AFC FYLDE (3) 4
ALTRINCHAM (1) 1
played on Saturday, 28 January 2017, at 3pm
In this clash between top and bottom, Alty almost grabbed an early lead as, with barely a minute having elapsed, Lawrie's pass from inside left went behind Owens but fell to Newby who hit the outside of the post.
But, after Dixon had advanced on the right, Rowe curled his shot into the top corner of the net from inside the "D" to Deasy's right to give Fylde a 10th minute lead.
On a very wet pitch Fylde made it 2-0 eight minutes later when Jones let the ball go but then fouled his opponent as the Fylde man got free behind him. Rowe lashed home the resulting freekick from a central position.
Alty's misfortunes continued as Clee, who had been clattered just after the first goal, had to be subbed with only twenty minutes on the clock.
It became 3-0 when a Bradley cross led to Rowe's shot being saved but the loose ball was tapped in by Wilson (28 mins).
Alty gained some hope when Lawrie completed a fine move on the left, converting McWilliams's cross with a half volley to make it 3-1 just before the interval.
Altrincham saw a lot of the ball in the second half but could not break down the home defence and, against the run of play. Fylde made it 4-1 after 74 minutes through substitute Matty Hughes's close-range goal.
- 10 mins: Danny ROWE (AFC Fylde 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 18 mins: Danny ROWE (AFC Fylde 2 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 28 mins: Macauley WILSON (AFC Fylde 3 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 45 mins: James LAWRIE (AFC Fylde 3 ALTRINCHAM 1)
- 74 mins: Matty HUGHES (AFC Fylde 4 ALTRINCHAM 1)
REFEREE: Mr Martin Woods
ATTENDANCE: 1735, 121 in away end.
Alty made changes with Newby, Hannigan and McWilliams starting and Richman, Brownhill and Heathcote moving to the bench. Sean Miller, Shaun Densmore, Craig Hobson and Alan Goodall were missing through injury and Reeves was absent through illness.
AFC FYLDE (All white) 1. Rhys Taylor, 2. Macauley Wilson, 3. Tom Kennedy, 4. Steve Williams, 5. Dominic Collins, 6. Andy Bond, 7 Bohan Dixon, 8. Caspar Hughes, 9. Danny Rowe, 10. Dan Bradley, 11. Brendon Daniels. Subs: 12. Richie Baker 14. Matty Hughes, 15. Matt Blinkhorn, 16. Kristian Scott, 17 Tony Thompson (gk).
ALTRINCHAM (All yellow) 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. Jake MOULT (c), 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. John CYRUS, 7. Elliot NEWBY, 8. Gary JONES, 9. Andy OWENS, 10. James LAWRIE, 11. Nicky CLEE Subs: 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 15. Oluwatomisin ADELOYE, 16. Laurence TAYLOR, 17. Kyle BROWNHILL.
Altrincham suffered a 0-6 drubbling in the reverse fixture back in August. This clash between the top and bottom clubs in the division was Alty's first visit to the new Mill Farm stadium.
After a very wet 24 hours, the pitch at Mill Farm was very wet and things did not improve as occasional heavy showers punctuated the first half.
Alty kicked off, under floodlights, and as the game went into just its second minute, they spurned a great chance to take the lead against the title favourites. It came as Lawrie broke forward up the inside-left channel but his ball inside went behind Owens but fortunately ran on to Newby who hit the outside of the keeper's right post (2 mins).
Altrincham almost committed defensive suicide two minutes later as a poor back pass by Cyrus let in Daniels, but his effort was well blocked by Deasy for a corner. The Alty keeper then juggled and dropped the ball after the fierce low corner had come to him off another player.
For Fylde, Bradley now curled a shot over the bar from 20 yards before a Kennedy mispass to Lawrie set up the Alty man for a 20 yard shot which Taylor saved (8 mins).
Fylde's tall and powerful Dixon soon advanced on the right and when the ball was cut back to the prolific Rowe, he curled a powerful shot into Deasy's top-right corner from inside the penalty "D" to record his 34th league goal of the campaign (10 mins).
