ALTRINCHAM FC MATCH REPORTS
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ALTRINCHAM (0) 0 WREXHAM (1) 2
played on Tuesday, 25 July 2017, at 7.45pm
SUMMARYA strong Wrexham side proved too good for Altrincham who, nevertheless, gave a decent account of themselves. The home side won several corners in the opening stages but, at the other end, former Southport winger Rutherford was proving a threat. As the half-hour mark approached Wrexham began to assert themselves but when they took a 33rd minute lead their goal was a disappointing one for Altrincham to concede. Former FGR man Marcus Kelly was allowed to advance up the inside-left channel and his low shot seemed to go through keeper Thompson into the net.
In the build up to the goal, Alty suffered a further blow when John Johnston was seemingly fouled and afterwards had to hobble out of the game.
The second half was ten minutes old when Holroyd was allowed to head home a Kelly corner from the right to make it 2-0. Despite their deficit, Altrincham kept going but got few clear sights of goal. Jake Moult's 25 yarder which narrowly cleared the bar was probably their best effort.
- 33 mins: Marcus KELLY (ALTRINCHAM 1 Chester FC 0)
- 55 mins: Chris HOLROYD (ALTRINCHAM 3 Chester FC 2)
REFEREE: Mr Nick Storey
Following their reverse at Nantwich, Wrexham fielded a strong starting eleven against Altrincham, although Massanka and Mackreth were both sidelined by injury.
Altrincham were without Sheridan and Lynch, who were on holiday, Richman who was working abroad, Heathcote who has been released and the recovering Hannigan.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. John DISNEY 3. Kyle BROWNHILL, 4. Ben HARRISON, 5. James JONES, 6. Jake MOULT (capt), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Laurence TAYLOR, 9. Josh AMIS,10. James POOLE, 11. Jordan HULME. Subs: 12. Lewis SHORT, 14. Shaun DENSMORE, 15. Josh HANCOCK, 16. Jerome WRIGHT, 17. Tom PEERS, 18. Tomoli OMOTOLA, 20. Tim DEASY
WREXHAM (Yellow shirts and socks, red shorts): 1. Chris Dunn, 2. James Hurst, 3. Kevin Roberts, 4. Manny Smith, 5. Shaun Pearson, 6. Sam Wedgbury, 7. Paul Rutherford, 8. Mark Carrington, 9. Scott Boden, 10. Chris Holroyd, 11. Marcus Kelly. Subs: 17. Christian Dibble, 21. Akil Wright, 15. Olly Marx, 18. Leo Smith, 13. James Jennings, 16. Nial Freeman.
The clubs were in the same division two seasons ago, but Wrexham are now two rungs higher than Alty on the Non-League ladder.
On a sunny and a warm evening at the J Davidson Stadium, the first meaningful action came from right-winger Rutherford's cross which Alty cleared. Alty responded with a Poole ball which proved to be just too long for Johnston (3 mins).
For Southport right-winger Rutherford was proving an early threat to Alty and it now took a header over his own bar by Harrison, for a corner, to deal with his next cross. After this ex-Alty loanee and FGR midfielder Wedgbury got to the byline but overhit his cross from the right (5 mins).
Rutherford was at it again, three minutes later and this time his cross came to Holroyd whose effort narrowly cleared the bar.
Alty's first real threat came when a Johnston shot from the right was deflected into the side netting for the game's first corner (11 mins). The corner prompted a melee in Wrexham's box in which Harrison had an effort blocked before Amis volleyed the ball very high over the bar.
Another Alty corner soon followed, well taken by Poole from the right and that, in turn, produced a further flag-kick, this time from the left, by Johnston (13 mins).
When Wrexham cleared the corner, it led to impressive back-tracking back by Johnston to halt the Dragons' advance. Play had been fairly even so far. With the referee not answering Hulme's appeals for a foul on him, Alty got forward again and a Johnston cross generated another corner on Alty’s right as Alty were far from overawed (20 mins).
However, they were grateful when a Moult mis-pass to an opponent led to a good chance but Kelly skied it over the bar, from Boden's lay-off (22 mins).
"Move it quicker" shouted Phil Parkinson to his men but the next half-chance came the visitors' way as Holroyd got free but his low shot flew narrowly wide (27 mins).
This heralded a better spell from Wrexham, with Alty now struggling to get possession. But Alty defended capably, with Harrison excelling. However, the visitors' pressure got its reward but in slightly dubious circumstances. Johnston seemed to be fouled on the right touchline not far from halfway. But play was waved on and Alty stood off as Kelly advanced.
The former FGR man ran up the inside-left channel and his low shot seemed to deceive keeper Thompson at the near post to give Wrexham a 1-0 lead (33 mins).
The impression that Johnston had been fouled in the build-up was heightened by the winger's need for treatment and his having to leave the game, hobbling round the pitch to the dug-outs. He was replaced by Peers as a Smith foul on Poole gave Alty a freekick, some 35 yards out (37 mins).
Next, as an Alty incursion faltered, Rutherford went on an impressive run, with left-back Brownhill caught upfield. But the lively winger’s final pass was poor (39 mins).
Following a foul on Amis, Poole's 25-yarder cleared the bar (40 mins) as Alty got back into the game. As the interval beckoned, Brownhill gained a corner, which Moult took. This was half-cleared to Brownhill, whose shot ran to keeper Dunn (44 mins).
So Wrexham held a deserved half-time lead but Altrincham had given a good account of themselves and had only gone behind in questionable circumstances.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 WREXHAM 1|
At the break Deasy replaced Thompson in goal and Densmore came on at right-back for Disney. An impressive early run by Poole, despite being held by Wedgbury and fouled by another player without punishment, was halted (46 mins).
For the second half, Wrexham had also made changes as Rutherford and Hurst gave way to Jennings and Leo Smith.
For Alty, Poole was looking lively as the home team enjoyed a decent spell of possession. But ex-Alty man Jennings now did well, making space and seeing his shot deflect for a corner (53 mins). Another Wrexham corner by Kelly soon followed, from the right. This was headed home, unchallenged, by ex-Chester and Macclesfield striker Holroyd, to make it 2-0 (55 mins).
Alty heads did not drop and, next, a trademark Densmore overlap led to the right-back's cross but Wrexham cleared (57 mins). Next, Omotola replaced Amis and Jerome Wright came on for Brownhill, whilst Wrexham brought on Akil Wright for Roberts (59 mins).
After Jones had covered well for Alty, a long ball almost got Kelly in on goal but play was end to end now. In the 66th minute, each side made a change; Alty's Hancock came on for Hulme and Freeman for Wrexham's Holroyd
With fifteen minutes remaining, Rutherford returned to the fray and Marx also came on for Manny Smith and Boden (75 mins).
Taylor now had to cover well but Wrexham won a corner, after which a looping effort from Kelly hit the post with Deasy seemingly beaten (76 mins). Wrexham threatened again as Deasy had to make a save from a Wrexham shot.
Alty now brought Hulme back on to replace Poole (82 mins) as the hosts continued to show some spirit against a better side.
A corner won by Jennings came and went before Omotola won the ball off Pearson, who stayed down. After treatment the former Grimsby defender hobbled off leaving his side with ten men (86 mins).
Alty pressed for a goal but a Moult 25 yarder just cleared the bar (87 mins) but the Welshmen secured their first clean-sheet of the pre-season.
There was no shame in losing to a virtual first-team line-up from two levels above Altrincham in the footballing pyramid.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 WREXHAM 2|