ALTRINCHAM FC MATCH REPORTS

CURZON ASHTON (1) 2
ALTRINCHAM (1) 3

Vanarama National League North match
played on Friday, 14 April 2017, at 3pm


SUMMARY

Altrincham snatched an injury-time winner after all their efforts seemed to have been denied by the controversial award of a Curzon equalizer, when Tim Deasy was deemed, by an assistant referee, to have collected the ball after it had crossed his own goal-line following a corner.

In the first half, Altrincham were the better side but fell behind after 42 minutes from a counter-attack, after Lynch had lost possession in the Curzon half. Guest broke forward and Warburton netted despite a last-ditch tackle from the retreating Laurence Taylor. But Alty equalized in the 45th minute when a push gave the visitors a spot kick which Jake Moult converted confidently.

Alty then took the lead with another penalty from Moult after James Lawrie had been brought down as he jinked across the penalty area (62 mins). But then came the controversial equalizer, awarded to Curzon's Hunt, fourteen minutes from time.

However, the hard-working Robins had the final say as Simon Richman bundled the ball home after good work on the left from Clee and Evans, in the first added minute at the end of the ninety.


SCORERS:
  • 42 mins: WARBURTON (Curzon Ashton 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)
  • 45 mins: Jake MOULT (penalty) (Curzon Ashton 1 ALTRINCHAM 1)
  • 62 mins: Jake MOULT (penalty) (Curzon Ashton 1 ALTRINCHAM 2)
  • 76 mins: HUNT (Curzon Ashton 2 ALTRINCHAM 2)
  • 90(+1) mins: Simon RICHMAN (Curzon Ashton 2 ALTRINCHAM 3)

REFEREE: Mr S Copeland
ATTENDANCE: 423
TEAM NEWS

Goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson was in the warm-up but not in the squad after recently deputising for Tim Deasy. Given the latter's injury problems this season, it was surprising that on Tim's return, Tomlinson was not named on the bench. Once again, Sean Miller, Craig Hobson, Tom Hannigan, Alan Goodall and John Cyrus all missed this game through injury, whilst Gary Jones also sat out this fixture.

Clayton McDonald, signed just before Jim Harvey's departure in December, made his full league debut alongside Jake Moult at centre-back, whilst Kyle Brownhill returned from injury in midfield.

LINE-UPS:

CURZON ASHTON (All blue) 1. Cameron Mason, 2. Oliver Thornley, 3. Joe Guest, 4. Jonathan Hunt, 5. Daniel Shaw, 6. Alex Brown (capt), 7. Jordon Wright, 8. Luke Clarke, 9. Niall Cummins, 10. Matty Warburton, 11. Chris Rowney. Subs: 12. James Baillie, 14. Paul Ennis, 15. Ryan Jennings, 16. Tyrell McKenzie 13. Hakan Burton (gk).

ALTRINCHAM (All yellow) 1. Tim Deasy 2. Chris Lynch, 3. Andy McWilliams, 4. Laurence Taylor, 5. Clayton McDonald, 6. Jake Moult (capt), 7. Simon Richman, 8. Kyle Brownhill, 9. Micah Evans, 10. James Lawrie, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 12. Shaun Densmore, 14. Sam Patterson, 15. Damian Reeves, 16. Sam Heathcote, 17. Darius Palma


BACKGROUND

< Mike Garnett reminds us of the previous record between the two clubs. They had not met in a league fixture until earlier this season when the visitors won 4-2 at the J Davidson Stadium, their previous encounters being cup ties.
  • At Altrincham: P2-W1-D0-L1-F5-A4
  • Away: P1-W1-D0-L0-F2-A0
  • All: P3-W2-D0-L1-F7-A4

The cup encounters with Curzon Ashton were, respectively, in the FA Cup and FA Trophy. On the latter occasion, floodlight failure had cost Curzon a winning position in the original game that became a defeat when the tie had to be replayed.


REPORT

In cloudy but breezy conditions, on a pitch which looked in good condition, Curzon kicked off. Home keeper Mason, who was to have a nervy match, almost miscontrolled his first touch of the ball to Evans inside the opening minute. The home side missed a good chance in the second minute when Wright, in space, spooned a shot well over the bar from inside the box.

Alty again had Evans up top, with Clee and Lawrie in support, but the general play was fairly scrappy from both teams at this stage. Indeed the next half-chance did not arrive till the twelfth minute when Brownhill fired over from Evans's lay off. Then Lawrie was upended, right on the front edge of the Curzon box. However, Clee put the freekick, from a central position, into the defensive wall (14 mins).

Clee intercepted a mis-pass from Clarke and, from his feed, Evans won a corner. Mason gathered a Lynch header from the corner at the second attempt (16 mins). What was a scrappy match continued with no incident worthy of note till a Lynch cross was cleared to Brownhill who fired over the bar (23 mins).

Things improved as, first, Clee and then a Lawrie cross both won the visitors corner-kicks. However, Clee and then Lawrie each overhit their respective flag-kicks (26 mins).

