ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER (1) 3
played on Monday, 26 December 2016, at 3pm
Two goals in the final quarter of the game gave FCUM a slightly flattering margin of victory in the first-ever league clash between these two clubs. For this match Altrincham were without four regular players in the shape of Richman, Goodall, Miller and Hobson.
After Altrincham had started quite well, FCUM took a 22nd minute lead when, following a long throw, the ball came out to Brown who executed an impressive volley into the top corner of the net from the edge of the box.
In the second half, with Clee and Jones particularly impressing for Altrincham, the home side went forward but were unable to create clear chances. They paid the price for defensive errors when FC United netted twice in the final twenty minutes.
The first of this brace came after 77 minutes when Shaun Densmore mis-headed a clearance and FC got behind him up their left wing. The ball was played inside for Gilchrist to convert from close range. United's final goal came in the 90th minute when the otherwise reliable Cyrus was caught out and Greaves netted, again from close range.
- 22 mins: Tom BROwN (ALTRINCHAM 0 FC United of Manchester 1)
- 77 mins: Jason GILCHRIST (ALTRINCHAM 0 FC United of Manchester 2)
- 90 mins: Tom GREAVES (ALTRINCHAM 0 FC United of Manchester 3)
REFEREE: Mr Simeon Lucas
ATTENDANCE: 2,490 (772 in away end)
Altrincham's final chance to win a home league match in 2016/17 season before the end of the calendar year had to be faced without four of their more regular players, (Richman, Goodall, Miller and Hobson), who were all injured. Kyle Brownhill made his debut, playing in midfield, whilst Damian Reeves played with a heavily strapped thigh.
ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. John CYRUS, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Gary JONES, 9. Kyle BROWNHILL, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Shaun DENSMORE, 14. Greg WILKINSON, 15. Curtis MCDONALD, 16. Sam HEATHCOTE, 20.Andrew DAWBER.
FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER (All blue) 1 Adriano Basso, 2 Dale Tonge, 3. Chris Chantler, 4. Tom Brown, 5. Scott Kay, 6. Luke Ashworth, 7. Sam Sheridan, 8. Harry Winter, 9. Jason Gilchrist, 10. Jerome Wright (capt), 11. George Thomson. Subs: 12. Tom Greaves, 14. Matthew Wolfenden, 15. Jake Williams, 16. Gareth Arnison, 17. Kieran Glynn
This was the first league fixture between these two clubs.
Before kick off, on a sunny but cold and breezy afternoon at the J Davidson Stadium, Club Chaplain, Rev. Andy Barclay-Watts read the annual Roll of Honour to commemorate Altrincham FC supporters and officials who had died during 2016.
There were also pre-match awards to Shaun Densmore (who celebrated 300 starts for AFC recently) and James Lawrie (for his 250th appearance, also made recently).
After changing ends, FC kicked off defending the well-populated away end but, inside the first minute, a Clee ball almost set Reeves free.
Clee, who was to be influential throughout, was then halted and fouled (4 mins) but Lawrie's freekick deflected for a goalkick.
At the other end, a Wright shot went across the face of goal from Winter's feed. Play was now stopped for the prone Sheridan to receive treatment but the former Alty loanee had to be carried off on a stretcher, to be replaced by Glynn (9 mins).
Next, a Brownhill shot went close from 20 yards but it was FCUM, through Glynn, who won the game's next corner (11 mins).
Goalkeeper Basso, whose kicking looked suspect on several occasions, almost had a delayed clearance charged down by Reeves. Further risk to the visitors' goal came when Clee was fouled 30 yards out. But Lawrie's freekick was well off target (16 mins).
It had been a fairly even game so far (20 mins). A miscued pass by Jones soon led to an FC throw on the left 40 yards out. Following this, the ball came out to Brown who volleyed the ball expertly into Deasy's top-left corner from the edge of the box to give FCUM the lead as the clock ticked over into the 22nd minute.
