Match Report


Vanarama National League North match
played on Saturday, 8 April 2017, at 3pm


Brackley secured an ultimately comfortable victory in the Altrincham sunshine. But the home side, with six out injured and Chris Lynch unavailable following his father's death, started quite promisingly, with their best effort being a rasping Clee shot, which Laurie Walker tipped round the post for a corner in the 24th minute.

But, just after the half-hour mark, when McWilliams was stranded in the opposition half, Glenn Walker got free on the right. His low cross was easily converted from close range by Diggin. Altrincham almost levelled six minutes later when a fine move ended as Lawrie played in Reeves but keeper Walker made a superb one-handed save.

The second half was a disappointing affair for Altrincham. Twelve minutes from time, Evans misheaded a Tomlinson kick and the ball ran free for unmarked substitute Hempenstall who beat Tomlinson with a well-judged lob from left of goal. In added time Ndlovu drove a 20-yarder past Tomlinson to make it 3-0 before Evans netted a consolation goal in the third added minute. He tapped in when Owens relayed a McWilliams cross to him from the left.

  • 31 mins: Steve DIGGIN (ALTRINCHAM 0 Brackley Town 1)
  • 78 mins: Jordan HEMPENSTALL (ALTRINCHAM 0 Brackley Town 2)
  • 90+1 mins: Lee NDLOVU (ALTRINCHAM 0 Brackley Town 3)
  • 90+3 mins: Micah EVANS (ALTRINCHAM 1 Brackley Town 3)

REFEREE: Mr David Underwood

Shaun Densmore and Clayton McDonald both returned to the squad after several months' absence, the former through injury and the latter mainly due to his loan to Droylsden. Chris Lynch was unavailable following the death of his father on Friday. Alan Goodall, John Cyrus, Kyle Brownhill, Tom Hannigan, John Cyrus and Sean Miller all remained on the injured list so, yet again, it was a weakened Alty side which took to the field. On the positive side, youth teamer Darius Palma made his first league start, following his substitute appearance away at Darlington, last month.


ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Stuart Tomlinson, 2. Sam Patterson, 3. Andy McWilliams, 4. Laurence Taylor, 5. Sam Heathcote, 6. Jake Moult (capt), 7. Simon Richman, 8. James Lawrie, 9. Darius Palma, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee Subs: 12. Andy Owens, 14. Shaun Densmore, 15. Clayton McDonald, 16. Micah Evans,20. Tim Deasy

BRACKLEY TOWN (All yellow) 1. Laurie Walker, 2. James Clifton, 3. Alex Gudger, 4. Shane Byrne, 5. Luke Graham, 6. Gareth Dean (c), 7. Glenn Walker, 8. James Armson, 9. David Moyo, 10. Steve Diggin, 11. Adam Walker. Subs: 12. Ellis Myles, 14. Matt Lowe, 15. Lee Ndlovu, 16. Jordan Gough, 17. Jordan Hempenstall.


In the reverse fixture on 24 January 2017, Altrincham had drawn 1-1 at Brackley. Mike Garnett's records tell us that our full record against Brackley Town is...

  • At home: P3-W2-D0-L1-F4-A5
  • Away: P4-W2-D1-L1-F4-A5
  • All: P7-W4-D1-L2-F8-A10


Following a minute's silence for Chris Lynch's father who had died on the eve of the match, Alty kicked off towards Golf Road in bright sunshine. Palma was soon impressing but the ball ran to keeper Walker.

Taylor got in a half-volley but it flew high into Golf Rd following a third-minute Altrincham corner from the left. Alty's bright start continued as Palma won a freekick; he and Reeves were forming the main thrust of the home attack with Lawrie and Clee in support.

From a quick long-throw from Clee, Reeves turned smartly but shot well wide (10 mins). As Alty remained on the front foot, a Lawrie shot drifted wide after Taylor had started the move (12 mins).

However, after the quarter of an hour mark, Brackley began to get more into the game as, under close attention from Moult, Moyo headed over the bar from a Diggin cross. Moments later Armson volleyed over the bar from a throw-in (18 mins). Next, Tomlinson had to save a dipping shot from Moyo from 20 yards.

