Match Report


Vanarama National League North match
played on Saturday, 7 January 2017, at 3pm


There was plenty of effort but a lack of incisiveness in front of goal from an Altrincham side which dominated the second half against a Gloucester side whose constant timewasting should have been more firmly dealt with by the referee.

On a dismal, damp afternoon at the J. Davidson Stadium, Altrincham fell behind in the 31st minute after three times failing to clear the ball from the front edge of their penalty area. City took advanatage, slipped the ball left of goal, from where a rising shot by Parker beat Deasy to secure the points.

Numerous Alty shots either flew wide or over the bar but their most threatening shot did not come till deep into added time from substitute James Lawrie, whose effort was well saved by Singh. Gloucester were reduced to ten men in the 83rd minute when Thomas hacked down Clee once too often and was deservedly shown a second yellow card.

Alty were without Simon Richman, Craig Hobson, Alan Goodall, Sean Miller and Shaun Densmore as they sought a first home league win of the season. They were the only side in the bottom five at kick off who did not get a point today so they are now 14 points from safety.

REFEREE: Mr Peter Gibbons

As he explained in the matchday programme, captain Shaun Densmore was rested after over-exerting himself in his return to action after a year's injury absence. So Sam Heathcote started at right-back. Meanwhile, Alty's most regular right-back this season, Sam Patterson, was fit enough to be named on the bench.

Altrincham were also without four injured men (Richman, Goodall, Miller, Hobson) and their bench included no goalkeeper, but three defenders.

ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Sam HEATHCOTE, 3. Kyle BROWNHILL, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. John CYRUS, 7. Elliot NEWBY, 8. Gary JONES, 9. Andy OWENS, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Andy McWILLIAMS, 14. Greg WILKINSON, 15. Curtis MCDONALD, 16. James LAWRIE, 17. Sam HEATHCOTE.

GLOUCESTER CITY (Yellow and black) : 1. Jasbir Singh, 2. Keiran Thomas, 3. Lewis Hall, 4. Jack Deaman, 5. Sam Avery, 6. Ross Finnie, 7. Joe Hanks, 8. Tom Webb, 9. Luke Hopper, 10. Joe Parker, 11. Edward Williams. Subs: 12. Marc Richards, 14. Chris Knowles, 15. Calvin Dinsley, 16. Spencer Hamilton, 17. Zack Kotwica.


Altrincham were still looking for their first home league win of the season, whilst Gloucester had lost their previous five league matches, conceding 16 times in the process.

Mike Garnett's record of Altrincham's performances in previous encounters between the teams is below:


On a dismal and damp afternoon, the floodlights were on before kick off but as Altrincham waited for Gloucester to complete their long pre-match huddle, the lights on the Main Stand side went out, prompting referee Peter Gibbons to come to the touchline for a consultation before blowing his whistle to start the game.

Unlike in their game against FCUM at New Year, Clee started on the left and Barrow loanee Newby was on the right. Inside the first minute Gloucester were caught offside, a situation they repeated with frequency in the first half.

Soon, an Alty cross was nodded out for a home corner on the left but with the floodlights now fully operating, the opening minutes were largely uneventful before a quickly taken throw by Clee quick gave Owens a half-volley, which flew just wide across the face of goal (7 mins).

After an impressively firm tackle by Hannigan, near halfway, the ball rebounded to a Gloucester player and Deasy had to smother the ball to end any danger. After Parker had been flagged offside, a Jones snap-shot from 20 yards went wide (14 mins). City had been shading the game so far and they went close to a goal when a Parker low cross from the right, was met by the sliding Hopper, who poked his effort just wide of the near post.

The first of what was to be a series of stoppages for treatment to Gloucester players arrived when Hanks down but he resumed soon after being treated (18 mins). For Altrincham, a fine Newby run and cross, from the right, saw a defender just manage to divert the ball to keeper Singh as Owens closed in (21 mins).

After Moult had been upended 25 yards out, fairly centrally, the freekick was laid off to Jones, whose shot was diverted for a corner. This was taken by Moult but nodded to the keeper.

Gloucester's robust approach continued as Owens was fouled in virtually the same spot as the previous freekick. A rehearsed routine came to nothing and, soon, a Webb cross from the left won the Gladiators a corner (27 mins).