At the back Moult had to cover well as the impressive Clarke played in Cummins. A couple of minutes later, Guest fed Cummins, whose off-target shot won a corner from a deflection (30 mins).

A well-struck Lynch 25-yarder now just cleared the bar, before it needed a recovery tackle, by Taylor, to halt a Curzon threat. Alty were seeing a lot of the ball and, next, Evans did well to get to the byline but his cross narrowly evaded the incoming Richman at the back (38 mins).

But, after Alty had been in the ascendancy for several minutes, Lynch lost the ball some 15 yards inside the Curzon half and Curzon counter-attacked through Guest. The ball was fed forward and, despite a covering tackle by Taylor which half got the ball, Warburton netted the opening goal of the match against the run of play to give Curzon the lead (42 mins).

Two minutes later, from a Lawrie corner, the referee awarded a spot-kick to Altrincham, indicating that he had seen a two-handed push, with Lynch seeming to be the victim. Moult blasted home the spot kick to make it 1-1 (45 mins). Parity was the least that Altrincham deserved at the interval.


Half-Time:CURZON ASHTON 1
ALTRINCHAM 1

Before Altrincham kicked off the second half, Baillie and McKenzie came on for Curzon. They replaced Wright and Cummins. Almost immediately, Alty won a corner after Evans had been fed by Clee. A short corner led to a Moult header but he was penalised. Moments later, Evans did well on the left and he won his side another corner.

After Lawrie's corner had been cleared, McDonald overhit a back-pass to concede a needless corner at the other end but the big defender made amends as he headed it clear (48 mins). Patterson now replaced Lynch at right-back (49 mins). Alty's bright start to the half continued as Curzon played a poor clearance to Evans but he delayed and lost the ball.

However, things improved for Curzon as a good move ended with a shot which was deflected over the bar for a corner, which just evaded the diving Hunt (53 mins). After their disappointing first half, Curzon were much improved after the break. Next, Warburton, in space on left, crossed the ball and McKenzie's scissor kick only just cleared the bar (55 mins).

After this, Clarke did well and his fine low shot had to be well tipped round the post for a corner, to his right, by Deasy. Just before the hour mark, Heathcote replaced McDonald (58 mins). Immediately, McWilliams harried Baillie into conceding a corner.

Altrincham's second penalty of the afternoon arrived when Lawrie jinked into the right of the box and was upended. Moult netted his second spot kick with another well-hit strike (62 mins). By now it was raining but Alty were enjoying a good spell. When Evans and Mason collided, the home keeper pushed Evans who retaliated and both were fortunate to escape with a verbal, rather than written, warning from the referee (66 mins).

The temperature rose again when McWilliams was late with his challenge on Baillie and, again, the Curzon man reacted by grabbing his opponent. This time Mr Copeland booked both offenders (69 mins).

Richman, who had a good game, now won the ball well, leading to a chance for Lawrie but he executed an air shot inside the box. Next, Brown earned a corner for Curzon. Hunt's header led to a second corner which was glanced across goal for a third corner, this time from Curzon's right and, then, a fourth corner followed, back on the left (73 mins).

On 74 minutes, Ennis came on for Clarke, after which it took a great Taylor block to stop Baillie as he pulled the trigger in the box. Alty remained under pressure. a Baillie curling cross was just tipped over the bar by Deasy for yet another corner in this spell. Hunt apparently got a touch on the corner, from the left, before Deasy collected the ball. To the amazement of Altrincham and many of the spectators, assistant referee Hitchell signalled a goal, which referee Copeland confirmed.

Whether the ball had crossed the line was debatable but the scores were now level once again (76 mins).

It nearly got worse when Patterson headed clear to Baillie but he fired wide from a clear chance. McWilliams now went down for treatment and was replaced, after treatment, by Densmore (80 mins). Brownhill moved to left back and Densmore settled into midfield.

Curzon wasted another good chance when a cross led to a shot being badly spooned over the bar, as the home side enjoyed supremacy at this stage (81 mins). Rain was falling steadily as Lawrie won the ball but a resulting Evans cross was cleared. After a Curzon appeal for a penalty had gone unanswered, a Clee cross won a corner.

Despite their relegation and the disappointment of conceding a debatable equalizer, Altrincham kept going and a poor clearance allowed Evans a shot but it was blocked. In the first of two added minutes, Clee did well on the left and, when the ball was played into the box, an initial effort was blocked before Richman turned it home from close range at the back post to give Alty a late winner (90+3 mins). It was the first time Altrincham had scored three in a league match this season.

Eleven points from Altrincham's most recent eleven league fixtures may not sound spectacular but it does represent more than a half of Alty's points haul from barely a quarter of the season's games and, had that haul been replicated in the first 28 fixtures of this campaign, it would have put Alty some five points clear of the relegation spots at this stage.


Full-Time: CURZON ASHTON 2
ALTRINCHAM 3