ALTRINCHAM (1) 1
KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS (1) 4
played on Monday, 17 April 2017, at 3pm
Before the match, manager Matt Doughty had told the Robins' Review, "We will make changes... as I dip into our reserve and youth team squads to see who may be up to the challenges the club will face next season" and for this game goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson, right-back Sam Patterson, centre-back Sam Heathcote and striker Damian Reeves all came into the starting line-up, whilst Harry Cain and Craig Hobson joined the bench.
But Kidderminster demonstrated their clear superiority with a comfortable win. The visitors dominated from the start and took a fifth-minute lead when a rehearsed freekick routine, involving a simulated mix-up between their players, produced a superb strike into the top corner by James McQuilkin.
Altrincham slowly improved and snatched a 38th minute equalizer when Damian Reeves finished superbly from the edge of the box after a long ball had set him free up the middle.
However, Kidderminster started the second half just as strongly as they had commenced the first 45 minutes and, in the 51st minute, went ahead again when former Harrogate Town forward Joe Ironside scored after Jordan Tunnicliffe had had a free header from a Harriers' corner.
Substitute Andre Brown made it 3-1, thirteen minutes from time after fellow sub, Emmanuel Sonupe, had crashed a thunderbolt against the crossbar. And Sonupe himself netted the fourth in the 86th minute when Tomlinson spilt a shot, leaving the impressive substitute with a tap-in.
- 5 mins: James McQUILKIN (ALTRINCHAM 0 Kidderminster Harriers 1)
- 38 mins: Damian REEVES (ALTRINCHAM 1 Kidderminster Harriers 1)
- 51 mins: Joe IRONSIDE (ALTRINCHAM 1 Kidderminster Harriers 2)
- 77 mins: Andre BROWN (ALTRINCHAM 1 Kidderminster Harriers 3)
- 86 mins: Emmanuel SONOPE (ALTRINCHAM 1 Kidderminster Harriers 4)
REFEREE: Mr Simeon Lucas
Following the Good Friday win at Curzon Ashton, Alty boss Matt Doughty made changes as Stuart Tomlinson, Damian Reeves and Sam Patterson all came in to start the game, whilst Harry Cain was named on the bench, where he was joined by Craig Hobson, who was returning from long-term injury. Nicky Clee was rested and Chris Lynch and Clayton McDonald moved to the bench.
Sean Miller, Andy Owens, Tom Hannigan, Alan Goodall and John Cyrus had all missed the Good Friday game through injury, as had Gary Jones, and all six were again missing for this Easter Monday fixture.
Arthur Gnahoua returned from injury for the Harriers.LINE-UPS:
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. Kyle Brownhill, 9. Micah Evans, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. James Lawrie. Subs: 12. Craig Hobson, 14. Harry Cain, 15. Clayton McDonald, 16. Chris Lynch, 17. Shaun Densmore.
KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS (Purple shirts, white shorts and socks) 1. Sam Hornby, 2. Tyrone Williams, 3. Zaine Francis-Angol, 4. Ryan Croasdale, 5. Keith Lowe (capt), 6. Jordan Tunnicliffe, 7. Daniel Nti, 8. James McQuilkin, 9. Joe Ironside, 10. Elton Ngwatala, 11. Arthur Gnahoua. Subs: 12. Ashley Carter, 14. Emmanuel Sonupe, 15. Sam Austin, 16. Andre Brown, 17. Liam Truslove.
Mike Garnett has the pre-match historical record between the two clubs.
- At Altrincham: P24-W11-D5-L8-F34-A27
- Away: P26-W9-D7-L10-F27-A41
- All: P50-W20-D12-L18-F61-A68
On an overcast afternoon, Kidderminster kicked off towards the Carole Nash & Family (Hale) end. Inside the first minute, Angol saw his effort diverted to Tomlinson.
Alty were deploying Reeves up top with Evans on the right and Lawrie, likewise, behind the front man. Apart from when Tunnicliffe mis-passed to Evans, the visitors started the game well. Alty were drawn into fouls as, first, McWilliams was penalised against Nti and then Angol's fine run was halted by Richman's trip, 27 yards out.
From the latter offence, about 27 yards from goal, Harriers feigned confusion, as two players standing over the ball, deliberately ran into each other, before McQuilkin took advantage of the confusion to place a fine freekick into the top corner of Tomlinson's net, to his left. So, the visitors held an early lead (5 mins).
