ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
FC HALIFAX TOWN (0) 1
played on Saturday, 4 February 2017, at 3pm
A scrappy game was won by a scrappy goal as Liam King's deflected effort beat Tim Deasy with just nine minutes remaining of this dour encounter, in which the gap between bottom-placed Altrincham and play-off hopefuls FC Halifax Town was barely discernible for long periods.
And, of course, the winner just had to be scored by one of Halifax's three ex-Alty players, Liam King, who spent a loan period from Rotherham United at Moss Lane in 2008.
The winner came just as Altrincham were beginning to show a bit of spark going forward but, in truth, they scarcely troubled visiting keeper, apart from in the eighth minute of the game, when Jake Moult blasted a penalty straight at the Halifax keeper, who beat the ball away. The spot kick had been won by Andy Owens, following good work from Nicky Clee.
There was further first-half woe for Alty as striker Andy Owens went off injured with only 20 minutes on the clock.
- 81 mins: Liam KING (ALTRINCHAM FC 0 Halifax Town 1)
REFEREE: Mr Declan Bourne
Sean Miller, Shaun Densmore, Craig Hobson were all still missing through injury whilst Alan Goodall was regaining fitness with the reserves. Tom Hannigan was out with a recurrence of his hip injury. However, Damian Reeves had recovered from illness to be available once more.
Altrincham faced former Robins' players David Lynch who started, as did former loanee Liam King, whilst Jordan Sinnott was on the bench. Halifax's Brown was returning from injury sustained in last season's FA Trophy Final.
Alty again deployed midfielder Jake Moult at centre-back with Heathcote at right-back in place of Patterson and McWilliams deployed on the left of the back four.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shirts, red socks) 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Kyle BROWNHILL, 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. Jake MOULT (c), 5. Sam HEATHCOTE, 6. John CYRUS, 7. Elliott NEWBY, 8. Gary JONES, 9. Andy OWENS, 10. James LAWRIE, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Sam PATTERSON, 15. Damian REEVES, 16. Laurence TAYLOR, 20. Andrew JONES
FC HALIFAX TOWN (All orange) 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Kevin Roberts (c), 3 Josh Wilde, 4 Liam King, 5 Scott Garner, 6 Matt Brown, 7 Matty Kosylo, 8 David Lynch, 9 Daniel Nti, 10 Adam Morgan, 11 Richard Peniket. Subs:12 Steven Drench, 14 Jordan Sinnott, 15 Cliff Moyo, 16 Danny Clarke, 17 Jake Hibbs.
Altrincham had taken a deserved point in the reverse fixture at The Shay back in August.
On a sunny but cold afternoon at the JDS, Alty kicked off towards Golf Road and immediately conceded a freekick which was headed away by Moult. A shot from Peniket then cleared the bar from the left as Alty started nervously.
Following a wild cross by Nti, Halifax's former Worcester City forward, a quick Clee throw yielded a corner on Altrincham's left, which Moult overhit. But when keeper Johnson flapped at a Newby effort, a second corner resulted (4 mins).
Clee was looking bright and, from his feed, the Keeper smothered the ball just ahead of Owens's arrival. A couple of minutes afterwards, another good ball from Clee found Owens and, as he jinked into the box, he was brought down by Brown for a penalty.
Unfortunately, Jake Moult hit the spot kick straight at the keeper who beat the ball away (8 mins).
Next, Nti dribbled well into Alty's box but shot wide. Play now descended into a catalogue of mis-passes and niggly fouls by both sides. A Peniket dive in the box after the ball had rebounded from a Clee clearance, got the disdain it deserved from the referee (15 mins).
But the visitors were now getting the upper hand as, firstly, an excellent Roberts cross was headed badly wide by Nti, who was to have a wasteful afternoon (16 mins).
Three more or less successive Halifax corners soon arrived but nothing came of any of them (18 mins).
Owens now went down for treatment near halfway and, after his boot and sock had been removed, treatment by physio Alan Ainsley was unable to restore the big striker who hobbled off (20 mins), to be replaced a minute or two later by Damian Reeves (22 mins).
Reeves was soon penalised for a foul on an opponent and booked (24 mins).
For Halifax, Nti cleared the bar from a Peniket feed as the visitors’ attacks came almost exclusively up their left flank.
Next, a mis-pass by Roberts to Clee led to a Lawrie shot which was well saved for a corner to the Robins (28 mins). Afterwards, a Lawrie flick went wide from a Clee long throw but, overall, it was a game low on quality, typified now by another bout of head tennis.
After Clee had been fouled by Roberts, he needed treatment before resuming, after which the tricky Kosylo won the Shaymen a corner (37 mins). Five minutes later, the same Halifax player dribbled to the byline but ran out of space.
As half-time approached, a Clee shot was diverted for a corner from Lawrie's feed and then Newby also earned a corner on the right, which the keeper collected from Lawrie's flag-kick (44 mins).
After three added minutes, the referee mercifully blew his whistle on as collectively poor a forty-five minutes as has been witnessed at the J Davidson Stadium this season, with there being little to distinguish the bottom of the table club from the one in eighth position at kick-off.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0|
FC HALIFAX TOWN 0
Hopes of an improved standard in the second half received no supporting evidence in the opening spell after the interval. For Alty, Cyrus continued to win pretty well every header that he contested but, when Alty gained a freekick 45 yards from goal, Moult's dead-ball ran out for a throw in.
An Nti shot was comfortably saved by Deasy (55 mins) before a Kosylo effort was equally easily saved (58 mins).
Newby was showing some promise for Alty and his cross let to a Reeves header which won a corner.
On 64 minutes, one ex-Alty midfielder Jordan Sinnott replaced another ex-Alty midfielder David Lynch for Halifax. After this, a Morgan shot was stopped by Deasy and a Peniket half volley went wide.
Play meandered on before Clarke replaced Nti for the visitors (74 mins).
Alty were now improving before a King lunge on Lawrie earned him a deserved booking near halfway (77 mins). Lawrie then volleyed wide from 20 yards before Jones won a freekick near halfway off Kosylo but Moult's freekick went to the keeper.
Halifax won themselves a freekick, on the wide right about 45 yards from goal. This came out to King whose shot, from the edge of the box, took a deflection and went past Deasy into the net. It was the sort of nondescript goal that typified a match of this standard (81 mins).
Halifax brought on Hibbs for striker Morgan (83 mins) as Alty now pushed Cyrus upfield in search of an equalizer.
A Newby cross won an 85th minute corner, which was poorly taken by Moult. At the other end, Patterson conceded a corner, which Moult cleared.
With two minutes or so remaining, McWilliams took a freekick 35 yards out but nothing came of this. After this, despite three added minutes, Altrincham did not create another clear chance and so endured their twelfth home defeat of the league season.
But, for much of the afternoon, a Halifax side which rose to sixth place in the Vanarama National League North with this result had been scarcely any better than the side rooted to the bottom of the division - as was noted by a number of Shaymen supporters in the main stand.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0|
FC HALIFAX TOWN 1