Match Report


Vanarama National League North match
played on Saturday, 4 March 2017, at 3pm


An injury-ravaged Altrincham deserved at least a point, if not all three, but were robbed of any reward at all for their good performance by a heavily deflected goal in the 87th minute.

The visitors ultimately paid the price for missing a number of half chances and also saw an Evans's effort pushed away along the goal-line by Telford keeper Burton.

With goalkeeper Tim Deasy injured, new signing Stuart Tomlinson made his debut and, apart from a couple of saves, he had relatively little to do.

In a match riddled with petty fouls and played on a soft surface, there was too much scrappy play to make it a great spectacle but Altrincham, with John Cyrus again excelling at the back, put together some good attacking moves. But the injury jinx struck again as Nicky Clee had to come off at the interval, after a late challenge on him in the first half.

In addition to the Evans effort, Altrincham came closest to scoring when Richman's shot from three yards was blocked by a defender and when the same player lifted a late effort over the bar, both efforts arising from Newby crosses.

  • 87 mins: David HIBBERT (AFC Telford United 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)

REFEREE: Mr Robert Massey-Ellis

By the end of Alty's game at Darlington last Wednesday they had ten players unavailable, (Jake Moult, Gary Jones, Shaun Densmore, Sean Miller, Craig Hobson, Tom Hannigan, Andy Owens, Alan Goodall, Tim Deasy, Kyle Brownhill). Of those absentees, Owens and Goodall were on the bench today but Reeves was not present owing to a family commitment.

Before today's game, 49 players had played a part in Alty's league fixtures this season and with the debut of keeper Stuart Tomlinson that became fifty today.

For Telford, Lee Hughes and former Alty defender Luca Havern were doubts pre-match. but both started.


AFC TELFORD UNITED (White and black) 1 Callum Burton, 2. Dwayne Samuels, 3. Joel Dielna, 4. Gianluca Havern, 5. Paul McCone, 6. Jack Rea, 7. Jonathan Royle, 8. Eddie Jones, 9. Lee Hughes, 10. David Hibbert, 11. Elliot Hodge, Subs: 12. John-Paul Kissock, 14. Josh Wilson, 15. Ben Bailey, 16. Zak Lilly, 17. Danny Reynolds.

ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Stuart TOMLINSON, 2. Chris LYNCH (c), 3. Nicky CLEE, 4. Sam HEATHCOTE, 5. John CYRUS. 6. Laurence TAYLOR, 7. Elliott NEWBY, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Micah EVANS, 10. James LAWRIE, 11. Gary JONES Subs: 12. Andy McWILLIAMS, 14. Alan GOODALL, 15. Andy OWENS, 16. Sam PATTERSON, 20. Andrew JONES


Mike Garnett's data shows previous outcomes in matches between the clubs. Before today, Alty had yet to beat the AFC Telford United though, of course, they had beaten their forerunners, Telford United.

  • Home: P3-W0-D1-L2-F2-A5
  • Away: 2-0-0-2-2-5
  • All: 5-0-1-4-4-10


The Bucks kicked off on a soft surface against an Alty side deploying four at the back with Jones in front of them, with Richman and Taylor ahead in central midfield, and Newby and Lawrie supporting Evans, up top. Clee was again at left-back.

After an uneventful opening, Samuels won the match's first corner before a litany of freekicks for fouls and offsides began, and this sorry feature of the game was to continue throughout the 90 minutes. By way of example, an Alty freekick for a foul on Jones, was followed by a Hughes offside, two fouls on Heathcote, a foul on Richman, and a Hibbert foul on Clee, all inside the next six minutes.

However, Alty created the first real chance when Burton had to smother the ball just ahead of Newby from Lawrie's return pass (13 mins). Next, a Newby ball ran through a defender's legs to the keeper who had to save smartly. But the fouls continued as Jones was next to be felled (15 mins).

For Telford, Hughes got in a shot across the face of goal from Hibbert's feed before a Clee throw bounced off Evans in the goalmouth but he was unable to direct it at goal (18 mins).

