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Evo-Stik League Premier North match
played on Tuesday, 15 August 2017, at 7.45pm


Despite playing for more than an hour with ten men after Hannigan had been dismissed in the 38th minute for a rash challenge which earned him a second yellow card, Altrincham battled to a deserved draw with a late penalty.

Nantwich had taken a 35th minute lead when they were allowed to advance up the left and Forbes headed home. As on Saturday, Alty won numerous corners but were unable to capitalise on any of them.

But the ten men battled hard after the break and earned a spotkick from Johnston's darting run into the left of the box. With Moult having been subbed, Johnston himself took the penalty and just about beat Spiess despite the keeper getting a hand to the ball (86 mins).

Some eleven minutes of added time were played following a late injury to Spiess, who had to be substituted.

REFEREE: Mr David Croft

Alty had the previously suspended James Poole back as well as former Dabber, John Disney, who had missed the game last Saturday through injury. But Sean Miller and Josh Amis remained sidelined by injury/illness. Tonight witnessed the debut for Alty's new all-purple away kit.

Tony Thompson made his debut in goal for Altrincham. Ex-Alty man Clayton McDonald was on Nantwich's bench tonight.



(All green)
1. Fabian Spiess, 2. Troy Bourne, 3. Jamie Morgan, 4. Joel Stair, 5. Tobias Mullarkey, 6. Sam Hall (c), 7. Casper Hughes, 8. Dave Forbes, 9. Harry Clayton, 10. Matt Bell, 11. Jordan Levi Davies. Subs: 12. Arnie Baxendale, 14. Clayton McDonald, 15. Kieran Evans, 16. Steve Jones, 17. Krystian Burzynski


(All purple)
1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. John DISNEY, 3. Lewis SHORT, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Shaun DENSMORE, 14. Laurence TAYLOR, 15. Tom PEERS, 16. Chris LYNCH, 17. Sam SHERIDAN


This fixture pitted Phil Parkinson and his backroom team against their former club and his new squad at Alty now includes seven ex-Dabbers, or loanees who had previously played for Nantwich, (Disney, Harrison, Short, Hancock, Harrop, Johnston and Peers), though Harrop was not included tonight. After their disappointing home defeat to Stafford in the opening match of the season, Altrincham were looking to get their first point(s) on the board.


Alty kicked off playing into the bright sun. But it was home keeper Spiess, who could not blame the sun, who made the first mistake as he spilt a Hulme shot but Short's subsequent effort went well over the bar (2 mins). In the fourth minute, Johnston won the first corner, after which Spiess fumbled the ball again.

Alty had started well but the next action was a Davies 30-yard rocket which had to be beaten out by Thompson (8 mins). When Hannigan fouled Clayton, he was booked a little harshly (11 mins). As on Saturday, Johnston was looking lively but as yet there was no end product.

The home side were improving and soon Thompson had to block a Morgan effort at the cost of a corner. Objects on the pitch, which it emerged were eggs thrown on by some spectators, were given to referee who stopped the game as players scrambled to pick the eggs up.

As on Saturday, Johnston changed his boots whilst the game was stopped. Some three minutes after it had been won, Nantwich took a corner, which Hannigan cleared (16 mins). But another egg was soon found and removed from the pitch.

Following a foul on Poole, Morgan was booked (23 mins). It was now quite an even game. A foul by Hancock in midfield was followed by a Nantwich foul on Hannigan, before Hancock turned and hit a good 25-yarder, which won another corner (29 mins). Next, from a Moult cross, a Harrison header was smartly tipped over bar for yet another flag-kick, after the ref had inadvertently got in the way of Nantwich in the build up.

Spiess, having come way out of goal to clear, now slipped over as his eccentric performance continued. But moments later, Nantwich were allowed to advance up the left and, from a cross, the ball was headed home by Forbes, in the goalmouth, to make it 1-0 (35 mins).

Alty responded as Johnston won another corner, which Hannigan headed over. Then, near halfway, Hannigan dived in, but missed his man and Moult was immediately scythed down by a Nantwich man. Hannigan was sent off as he saw a second yellow and the Nantwich offender was also cautioned (38 mins).

When Alty failed to clear another attack, Bell curled a shot into the net but the effort was disallowed (39 mins). Midfielder Moult was now in the back four to replace Hannigan as Alty found themselves under pressure. They survived a scare when Forbes got clear but he shot at Thompson (43 mins).

Four added minutes were played and, in the third of these, Richman was penalised for handball and was booked for dissent. So, Alty with ten men trailed 1-0, after starting well, winning numerous corners but again failing to find their goal touch.


For the second half, Taylor replaced Hancock for Alty. Despite their team's adverse position on the pitch, the visiting supporters were still singing. Although the Dabbers fired over the bar from 25 yards they did not threaten to add to their lead at this stage as Alty worked hard to stay in the game.

After a fairly quiet first half, Poole was becoming more of an influence and he was disappointed to see Hulme unable to make telling use of his feed which got him into the goalmouth (53 mins). But, then, the Dabbers got free up their right. However, their shot flew wide across the face of goal (63 mins). Midway through the half, Alty brought on forward Tom Peers for captain Jake Moult as the Robins moved to a back three (66 mins).

The offensive change was soon having an effect as, quickly, a corner was won by Johnston but it was headed wide by Disney. However, a foul by Johnston then gave Hughes a freekick 35 yards from his own goal.

Next. a good Peers run drew a professional foul and Stair was booked for the offence (70 mins). Following a Johnston and Davies spat, the Alty man received a lecture from the ref who was soon busy again, booking Hall for tripping Taylor after some smart work from the Alty midfielder (72 mins).

The ten men were more than holding their own and began to apply some more sustained pressure on the home defence. Peers was now put clear but a great covering tackle by Stair conceded a corner. Following an appeal for handball from the corner, Spiess made a save (76 mins).

The Dabbers now brought on former Alty centre-back Clayton McDonald for Forbes. He immediately got on the end of a corner but an Alty freekick was awarded. McDonald was to spend much of the game on the Nantwich left.

After a foul on Poole, Spiess punched the freekick well clear and Hulme headed a follow up cross over the bar (81 mins). For the third time in the game Spiess then failed to hold a shot, this time a well-struck effort from Poole as Alty now had the Dabbers on the back foot (84 mins). The visitors got their reward when Johnston darted into the side of the box from the left and was brought down to win a spot-kick.

With Jake Moult having been subbed, Johnston himself took the ball and netted the penalty, though keeper Spiess got his hands to a less than full-powered spot-kick (86 mins).

A Nantwich corner was won before Alty took striker Hulme off and added Lynch to the back line (87 mins). Two minutes later, a superb Poole freekick led to Spiess staying down as he collided with an Alty man as both went for the ball in the air. A stretcher was soon on the scene but, after some four minutes of treatment, the keeper was able to walk off holding his shoulder and Burzynski replaced him between the posts (90+3 mins).

The referee held up eight fingers to signal the remaining time before the veteran Jones replaced Davies for the Dabbers (90+5 mins). When the influential Poole was brought down on the left, the offender was booked (90+7 mins). There was still plenty of time for Johnston to win another corner which the new keeper punched away (90+9 mins). And when the final whistle sounded, Altrincham had deserved their point for a battling ten-man display (90+11 mins).