alty goalmouth stole the points for Alfreton. It was an unlikely outcome to the game given what had happened over the first 85 minutes.

REFEREE: Mr David McNamara

Altrincham restored the experienced Richman, Reeves, Moult and, after injury, Hannigan, to the starting eleven following the defeat at home to Salford City.


ALFRETON TOWN (Red) 1. Fabian Spiess, 2. Kallam Mantack, 3. Niall Heaton, 4. Sam Edmundson, 5. Brad McGowan, 6. Cecil Nyoni, 7. Andy Monkhouse (capt), 8. Adam Smith, 9. Ryan Wilson, 10. Paul Clayton, 11. Adam Priestley. Subs: 12. Liam Hearn, 14. Tom Allan, 15. Sam Smith, 16. Ellis Evans, 17. Terry Kennedy

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts and socks, blue shorts): 1. Andrew DAWBER, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 5. John CYRUS, 6. Tom HANNIGAN, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Greg WILKINSON 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs: 12. Phil MARSH, 14. Curtis OBENG, 15. Alan GOODALL, 16. Simon LENIGHAN, 20. Tim DEASY.


Mike Garnett's records reveal the historical record between the two clubs:


Alfreton elected to play up the slope so the teams changed ends and Altrincham kicked off, on a bright but chilly afternoon. An early freekick, 35 yards out and central from goal, was hit into the wall by Lawrie, who soon afterwards had a shot blocked, from a Miller cross, as Alty started brightly (2 mins).

Like Alty, Alfreton have a leaky defence and an error in the home back line let in Wilkinson but his shot was blocked by Spiess and then a follow up from Alty needed a clearance off the line (5 mins).

At this stage Alty were deploying a 4-4-1-1 with Wilkinson behind Reeves, and Lawrie on the right with Miller on the left.

After Alfreton's Wilson had had a shot blocked, a Priestley shot was also saved, comfortably, by Dawber. For Alty a Miller header looped to Spiess.

Next McWilliams held former Mansfield man, Adam Smith, on the home side's right edge of the Alty box, but Dawber beat out Wilson's freekick for a corner (11 mins).

Dawber then punched away the corner rather than collecting the ball. The next few minutes were fairly even before the wily Smith turned McWilliams inside out but Moult headed the ball clear (18 mins).

Alty survived a scare when Cyrus slipped over but Dawber blocked the resulting Alfreton shot well, conceding a corner. This corner was cleared to Priestley who fired well over the bar (20 mins).

Next, a Lawrie ball was just too long for Patterson, at the end of a good build-up started by Reeves and Richman.

Not for the last time in this match, a Heaton long throw caused problems as the ball was cleared to Monkhouse, who fired in a fierce shot across goal (24 mins).

Two more Heaton long throws followed and the second of these led to the lively Smith winning a corner off McWilliams (25 mins). The Reds were now having slightly the better of things but neither side threatened a goal as the game reached the half-hour mark.

But then, following a Dawber kick upfield. Wilkinson's shot, from just outside the box in a central position, deflected and looped over Spiess into the net to put Altrincham ahead (31 mins).

Buoyed by the goal, Altrincham went forward with Miller looking lively.

Dawber saved well from Monkhouse after a ricochet had fallen to a Reds' player from an Altrincham clearance (40 mins). Both Richman and Wilkinson were playing well and, at the back, the calm Hannigan blocked a Priestley cross.

From yet another long throw by Heaton, the ball came off Cyrus's head for an Alfreton corner, which was overhit (43 mins). Next, Richman did well but then slipped as he shot and this prompted an easy save by Spiess (44 mins).

When Edmundson hauled down Reeves, right of goal and 30 yards out, the home player escaped a card. Spiess held Lawrie's freekick. After this, from Lawrie’s push halfway, a home freekick led to a Reds' corner. With the game into its second added minute, McWilliams blocked the ball on the line as the Reds appealed for a penalty for hands. But the referee awarded a freekick to Altrincham for a foul on Dawber.

Altrincham went into the interval with a 1-0 lead which they deserved.


The second half soon witnessed a Miller shot, which was blocked after Reeves had done well. An unnecessary foul by Cyrus on the edge of his own box led to Dawber holding Smith's freekick (48 mins).

Now Lawrie won the ball well and a shot from Wilkinson had to be smartly saved by Spiess. Altrincham were playing much better than of late as, next, Miller hit the outside of Spiess' right post with a low shot from 18 yards (53 mins).

Just after the hour, a McWilliams shot was blocked for a corner, after which Moult headed the ball across the box but no one was on hand to convert the loose ball. An impressive 50 yard run by Patterson produced a threat which was ended by a foul by Wilkinson (63 mins).

Reeves executed a fine turn and got away from his marker to run at goal but he was then blocked. The ball ran to Wilkinson who had two shots beaten out, the latter effort winning a corner.

With Altrincham in control, a fine cross by Miller gave Reeves a header but he put it wide across the face of goal (67 mins).

Now Marsh came for Reeves (68 mins) and three minutes later, former Lincoln man Hearn replaced Priestley for Alfreton. Alty had dominated this half but had not got a second goal.

Miller was causing the home defence problems and, as he got free, Nyoni hauled him down and was booked (74 mins). The ref had halted play for the foul even though Alty were in possession and Marsh netted after the whistle had gone. Lawrie put the freekick straight to the keeper.

Alty now brought on Obeng for Lawrie, on the right (75 mins). Almost immediately, Obeng ran forward and was blocked off and conceded a freekick as he tried to recover the ball. Another freekick was soon awarded to Alfreton near the centre circle, From this, McGowan nodded the ball down and Monkhouse poked home an equalizer. It was certainly much against the run of play (76 mins).

Marsh now won a corner from a Miller feed (79 mins) and a second corner soon followed. A third corner came from a Richman shot soon afterwards (81 mins).

Alty regained the lead when a fine Miller cross from the left was met with a glancing Moult header (82 mins).

Six minutes from time, Goodall was brought on at left-back for McWilliams, presumably to wind down time. And two minutes afterwards, Alfreton introduced Allan for Adam Smith and Sam Smith for Clayton. As play restarted, Heaton's long throw was bundled into the net by Monkhouse to make it 2-2 (86 mins).

As the game went into the final minute of normal time another long ball into the box was bundled home, again the goal being attributed to Monkhouse (but later substitute Hearn was given credit for the winner). Goalkeeper Dawber had had little to do in the second half except to pick the ball out of his net three times.

Altrincham had thrown the game away. They had dominated the second half till the closing stages but had conceded three scrappy goals. The only consolation was that they had played well for much of the game so Jim Harvey may be a step nearer to finding a settled starting eleven.