After a Hodge shot had deflected to Tomlinson, Hughes shot just wide but was offside anyway. When Heathcote advanced past two men into the box, he went down but no foul was the correct decision from the referee.

At the back, an uncharacteristic Lynch error conceded a corner which was badly overhit by Dielna. Alty continued to more than match their opponents before a stoppage ensued, when Clee was caught, very late, by a foul challenge and without receiving a freekick for his pains (32 mins). After treatment, however, he resumed, though clearly less than 100% fit.

After Newby had won a corner on right, a Hodge cross hit Jones, prompting a "hands" appeals from Telford which was rejected. There was little for either keeper to do as, next, a Newby run was halted on the edge of the box (40 mins).

The sides then traded headed efforts at goal as, firstly, Havern put a freekick just wide before a Newby cross gave Clee a header, which Burton saved. When Lawrie was fouled 25 yards out, a quick freekick led to Evans being halted by the keeper and a corner resulted.

Following this, a Lawrie shot rose over the bar as Alty continued to do well. Following yet another foul, a Cyrus header went just wide from Heathcote's freekick (45 mins). Then a Clee foul got him booked and, after Dielna's freekick, a cross was headed over the bar by McCone (45+3 mins).

The game had not witnessed a lot of quality but Alty certainly deserved to be, at least, level at the break.


There was a substitution for each side for the second half as the crocked Clee was replaced by McWilliams at left-back and Wilson came on for AFC's Hughes. A complete double rainbow was seen over the ground as Tomlinson smothered the ball. Curiously the floodlights were to come on at the start of the second half only to go off later during the half.

Telford were initially on the front foot and Jones had to cover well after Heathcote had missed the ball. Rain was now falling as, once more, Dielna overhit a home corner (50 mins). When Hibbert challenged late on Lynch, he was rightly booked. From the freekick, Cyrus nodded the ball down and, from a slight touch from Evans, the ball had to be clawed off the line by keeper Burton, for a corner, which Cyrus headed over (52 mins).

After 56 minutes, former Telford man Andy Owens came on for Evans. Jones, who was having a good game, now won a corner as his side now were doing well again.

On the hour, Kissock replaced Eddie Jones for Telford before McWilliams was accidentally kicked in the face by Hodge and had to be treated for a mouth injury. But Alty were still more than holding their own.

Next, a fine Heathcote cross was only just grabbed by keeper Burton ahead of Lawrie (67 mins). At the other end, after Lynch had conceded a corner, Tomlinson saved a shot struck at him (68 mins). As Reynolds came on for Hodge, the home crowd were getting restless at their players' faltering performance.

A good Alty move ended as Owens located Newby, who sliced his shot wide. When Lynch cleared the ball for a throw and hurt himself, he was penalised. After Tomlinson had beaten out the ball following the freekick, Heathcote was fouled by Dielna, who was booked (77 mins).

Moments later, McCone fouled Owens and he, too, was booked to the annoyance of the home crowd but it had been a clear offence. From the freekick, McCone wrestled down Owens in the box but play continued (79 mins).

Newby now got in three crosses from the left. From the first, Richman, from three yards, had his shot blocked; then Richman headed the second cross off target. After a Lawrie foul on Dielna saw him booked, the third Newby cross was headed over the bar by Lawrie heads as Alty remained on top (82 mins).

Another awful, overhit corner by Telford (by Reynolds this time), had briefly relieved the pressure on the Bucks before Lawrie won the ball and this led to an Owens shot which Burton palmed out to Newby and an Alty corner resulted (85 mins).

From the corner a good Heathcote header was saved before McWilliams was penalised and was booked for his protests. Following this, against the run of play, a long shot by Dielna struck Hibbert and deflected into the corner of the net to give Telford an undeserved goal (87 mins).

With Taylor hobbling, Goodall came on for him (89 mins). In the four added minutes, Owens was halted in the box before a Lawrie shot hit the defender. There was time for Wilson to fire just wide before Richman put his shot over the bar from the edge of the box. Alty were very unlucky to lose to such a fortunate goal and, for a side lacking so many injured players, they had given a good performance which deserved some reward.