Alty then got themselves into a mess of their own making as Moult allowed a visitors' freekick to go over his head to Deasy. Whether the keeper had called for the ball or not was unclear but an alert FC man nipped in ahead of Deasy to win a cheap corner from Alty's point of view.
This corner was headed narrowly over the bar but a freekick was awarded anyway to Alty. Then Brownhill, for the second time, went close from 20 yards after a feed from the right (25 mins).
Alty's defence was now opened up but the stretching Thomson put Wright's pass well wide.
In response, just past the half-hour, a Jones shot was saved by the keeper after a good counter-attack.
When Jones was fouled by Winter, the former Trafford man was booked (35 mins). Altrincham were giving as good as they got as Lawrie, and then Jones, both had shots blocked.
Next, the booked Winter rode his luck as he fouled Clee. However, Lawrie's freekick just evaded his team mates (40 mins).
After a Brownhill cross had been cleared, a foul on the same player got Glynn booked (42 mins).
As half-time neared, a good move by Alty faltered in the FCUM box. Next, Reeves, unlike Ashworth, read the flight of an aerial ball correctly and was about to get a clear run on goal. But the FCUM man blatantly held Reeves barely five yards from the linesman. With Ashworth himself even looking sheepish, the officials astoundingly failed to take any action (45 mins).
In added time, Clee got in a cross from the right byline which was cleared. Alty's strong end to the half continued as a Patterson cross gave Reeves a header, which landed on the roof of the net but he was ruled offside (45+1 mins).
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0|
FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER 1
Following a quiet opening to the half, a Clee run ended with his shot across goal (50 mins).
After Patterson had tried to play out of defence rather than clear the ball, FC got in a shot, which flew over the bar.
Alty continued to get forward but when Clee cut in and fed Lawrie, the latter shot wide. Now Densmore came on for Patterson and Wilkinson for Brownhill (61 mins)
Next, after Densmore fouled Glynn, the freekick on United's left deflected off Hannigan and Moult for an FC corner on their right.
Altrincham had been less than happy with some of the referee's decisions and, after an earlier exchange with Clee, now Moult had words with Mr Lucas.
From a Wilkinson ball, Reeves just beat the keeper to it but Basso did enough to half-block the ball (66 mins).
Alty had been playing well this half but when Lawrie appealed for a penalty, Mr Lucas awarded a goalkick (70 mins).
At the other end, Wilkinson sliced a clearance out for a corner. After this Gilchrist was left in space in the box but he miscontrolled and then lifted the ball over the bar.
The respite was short as a bouncing ball, 40 yards out, induced a misheader from Densmore which allowed United to get free beyond him, on the United left. Deasy did well to beat out the resulting shot but Gilchrist turned the loose ball into the net to make it 0-2 against the run of play (73 mins).
Wolfenden replaced Wright (75 mins) and, moments later, Deasy had to beat a strong Thomson shot round his left post for a corner.
FC made another change as Greaves replaced Gilchrist (80 mins). When Clee was fouled near the corner flag, Basso collected Jones's freekick easily.
United were proving more incisive as, now, a Thomson shot just cleared the bar from a Glynn feed (82 mins).
However, Clee continued to occupy United's defence with a run and cross, whilst 39 year-old Gary Jones was also still running hard for Altrincham in midfield.
An uncharacteristic error by Hannigan, who missed a header, let Thomson run at Deasy. But the Alty keeper smartly caught his attempted lob (85 mins).
After a Densmore cross had been cleared to Wilkinson, his shot won a corner. From this, Wilkinson poked a shot over the bar.
Shortly before added time started, Cyrus was beaten by an opponent and a goal was laid on for Greaves from close range, making it 3-0 (90 mins).
In added time, Jones was booked before the final act of the game was a Reeves shot, which Basso saved (90+3 mins).
The final margin was harsh on Altrincham who had enjoyed much of the game's attacking momentum. But they lacked incision and clinical finishing and were also prone to committing intermittent, major defensive errors, so could have no complaints about the visitors' victory.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0|
FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER 3