Match Report


Vanarama National League North match
played on Saturday, 18 March 2017, at 3pm


Altrincham came the closer of the two sides to winning this match but neither manager would have been happy to emerge with a single point as their two basement clubs fought the threat of relegation.

the closest to a goal was when a James Lawrie header hit the post and Celtic keeper Shenton was the busier of the two goalkeepers in a game played for the most part in light but steady rain.

  • NONE

REFEREE: Mr Paul Graham

Altrincham were without eight injured players last time out, at Boston; (Jake Moult, Shaun Densmore, Sean Miller, Craig Hobson, Tom Hannigan, Tim Deasy, Kyle Brownhill, Micah Evans). Moult (bench) and Brownhill (starting) were back today but Nicky Clee was now added to the injured list (ligaments).

For the visitors, former Altrincham assistant manager Neil Tolson patrolled the Celtic technical area whilst manager Steve Burr stationed himself, further back, by the subs' bench.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and socks) 1. Stuart TOMLINSON, 2. Chris LYNCH (c), 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. Kyle BROWNHILL, 5. Sam HEATHCOTE, 6. John CYRUS, 7. Elliot NEWBY, 8. Gary JONES, 9. Andy OWENS, 10. James LAWRIE, 11. Simon RICHMAN. Subs: 12. Damian REEVES, 14. Sam PATTERSON, 15. Alan GOODALL, 16. Jake MOULT, 20. Andrew JONES.

STALYBRIDGE CELTIC (All blue) 1. Grant Shenton, 2.. Danny Morton, 3. Danny Wisdom, 4. Matty Hughes (c), 5. Matt Regan, 6. Aaron Chalmers, 7. Kieran Dunbar, 8. Gary Gee, 9. James Roberts, 10. Keano Deacon, 11. Danny Pilkington. Subs: 12. Porya Ahmadi, 14. Kristian Platt, 15. Darren McKnight, 16. Mathias Bakare, 17. Daniel Wilkins.


Alty started the match bottom of the table with Celtic having gone back above them in midweek, after beating Bradford Park Avenue. But Celtic had three games in hand on the Robins.

Mike Garnett's data shows previous outcomes in matches between the clubs.

  • Home: P65-W36-D15-L14-F129-A80
  • Away: P71-W20-D12-L39-F112-A148
  • Neutral: P5-W1-D1-L3-F5-A7
  • All: P141-W57-D28-L56-F246-A235


With steady drizzle falling on an already wet pitch before kick-off, Altrincham kicked off towards the Golf Road end. Following a Heathcote freekick in his own half, Richman got in the game's first meaningful shot, but it was blocked (3 mins).

After Newby and then Brownhill had seen their crosses cleared, McWilliams conceded the game's first corner, which Tomlinson dropped but re-gathered at the second attempt (8 mins). Up front, Andy Owens was getting little change out of the referee as he was manhandled more than once, without sanction, by his former clubmates.

Wisdom then won his side another corner, on their left, which Tomlinson punched clear (10 mins). The visitors were getting on top before a Hughes error let in Owens but he was halted in the box. Then Newby won the ball in his own half, off Morton, and beat another man before being halted (12 mins).

A pre-arranged protest against the Altrincham FC chairman by a number of home supporters manifested itself in a walk-out from the terraces by some two dozen of the crowd of 1,236 (15 mins).

Play remained fairly even and scrappy as Morton barged Newby over to concede a freekick on the left wing to Alty (22 mins). The following ten minutes continued to witness honest endeavour but not a lot of polished football, though the rain and the soft pitch were not conducive to slick passing.

Now goalkeeper Shenton came out of his box to clear before McWilliams was halted in the visitors' penalty area (32 mins). Centre-back John Cyrus then embarked on an impressive run into box as Alty threatened again.

After Jones had been fouled, not far from the front edge of Celtic's box, Newby's freekick deflected off the wall for a corner (36 mins).

Alty were having the better of the game without seriously threatening to score. As half-time approached, Lawrie fired over the bar from Richman's feed (43 mins).

And, after former Alty trialist Chalmers had fouled Richman, on the Alty left 40 yards out, Owens headed over the bar from the freekick (45 mins).


The first half-chance after the interval came when Cyrus glanced an Owens throw just wide. Owens had been taking long throws for Alty, in the absence of normal throw-in expert Nicky Clee.

After Deacon had fired over the bar, Heathcote took the goalkick for Tomlinson who was troubled by a leg injury picked up in Alty's previous fixture. The Alty keeper's next clearance was a throw, which went some 50 yards into the opposition half.

Seven minutes after the break, McKnight came on for Gee. Play resumed with a freekick from which a Cyrus backpost header was blocked before a Lawrie header hit the other goal p‬ost and was cleared.

In the 55th minute, Reeves came on, up front, for Owens. Alty now set the pace as a Jones run led to a Lawrie header, which had to be pushed away by the keeper.

Celtic soon brought on Ahmadi, who had scored their winner in midweek, for Pilkington (57 mins).

Although Ahmadi now sliced wide from six yards, he and fellow substitute McKnight had given Celtic a boost, with Alty forced onto the back foot at this stage.

But Alty responded well as McWilliams and Richman did well and won a corner on the left. Newby's 20 yarder went inches over the bar after a clearance from the corner (62 mins).

Alty remained on the front foot, as Lawrie won the ball well but he could only get in a tame shot to the keeper (65 mins). At the other end, Ahmadi sliced an effort over the bar but it deflected off a defender for a corner.

However, Alty were soon put on the defensive as Lynch sliced the ball over his own bar for a corner, which Tomlinson punched, but Ahmadi won another corner.

After Lynch had won possession, a Lawrie cross to the back post was put wide by Newby (69 mins).

Returning from injury, Jake Moult now replaced Brownhill (70 mins). Alty won a corner before Celtic introduced Wilkins for Roberts.

When Ahmadi robbed Lynch on the Celtic right, the Alty man hauled him down and was booked. Richman cleared the freekick but there was no one upfield to gather the ball (73 mins).

Alty's final change came as Goodall replaced Lawrie (77 mins), with Newby now supporting Reeves. Next, a Newby cross deflected off a defender and flew just wide of the back post for a corner.

With three minutes remaining of normal time, Goodall was booked for a foul on Dunbar. After this, a McWilliams cross hit the side netting as Alty counter-attacked.

Alty continued to press for a winner as a McWilliams cross found Newby but he shot across the face of goal (89 mins).

A minimum of three minutes of added time was announced but after four minutes the referee finally concluded proceedings with neither side being able to take maximum points in the uphill battle against relegation.