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Evo-Stik League Premier North match
played on Tuesday, 22 August 2017, at 7.45pm


Altrincham secured their first win of the season at the fourth attempt with this victory over Whitby, which should have been more comfortable than it proved to be. The Robins started the game well but failed to convert several half-chances before a fine advance up the wing by makeshift right-back Simon Richman led to his well-struck shot being beaten out, only for Josh Hancock to score with a firm shot from 15 yards or so. It was Alty's first goal from open play in more than five hours of football.

Though the home side continued to have the better of the game, they continued to show a less than clinical approach in front of goal and were subjected to a tense four minutes of added time by Whitby. But Alty can be pleased, not only with their first win but also their first clean sheet of the campaign.

On a night when the bottom four all won, Alty have moved up to 19th.

REFEREE: Mr Alan Bennett

Alty were again without strikers Sean Miller (injured) and John Amis (recuperating), whilst centre-back Tom Hannigan was suspended and full-back John Disney was not fit to start. Fellow defender Shaun Densmore was absent at a wedding in the USA whilst another defender Chris Lynch had left the Club this week. So manager Phil Parkinson's selection options were fairly limited, though assisted by the sigining of ex-TNS centre-back James Jones on the eve of the game.

Johnston moved to the bench and Peers started at no.7, allowing Hulme to return to the starting eleven as the main striker. Simon Richman continued at right-back after a solid performance in that role at Matlock on Saturday. Max Harrop returned to the squad, on the bench.



(Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks)
1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Simon RICHMAN, 3. Lewis SHORT, 4. James JONES, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Tom PEERS, 8. Laurence TAYLOR, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. John JOHNSTON, 14. Sam SHERIDAN, 15. John DISNEY, 16. Max HARROP, 20. Tim DEASY


1. Shane Bland, 2. Callum Martin, 3. Dan McWilliams, 4. Andrew May, 5. Luke Bythway, 6. Steve Snaith (c), 7. Andy Monkhouse, 8. Adam Gell, 9. Dave Carson, 10. Matthew Tymon, 11. James Risbrough. Subs: 12. Mike Roberts, 14. Anthony Hulme, 15. Niall McGoldrick, 16. Kyle Fryatt, 17. Kieran Weledji.


Mike Garnett reminds us of the historical record of matches between Alty and Whitby Town. After ten encounters, Whitby have yet to defeat Altrincham.


On a warm but dull evening, Alty attacked the away end after Whitby had kicked off. Alty won the game's first corner in the third minute when a Moult long ball located Peers who won the flag-kick.

Alty's bright start next saw Poole almost play in Hulme before Taylor won another corner on the left. But as in the previous three games, the winning of numerous corners was not leading to a serious goal threat. The first shot of note came from twenty yards by Peers but his left-footer went just wide (7 mins). After Monkhouse had brought down Poole, the victim's freekick was cleared, and two more fouls followed, the first a rugby tackle on Moult by Tymon (10 mins).

But against the run of play it was Whitby came to the nearest to scoring at this stage when Richman had to clear a Tymon shot off the line from right of goal, with Thompson beaten (15 mins).

Whitby were now starting to enjoy a better spell after early Alty dominance. The visitors seemed keen to get Martin running up the right but Short and his team-mates defended capably. And the visitors threatened again when an initial firm tackle by Richman failed to halt Gell and he was upended by Peers. From the freekick, just outside the box, Thompson had to dive full-length to beat the ball away (26 mins). As in previous games, there had been plenty of Alty pressure but their opponents had gone closer to scoring, twice.

But then Alty put together their most incisive move so far as Poole played in Peers and his rising drive hit the back of the net but he was deemed offside; Peers suffered the same fate on Saturday at Matlock (29 mins).

Two minutes after the five-hour mark had been passed without an Alty goal from open play, the jinx was broken. Richman advanced impressively up the right and with Peers he got to the byline before his well-struck shot was beaten out by Bland. The ball came to Hancock, left of goal and from about 15 yards he drove the ball into the net to make it 1-0 (32 mins).