The Harriers were dominant over the next few minutes, before an incursion by Williams won a corner off McWilliams (9 mins). But Alty responded as Patterson gained his side a corner from Taylor's useful pass. The young midfielder was soon in action again as he halted an attack by Ngwatala.
Kidderminster continued to impress as Nti's dummy left three Alty defenders for dead but his shot hit another Alty man before Ngwatala skied his shot from the loose ball (12 mins). Alty remained on the defensive as Brownhill covered well against McQuilkin before Lawrie tripped Croasdale on the Kiddy left. From the freekick, a Lowe header was tipped over by Tomlinson but Alty were awarded a freekick anyway.
The Harriers were looking the best side to have visited the J Davidson Stadium for some months as Tomlinson just got enough on a punch to clear a cross.
Alty began to get a toehold in the game as Patterson won a corner (23 mins). Hornby was then fortunate to be awarded a freekick when Reeves blocked his clearance. The improvement continued as a Richman cross had to be cleared after a decent build-up on Alty's right.
When McWilliams lost the ball but made a good tackle to win back possession, he was penalised and harshly booked for the second successive game (30 mins).
With Evans stationed wide on the right, and Patterson getting up that flank, most Altrincham moves were coming from that side.
Next Ngwatala's 25 yarder cleared the bar, after a Williams advance (33 mins).
Altrincham's first serious threat of a goal produced an equalizer in the thirty-eighth minute. A fine long ball (from Patterson?) set Reeves running free at keeper Hornby and the Alty striker struck a fine, low shot past him from the edge of the box. It has been an unhappy season for the striker but this finish was an excellent one.
Buoyed by the goal, a good Alty move ended with a McWilliams cross but neither side seriously threatened to score again before the interval. With the first half inside its one added minute, Heathcote needed treatment following an aerial challenge and he hobbled off after attention to the area around the small of his back or hip.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1|
KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 1
During the interval, Heathcote emerged for a fitness test before taking to the field for the second half holding the base of his back. An excellent right-wing cross narrowly evaded the head of the diving Reeves after just 14 seconds.
But it was Kiddy who, as in the first half, dominated the opening stages of the half. After Tomlinson had beaten out a Gnahoua shot for a corner, the Alty keeper had to save a header on the line and, after a scramble, Alty were awarded a freekick (47 mins).
There was a narrow escape on 49 minutes when a Williams shot cannoned off the post from 20 yards as Tomlinson remained motionless. Next, Gnahoua won a corner on the right. From this, Tunnicliffe dodged clear of his marker, Heathcote, and got in a free header, which allowed Ironside to score from close range (51 mins).
Alty continued to struggle to get out of their own half before Gnahoua's shot deflected out for a corner (57 mins). Altrincham now made a change as Lynch replaced Heathcote (58 mins). Two minutes later, Kidderminster introduced Sonupe for Gnahoua (60 mins). Almost immediately, Sonupe screwed a shot poorly wide from Ironside's feed.
As in the first half, after a spell of Kidderminster dominance, Alty began to improve as a good Lawrie strike had to be held, low down, by Hornby (63 mins).
But the home side continued to look less than secure at the back as Nti was allowed to advance but he put in a poor shot which went well wide (68 mins). Nti was soon in space, again, but this time his shot was blocked. It was the former Worcester man's last involvement as he was replaced by Brown, whilst Alty brought on Cain for Lawrie (71 mins).
The Harriers threatened again as, from 20 yards, Ngwatala's shot went inches wide (74 mins). Then a Sonupe run was halted before an Angol cross, from the left, came out to Sonupe who crashed a fierce shot against the bar. The ball broke to the right of goal, from where fellow substitute Brown made it 3-1 to the visitors (77 mins).
After Reeves had earned a corner, Alty brought on Densmore in midfield for Evans (80 mins). A minute later, Kiddy's Truslove replaced Ngwatala.
Alty again failed to keep an eye on Sonupe who was allowed a free run at goal before his well-struck shot laid Brownhill low and flew out for a corner (85 mins). Soon after Taylor had headed clear a cross by McQuilkin, an Ironside shot from right of goal was stopped, low down, but not held by Tomlinson and Sonupe tapped home the visitors' fourth goal (86 mins).
Kiddy saw out the final stages without any alarms to leave Altrincham well beaten by an impressive performance from the league's second-placed team.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1|
KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 4