Match Report


Vanarama National League North match
played on Saturday, 21 January 2017, at 3pm


Two first-half goals from Chorley left Altrincham chasing the game. After 12 minutes a Whitham freekick from the left won a corner off Heathcote. Sampson, making his debut on loan from Macclesfield, headed this home.

The score became 2-0 in the 26th minute when Cottrell headed in from 12 yards.

Alty improved after the break with Newby being brought on at the interval. Though they had much more of the attacking play, they were unable to conjure a consolation goal.

REFEREE: Mr K Sarsfield, who oversaw our 0-6 beating by AFC Fylde earlier this season.

With leading scorer, Sean Miller now sidelined for 6 or 7 weeks, Altrincham also had midfielder Jake Moult suspended and Shaun Densmore, Craig Hobson and Alan Goodall were all missing through injury.


CHORLEY (Black and white stripes) 1. Ritchie Branagan, 2. Matthew Challoner, 3. Will Beesley, 4. Scott Leather, 5. Kieran Charnock, 6. Stephen Jordan, 7. Adam Blakeman, 8. Dale Whitham (c), 9. Marcus Carver, 10. Jack Sampson, 11. Jake Cottrell. Subs 12. Robbie McDaid, 14. Andy Teague, 15. Josh O'Keefe, 16. Waqaz Azam, 17. Adam Roscoe,

ALTRINCHAM (All yellow) 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Sam HEATHCOTE, 4. Laurence TAYLOR, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. John CYRUS, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Gary JONES (c), 9. Andy OWENS, 10. James LAWRIE, 11. Nicky CLEE Subs 12. Oluwatomisin ADELOYE, 14. Elliot NEWBY, 15. Kyle BROWNHILL, 16. Andy McWILLIAMS, 17. Damian REEVES.


Mike Garnett's records reveal the record of previous encounters between the two clubs:


After a minute's silence for two recently departed Chorley figures, the Magpies kicked off on a soft surface at Victory Park, with muddy patches in the corners at the clubhouse end.

Alty initially deployed a back three of Heathcote, Hannigan and Cyrus, with Patterson and Clee respectively as right and left wing-backs. In an uninspiring opening spell, Lawrie's decision to pass rather than shoot was the nearest either side had to a goal threat (4 mins).

Chorley's response was a Cottrell header, which went well wide, and then Owens made space well but fired wide (8 mins).

When John Cyrus slipped on the soft surface, just inside his own half, he was tempted to trip a Chorley man as he threatened to get away from him. Cyrus was lucky to escape a booking but his team paid the price. Whitham's freekick from the left yielded a corner, on Chorley's right, off Heathcote. From this, Sampson was allowed to head home. Sampson was making his Chorley debut, having just arrived from Macclesfield on loan (12 mins). This was his third outing against Alty after opposing us in two FA Trophy ties for the Silkmen recently.

Fortunately Sampson made a hash of his next attempt at goal but the home side were now getting the upper hand. Alty were getting little help from the referee with Owens being held by Charnock on virtually every occasion that he went for the ball.

Next, Deasy held a Whitham shot as Richman closed him down. When Challoner arrived late and felled Lawrie, near half way, the Chorley man was booked (21 mins). The lively Sampson then tried to lob Deasy from 40 yards and his effort struck the outside of the post (23 mins).

Now Teague came on for the injured Jordan. When Carver got free in the box and laid the ball off to the unmarked Beesley, the home no.3 inexplicably tried to walk the ball into the net instead of shooting and the ball was cleared. But it was then played back into Alty's box where Cottrell was allowed to head home from near the penalty spot to make it 2-0 (26 mins).

Alty were now under the cosh. Alty cleared a home corner (30 mins) before Hannigan had to clear hurriedly when Deasy stayed on his line.

For Alty, Clee got to the Fylde corner and was fouled. But Lawrie's freekick from the left corner led to a home goalkick (38 mins).

With the interval approaching, good work by Sampson led to Whitham slicing an effort well wide of goal. As the game went into added time, Hannigan needed treatment after a clash of heads but he recovered to complete the half.

In a fairly low quality game on a difficult surface, Altrincham had not looked like scoring and faced a difficult second half against the division's meanest defence.


Alty brought on Barrow loanee Newby for midfielder Taylor, the new man slotting into a left wing-back position with Clee further forward now.

Altrincham started the second half on the front foot with Clee much involved and gaining an early freekick when surrounded by three Chorley men (48 mins). At the back Hannigan continued to impress. Now Mr. Sarsfield got in the way of Jones's pass and a Chorley corner resulted.

Alty had a sniff of goal when Owens got the ball in Chorley's box, but he opted to dribble instead of shooting and the chance went. Alty were showing much more attacking momentum this half.

From a Lawrie cross, the ball went off Leather for a corner, which Clee hit disappointingly into the side netting (56 mins). Soon afterwards, Clee was upended; but nothing came of the freekick. But, at least Alty were making a game of it in this half of the match.

Chorley brought on debutant McDaid, from York City, for Carver on the hour mark.

Clee continued to look Alty's main threat as his shot deflected narrowly wide for a corner. If Clee's earlier flag-kick had been disappointing, now Lawrie's corner was doubly so. From the right, it dropped short and went behind the goal by some distance, at the near post. Having got themselves into the rare position of threatening the home goal, to waste these corner-taking opportunities left assistant manager Robbie Lawton with his head in his hands (62 mins).

After Owens had been penalised harshly for handball near halfway, he was lectured for his protest. Another questionable decision came as Chorley were awarded a freekick after a foul on Hannigan. Although Alty had had the better of this half, they had not created a clear chance (70 mins).

When Richman fouled his opponent on halfway, a melee ensued, from which Richman was booked. Now striker Adeloye replaced wing-back Patterson for Altrincham (73 mins).

Another curious decision saw McDaid flagged offside but Mr. Sarsfield awarded Chorley a freekick on the centre spot. Adeloye was then penalised for a lunge as he tried to get into the game. Play continued as Heathcote crashed into the pitchside hoardings and stayed down, off the pitch. After he had recovered, a Cyrus header ran to Branagan but it was a rare on-target effort from the visitors. Next, Lawrie was penalised and lectured (82 mins).

Alty were showing effort but the Chorley defence was holding firm. In the 87th minute Beesley was taken off and Roscoe came on for Chorley. As full-time approached both Adeloye and Richman had crosses cleared. In the second of an announced four added minutes, Lawrie got to the byline, left of goal, but Adeloye's shot was blocked for a corner.

At the other end, the ball deflected off Heathcote and allowed Chorley a shot, which Deasy palmed away (90+3 mins). An Alty corner was flapped away by Branagan just before the final whistle (90+5 mins).

Altrincham now find themselves eighteen points from safety and with a far inferior goal difference to the teams in the safety zone. Once again they had conceded goals which should have been better defended and had failed to unlock an organised defence. It gets no easier this coming week with away trips to Brackley Town and table-toppers AFC Fylde in the diary.