Two successive Alty freekicks went out for a goalkick, the first from Clee, the second from Heathcote (23 mins). The game had now gone quiet after a decent Alty start but things looked up with a rasping Clee shot, which Walker did well to tip round post for a corner. And then Clee, from right of goal, fired across goal but the ball flew just wide.

Alty had a warning just before the half-hour mark when Clifton got in behind McWilliams but he hit his cross too hard and Diggin lifted it well over the bar and out of the ground but a deflection gave his side a corner. And two minutes later, McWilliams got caught upfield and Walker got clear on the right. His low cross set up a tap in for Diggin which he accepted to give the visitors a 1-0 lead (31 mins).

For Altrincham, Palma did well and his cross gained a corner (34 mins). And Alty's best move of the match so far ended as Lawrie played in Reeves but the keeper made a superb one handed save to his left and he went down to block Reeves in a one on one situation (37 mins).

After fouls by Moult and then Palma, Brackley's Armson was only just wide as he got on the end of the second of these freekicks (40 mins). When a Clifton cross from the right won a corner, Clee won a freekick following a melee in Alty's box.

So, at half-time, after a decent start, Altrincham were labouring to find a way through Brackley's solid defence, peopled by tall, strong players. The Brackley keeper had had to make two excellent saves, from Clee and Reeves, and on that basis Alty could count themselves a little unfortunate to be trailing at the interval.


HT Altrincham were sluggish at the start of the second half and it was Brackley who made the early running. A Diggin glancing header flew just wide from a cross from the right and, soon afterwards, a fine cross from the left was met by a smart sidefoot volley from Moyo, which went only just wide (49 mins). Next, a Moult error left Moyo free but Tomlinson blocked his shot well at the cost of a corner, from which Clifton headed well wide.

Alty were struggling to make forward progress and miscued passes were not helping their cause. On the hour mark things looked up as Taylor played in Reeves but his shot was blocked. At this point, Evans came on for teenager Palma who had had a promising full league debut (60 mins).

After 63 minutes, Brackley introduced Ndlovu for Moyo. But Altrincham continued to misfire as Clee fed Richman but his shot was sliced sideways across the box.

When Ndlovu was fouled by Heathcote, Tomlinson failed to gather Byrne's freekick but the resulting shot flew into the side-netting. Just after a Heathcote misheader had conceded a corner, Hempenstall came on for Diggin for Brackley (71 mins).

Glenn Walker's cross was nodded just wide by Gudger before Altrincham introduced Owens for Reeves on 75 minutes. Substitute Hempenstall looked lively as he touched the ball past Heathcote and ran at Tomlinson, but the keeper saved well with his left foot (77 mins).

Soon Tomlinson was in action again, smothering a loose ball. He booted the ball upfield where Evans, on the right wing and just inside the opposition half, miscued his header, sending it backwards into his own half where an unmarked Hempenstall latched onto it. He smartly lifted the ball over the advancing Tomlinson to make it 0-2 with twelve minutes remaining (78 mins).

Brackley brought on Lowe for Armson (79 mins) and, two minutes afterwards, Shaun Densmore took over from Richman in midfield, his first appearance after missing the previous 15 league games with injury and only his fourth appearance of the league season.

After Hempenstall had won a corner, Gudger miscued wide. At the other end, Graham fouled Owens 30 yards from goal. Clee's freekick found Heathcote but he put a free header over the bar (86 mins). Before the ninety minutes were up, a fierce Byrne volley had to be scooped away by Tomlinson (88 mins).

With the game just into its three added minutes, Ndlovu fired home from twenty yards, the ball nestling in Tomlinson's bottom right-hand corner (90+1 mins). However, there was just enough time for an Altrincham consolation as McWilliams got in a low cross from the left, Owens passed it on to his right and Evans tapped it in at the back post to make the final score 1-3 (90+3 mins).

Defeat extended Altrincham's winless run to five games and with Stalybridge beating league leaders Fylde today, hopes of at least escaping bottom place faded. They could have no complaints at Brackley's victory as, despite creating a number of decent chances, failure to take them combined with defensive lapses yet again cost them dearly.