ALTRINCHAM (1) 1
MACCLESFIELD TOWN (0) 1
played on Tuesday, 20 December 2016, at 7.45pm
Two senior players (Hannigan and Goodall) unable to complete the game through injury and an unwanted replay on Thursday 29th December were not the ideal outcomes for Altrincham but they showed spirit to withstand the visitors' dominace of the possession statistics in this FA Trophy tie.
The Robins took a 39th minute lead when Sean Miller struck a fine shot past Ryan Boot. But good work from Fitzpatrick allowed Whitaker to feed Kingsley James for an equally well-taken equalizer just after the hour mark. With Alty largely on the back foot, Deasy made several vital saves to earn the sponsors' Man of the Match award.
- 39 mins: Sean MILLER (ALTRINCHAM 1 Macclesfield Town 0)
- 61 mins: Kingsley JAMES (ALTRINCHAM 1 Macclesfield Town 1)
REFEREE: Mr Andrew Miller
Kyle Brownhill and Nicky Clee were cup-tied for this match but John Cyrus had returned from injury to start. Up front, Damian Reeves replaced Craig Hobson in the starting line-up.
It was James Lawrie's 250th game for Altrincham.
ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. John CYRUS, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Alan GOODALL, 7. Shaun DENSMORE (capt) 8. Jake MOULT, 9. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs: 12. Craig HOBSON, 14. Laurence TAYLOR, 15. Harry CAIN, 16. Greg WILKINSON, 20.Andrew DAWBER
MACCLESFIELD TOWN (Blue and white) 24. Ryan Boot, 2. Andy Halls (capt), 3. David Fitzpatrick, 4. Neil Byrne, 6. John McCombe, 7. Jack Mackreth, 8. Paul Lewis, 10/ Jack Sampson, 14. Kingsley James, 25. Richie Wellens, 23. Danny Whitaker Subs: 12. Dan Cowan, 17. Chris Sutherland, 18 John Roberts, 19. Sam Madeley 13. Craig Ross
Mike Garnett reminds us that "Discounting the wartime seasons (1914-15 & 1939-40) and those Cheshire Senior Cup-ties played when Macc, as members of the Football League, did not field a 1st XI in County Cup matches, the statistics for competitive matches as I have them since Altrincham F.C. took its present name in 1903 are:
- Home P107 W50 D27 L30 F221 A164
- Away P96 W27 D26 L43 F135 A190
- Neutral P7 W5 D0 L2 F15 A13
- Overall P210 W82 D53 L75 F371 A367
Macclesfield kicked off, attacking the away end but the early stages of the match were unremarkable as the teams contested the prize of an away tie at AFC Sudbury in the next round.
The first half chance came when Whitaker found former Tranmere and Grimsby Town player Mackreth in space on the right and his cross was spooned over the bar from close range by Lewis (4 mins). At the other end, a Miller 30-yarder almost caught Boot off his line (5 mins).
Five minutes later, a close-range opportunistic flick at the near post, with his foot, by Reeves was saved by Boot. At the back for Altrincham Hannigan was playing well.
Play was both unexceptional and fairly even for the opening twenty minutes. Two minutes later, after a Densmore cross had been cut out, a Miller shot won a corner. Boot missed Lawrie's corner but a goalkick resulted (22 mins).
Macc responded and McWilliams had to cover their incursion at the cost of a corner, which Byrne misheaded well wide. Cyrus was booked a little harshly for a foul near halfway (29 mins) as the visitors now enjoyed more of the ball.
However, it was Altrincham who took the lead. Lawrie threaded a pass to Miller who hit a fine goal past Boot (39 mins).
After a stoppage for injury to Reeves, the only event of note before the interval was a Macclesfield freekick on the front edge of the Alty box, in a central position. But Whitaker lifted the freekick well over the bar (45 mins).
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1|
MACCLESFIELD TOWN 0
As in the first half, play was scrappy at the start of the second period. But the pattern emerged of the visitors keeping the ball the better and the momentum being largely towards the Altrincham end.
Tom Hannigan, who has had a wretched season with injury, now needed treatment. Wilkinson was made ready to replace him but Hannigan prevailed upon the management to be allowed to continue (59 mins).
Just after the hour mark, James netted an equalizer off the inside of Deasy's left post with a shot from the outer part of the box, left of centre. He had received a good pass from Whitaker who, in turn, had received a fine ball from Fitzpatrick (61 mins).
Miller was looking to be Alty's main threat, largely confined however, to speculative counter-attacks. Alty survived a corner after which a fine cross by Fitzpatrick just evaded Lewis and Byrne at the back post (65 mins).
After 67 minutes Wilkinson finally replaced the ailing Hannigan who seemed to have a thigh problem. Moult moved to centre-back as Wilkinson slotted into centre-midfield.
Altrincham had not had any real sight of Macc's goal but, soon after Macc had won a corner, a McWilliams overlap yielded an Altrincham corner off Fitzpatrick (70 mins). After this, James smashed a 35-yarder at goal, which Deasy tipped away for a corner, which was immediately followed by a second corner (72 mins).
Alty struggled to keep the ball when they cleared it and Macc lacked the guile to break down the home defence. Next Goodall hobbled off, to be replaced by Laurence Taylor in midfield (76 mins). After a foul on Miller, Lawrie's freekick went to the keeper.
Macclesfield now brought on former Alty youth striker Sam Madeley for Lewis with ten minutes remaining. Three minutes later Deasy had to beat out a strong James shot as Macclesfield continued to have the upper hand. The Alty keeper soon had to grab a Sampson close-range effort as the pressure continued to flow towards the Alty end.
After having to wait almost three minutes for the ball to go dead, Harry Cain finally got on to replace Shaun Densmore (89 mins). Three added minutes failed to resolve the deadlock so the clubs now meet again on Thursday 29th December, a fixture neither side will be overjoyed to have in their calendar with vital league games to play over the festive season. On the positive side, a weakened Altrincham had shown good resolve to keep Macclesfield at bay during the second half.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1|
MACCLESFIELD TOWN 1