The goal lifted Alty and Whitby looked rattled. A tremendous 40 yard run into the box by Hancock deserved a goal but his shot was saved (34 mins). Then Hancock missed an easier chance, putting the ball wide from a Hulme feed with only keeper Bland to beat (35 mins). Next, Hulme was unable to take full advantage of a Bythway error as Whitby looked shaky at the back now.

However, a Richman foul now earned him his third booking of the season (38 mins). Alty continued to threaten as a Peers 20 yarder had to be pushed round Bland's post for a corner (39 mins). Then a Harrison header had to be blocked after a wild cross by Moult had accidentally turned into a good pass to the left wing.

In the 42nd minute, Whitby should have equalised as Risbrough headed badly wide at the back post. Alty responded with yet another corner, which Harrison misheaded to the keeper. When Hancock was fouled, the visitors' captain, Snaith, was booked (44 mins). In the first added minute Poole curled a shot just over the bar as Alty completed a half which they had largely dominated without converting their endeavour into a more handsome lead.


In light rain, Alty kicked off towards Golf Road and Short soon won his side another corner, which Harrison headed over the bar (47 mins). At the other end, Carson made room well but fired over the bar from the edge of Alty’s box. Good play by Hulme now got him into the box but the ball was diverted for a corner. After this, Poole's fine run into the box was undone by a poor shot across goal (50 mins).

Five minutes later, Poole prompted Alty to win a further corner before Whitby's May overhit a back pass and Bland had to concede yet another corner (56 mins). Alty must have won about forty corners already this season but failed to make the most of them. And they kept coming as now Hulme won one after Short had got forward (59 mins).

Alty were not making their superiority tell and they got a reminder from Whitby that they could be punished when Carson chipped an effort over the bar after Alty had failed to clear the ball (63 mins). When Poole miskicked in front of goal, it was another half-chance that had gone begging (64 mins).

Whitby's Gell now won Whitby a rare corner, off Short's block. This was headed out by Jones for another corner from which Alty were lucky as a Whitby man poked the ball wide (66 mins). Midway through the half, Johnston replaced Hulme, just after Thompson had kicked straight into touch (67 mins). Johnston was deployed as a straight replacement for Hulme up front. Moments after, Thompson again kicked into touch from a freekick.

Altrincham gained another corner before Weledji replaced Gell for Town (72 mins). Now, Johnson got to the byline but Hancock miskicked in front of goal as another good chance went unconverted (73 mins). For Town, a Gell shot forced a save but Thompson could only push the ball into the goalmouth. As a Whitby man went forward he seemed to be brought down but Mr. Bennett waved away strong penalty appeals to Alty's relief (74 mins).

Alty's profligacy in front of goal continued with a wild Poole shot which flew over the bar. He redeemed himself by prompting Johnston to win a corner, which Jones headed just wide (76 mins).

Alty cleared a Whitby freekick before Alty withdrew Poole in favour of Sheridan as Whitby brought on Roberts for Tymon (82 mins). Moments later, a fine 25 yarder by Sheridan had to be pushed away by keeper Bland.

The visitors made a final change when Risbrough gave way to Hume (87 mins). So Alty faced a tense ending to a game they should have had wrapped up. Once again Thompson kicked into touch before Whitby won a corner. As four added minutes were proclaimed, a cross went low across the Alty box. Then, when Alty had been caught offside, Johnston got himself booked needlessly for picking up the ball which had been placed for the freekick (90+1 mins).

From a retaken Whitby freekick from their right, Thompson's fingertips conceded a late corner for which his counterpart, Bland, came into the Alty box. Though the ball fell to Monkhouse, he could not turn it home at the back post (90+3 mins). But Alty got to the final whistle with their first win and clean sheet intact on a night when all four of the bottom placed clubs won their matches. They moved up to 19th ahead of the visit of Coalville Town.

Encouraging and entertaining though this win undoubtedly was, it is still of some concern that chances are not being taken and that periods of dominance are not being converted into goals. But Rome was not built in a day...