After the restart, Clee was fouled and needed prolonged attention to what seemed to be a facial injury before he resumed (12 mins). What was to be a recurrent theme of wasted Altrincham freekicks now included Jones's attempt from nearly 30 yards which flew over the bar.
Jones's unhappy afternoon continued as he opted to let a Fylde through-ball go, only to realise that an opponent had got behind him. Alty's former Rochdale midfielder brought down his man as he attempted to recover the situation, It was to prove costly as Rowe showed Alty how to take a dead-ball kick, lashing the ball past Deasy from a central position, twenty yards out to make it 2-0 (18 mins).
A further blow came in the twentieth minute when Alty's most creative player, Clee had to give way to Brownhill following his earlier knock (20 mins).
Water was splashing up all over the pitch as rain continued to fall and midway through the half Lawrie was tripped. Bond was booked for his cynical foul. From the freekick Cyrus won the header but could only direct the ball away from Fylde’s goal.
Another lesson in productive attacking came in the 28th minute as Bradley's cross led to a Rowe shot, which was saved by Deasy but the loose ball was tapped home by Wilson, making it 3-0.
One tally which Altrincham were winning was the freekick count and that was despite the referee allowing quite a few challenges to go unpunished. But when Williams fouled Owens, Alty had a freekick from 25 yards from almost the same spot for the third time in the game. And for a third time, nothing came of the deadball situation (29 mins).
After Bradley had glided past Cyrus on the Fylde left, Deasy made a good stop from his fierce shot, but at the cost of a corner.
When Patterson was fouled by Daniels, Moult's freekick from the right was cleared. Fouls on Hannigan and again on Patterson yielded more unproductive freekicks for the visitors who were also giving the ball way too cheaply.
As the interval approached Alty applied some pressure. A Lawrie cross was cleared by Collins before Brownhill was fouled from behind. And from an excellent Moult ball, McWilliams got to the left byline. His good, low cross from near the left corner was met by a well-taken half-volley into the net by Lawrie, making it 3-1 at the break (45 mins).
|Half-Time: AFC FYLDE 3 ALTRINCHAM 1|
For the second half, Richman came on in midfield for Jones, and it was to be Altrincham who had the better of the first half of the second period, after an uneventful opening.
When Lawrie robbed Dixon, the big man eased him to the ground but Mr Woods waved play on. Altrincham were having their best spell of the game as, next, Owens fired just wide with a shot across goal from the edge of the box, after Newby had done well (54 mins).
Now Adeloye replaced Owens. At the back Hannigan was playing well against his former club as the weather improved. But despite enjoying plenty of the ball and spending much of the time in the Fylde half, Altrincham lacked a cutting edge, with Adeloye going down more than once and making hopeful appeals for fouls.
For their part, Fylde seemed content with their lead and were offering very little this half. Midway through the half they brought on Matty Hughes for Dixon (67 mins).
Against run of play, Fylde finally put the game to bed as a good run by Daniels up the left channel led to a simple close-range goal from Matty Hughes from six yards, to make it 4-1 in the 74th minute. The goal knocked the stuffing out of the visitors and any thoughts of an unlikely comeback were dashed.
John Cyrus was booked for a block on Daniels before Baker replaced Bradley (80 mins). Next Deasy had to beat out a fierce Rowe freekick.
Adeloye finally won a freekick when he turned past a defender but, from left of goal, Moult put his freekick some 40 feet over the bar as the visitors' profligacy with dead-balls continued! Now debutant Scott replaced home Man of the Match Caspar Hughes (85 mins).
From open play Daniels now emulated Moult with a shot miles over the bar. The last of the four added minutes culminated in a much better Moult freekick from which Alty hit the bar, apparently through Richman, but it underlined the club's afternoon that the ball rebounded to safety for Fylde.
Fylde were certainly deserving winners but, although the visitors put in a shift, they lacked the guile to unlock the home defence and were unable to contain the incisiveness of the home attack.
|Full-Time: AFC FYLDE 4 ALTRINCHAM 1|