Another freekick arrived when Owens was tripped in the right corner as Alty enjoyed a decent spell. But when Gloucester got the ball into the Alty box, three times the home side tried and failed to clear the ball from the front edge of the box, in a central position. The ball fell to City and was played left to Parker who beat Deasy with a rising shot from 15 yards (31 mins).

Deasy was soon in action again as he had to save, low down, from Parker. Soon afterwards, a City man ran 30 yards into box before going down but there was no penalty awarded.

For the second time in the match, a City player went down for treatment, after which an Owens shot sailed many a mile into Golf Road as Alty's finishing remained wayward (37 mins).

On forty minutes, Clee won the first of two successive corners, with Singh fumbling away the latter effort. Clee and Newby had now switched wings but there was to be no equalizer before the completion of three added minutes.

Altrincham had not played badly but had failed to threaten seriously up front.


Alty kicked off and soon Owens had a shot blocked as rain now swept down the pitch towards the away end. At the other end, a clean but vital Cyrus tackle halted a City man in the box and the player concerned stayed down until he realised that his hope of winning a penalty was a forlorn one.

Altrincham started the half well as, now, Owens was blocked in the goalmouth before Brownhill won the ball and from a Clee cross, the ball was missed by Owens.

Even at this early stage the visitors were slowing the game down (51 mins). A Gloucester defender now missed a Clee throw which bounced across goalmouth to safety for the visitors. But Alty retained the forward momentum as great control by Clee led to his volley, which dipped over the bar (54 mins).

Once more play was halted as a Gloucester man went down for treatment. This time it was Hopper. The visitors annoyed the home supporters when, with the uncontested dropped ball which restarted the game, they put the ball out of play by the corner flag at the Alty end, rather than giving it to keeper Deasy (55 mins).

The recovered Hopper was then caught offside before Moult was fouled. Now, Wilkinson came on for Brownhill as Alty changed to a back three. After Jones had sliced a shot well wide from outside the box, Clee was told by the bench to cover at left back (59 mins).

As Alty continued to have the better of the second half, once again a City player went down for treatment but was soon on his feet again (61 mins). Soon after this, two Clee crosses were cleared.

However, Cyrus then had to cover a Gloucester breakaway at the cost of a corner.

Next, Knowles replaced Hanks which was another cue for some timewasting with which the referee failed to take a firm hand.

After a Newby curler had been saved, Williams fired over for City.

The resolute Gloucester defence continued to ensure that Alty could not create a clear chance despite seeing a lot of the ball.

When Hall deliberately tripped the flying Newby, he was booked (70 mins). Following two throws for Alty on their left, Jones again sliced a shot well wide. Belatedly, now, the referee booked goalkeeper Singh for persistent timewasting (73 mins).

From a Newby cross, Jones shot wide once more before Deasy had to save a shot on the counter-attack as the rain, which had more or less stopped, now resumed.

When the lively Clee beat his man, he was again fouled and Thomas was cautioned (77 mins). But Hall then raced upfield and forced Deasy to beat out his shot for a corner, which City were predictably slow to take.

Another City substitution further frustrated Altrincham, with Kotwica coming on for Hopper who had to be cajoled by the referee to leave the pitch at more than a snail's pace (80 mins).

When Clee ran at Thomas the defender deliberately blocked his progress and was shown his second yellow card and sent for an early bath (83 mins).

Two minutes later, Hamilton replaced Parker before Altrincham's Lawrie replaced Heathcote (86 mins).

Clee continued to be Altrincham's main threat, on the left, and as the game went into five added minutes, he was again flattened by a defender. A minute later, a Clee throw yielded a corner but Altrincham could not capitalise on their pressure.

Once again, Jones shot wide, this time after Newby had done well on the left. In the fourth added minute a Lawrie header flew over the bar as the pattern of no end product from Alty continued to the end.

But in the final minute a ball forward was met by Lawrie and his well-struck shot was impressively saved by Singh. Alty's best strike on goal had arrived at a very late stage (90+5 mins).

So Altrincham remained without a home league win this season. The home side had shown plenty of effort but their shooting had been repeatedly wayward and, although Gloucester's gamesmanship won them few friends in the home crowd, their well-organized defence saw them secure the three points.