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Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round replay
played on Tuesday, 5 September 2017, at 7.45pm


Just as in the original tie, in this replay Altrincham were unable to convert their dominance of possession and attacking momentum into a convincing scoreline but their much weakened side nevertheless won through to meet Shildon in the Second Qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup. Altrincham's starting eleven was without Poole, Harrison, Taylor, Amis, Richman, Miller and Disney. Although Poole and Harrison were on the bench, they took no part in the match.

As on Saturday in the original tie, John Johnston was Alty's stand-out attacking player and he netted both goals in this replay. His first came from just outside the box in the 24th minute and his second was another low shot from outside the box, which made it 2-0 in the 65th minute. But nine minutes later Abbey Hey got back into the game when a Freakes shot hit a defender and looped towards the goalmouth where Blake, unmarked, scored from close range past the otherwise barely employed Tim Deasy, who had been restored to the Alty goal tonight.

REFEREE: Mr Daniel Issawi

Following Saturday's 3-3 draw in Gorton, Alty had injury doubts over Laurence Taylor, Ben Harrison and James Poole who all failed to complete that game and none of them was fit to start tonight, though the latter two were named on the bench. John Disney, Simon Richman, Josh Amis and Sean Miller all missed out again through injury. Tim Deasy was restored in goal.



(Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks)
1. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Lewis SHORT, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Sam SHERIDAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Tom PEERS, 11. Josh HANCOCK Subs: 12. James POOLE, 14. Max HARROP, 15. Ben HARRISON, 16. Tom WESTALL, 17. Callum JONES, 20. Tony THOMPSON


(Blue and white)
1. Elliot Wynne, 2. Matt Cook, 3. Jack Tinning, 4. Lee Wilshaw, 5. Andrew Smith, 6. Adam Farrand, 7. Rob Swallow, 8. Sam Freakes, 9. George Noon, 10. Benito Lowe, 11. Ashford Blake. Subs: 12. Adam Hampshire, 14. Des Flanagan, 15. Paul Smith, 16. Djenny Bembo, 18. Rhys Webb, 17. Fabrice Bembo-Leta, 20. Jonathan McIlwaine.

BACKGROUND Prize money of £3,000 and an away tie at Shildon awaited tonight's winners of this First Qualifying Round replay in the Emirates FA Cup. On Saturday, Altrincham had allowed a three-goal lead to slip, which brought about this match.

This was Abbey Hey's first ever visit to Altrincham, after 13 games (12 of them friendlies) between the clubs at Goredale Avenue. The Gorton side plays in the Hallmark Security (NW Counties) League, Premier Division. In three previous away games this season they were unbeaten before tonight's kick off.


On a fine evening after a very wet morning, Alty kicked off towards the away end and after just 12 seconds Hulme turned well but fired a shot well wide from 20 yards. And shots off target were to be a recurrent theme of this match. Next it was Moult, who shot wide after a decent build up before a Hancock effort was deflected off target (5 mins). The first effort on target came from a cross from the left from which Hulme's header had to be well tipped away by keeper Wynne.

As Alty's early pressure continued, Johnston cut in from the left but fired over the bar (6 mins). The pattern continued as Alty dominated but then Moult fired over the bar from a Johnston feed. Alty were also to let themselves down in the first half with a series of petty fouls.

With Tim Deasy a spectator, a Johnston ball fell to Hancock whose goalbound shot was blocked as was the follow up which earned a corner that Short headed over the bar (13 mins). A couple of overhit passes and two more fouls conceded prevented Alty from converting their dominance of possession into anything more tangible (18 mins).

And when Johnston got to the byline, Hancock sliced a shot wide. Almost every attack was being channelled up the left through Johnston until Densmore got in a cross from the right which led to Sheridan having an effort blocked (21 mins). For the first time Deasy was called into action when he had to hold a cross from the right, low down, following a fine pass by Farrand.

Alty went close as a Hancock effort was tipped round the base of his right post, by Wynne, for a corner. Although this was cleared, the ball was soon played back in from the left to Johnston who, from the inside-left channel, drove home a low shot to give Alty a deserved lead (24 mins).

From the restart, Abbey Hey's Lowe delayed a shot at goal and the visitors' best opening of the game so far went begging (25 mins). Soon Alty were pressing again as Peers and Hulme linked in the box before a Sheridan shot was blocked . The same fate befell Sheridan moments later a fter a fine run from Johnston had got him to the byline. Next Johnston cut in from the left but spooned his shot well off target (28 mins).

After a clever turn by Sheridan, Hulme was halted in the box. When Johnston was upended the offender was fortunate to receive a lecture and not a yellow card (30 mins). A fine Short run yielded a corner, which came to nothing. At the back, Hannigan was playing well and, with his defensive colleagues, snuffed out any incipient danger from the visitors.

When the ball fell for Peers in the 37th minute, Wynne had to produce a fine save, low down. The same player saw Wynne foil him again after a Hannigan ball had allowed Hulme to lay off a pass to Peers. Following this, a Hulme cross almost produced an own goal before Wynne grabbed the loose ball (41 mins).

A good Altrincham move now ended with the ball hitting the Abbey Hey post, having seemingly come off Moult (43 mins). Another Johnston run and cross led to another corner after which Hancock spurned a great chance. A low Johnston cross, this time from the right, found Hancock in the goalmouth but he miscued the ball back towards the wing instead of into the net (44 mins).

So half-time arrived with Alty totally on top but the game far from settled due to wasteful shooting and resolute defending. For all their dominance Alty held only a slender lead.


Abbey made a change at the interval as Djenny Bembo came on for Lowe. Abbey started the half on the front foot, with a Tinning run into the box winning the vsiitors' first corner (48 mins). Johnston responded by winning Alty a corner and when Densmore was barged over as he was getting on the end of a pass, 20 yards out in a fairly central position, the referee once again failed to produce the yellow card that the offence suggested (53 mins).

Sheridan's excellent freekick was equally well tipped out for a corner by Wynne.

In the 58th minute, a Sheridan ball won a further corner, by Johnston, which bounced in the goalmouth before ending up as a goalkick. Om the hour mark, Harrop came on for Peers after which the lively Johnston's low cross flashed across the goalmouth.

Alty were dominating but Abbey were working hard as, next, Hancock lifted a shot over the bar. But when a ball was played out to the left to Johnston, he advanced and forced an excellent low shot into the near bottom corner of the net from 20 yards to double Alty's lead (64 mins).

On 68 minutes McIlwaine replaced Farrand for the visitors before Johnston saw his shot well saved by Wynne. Substitute Harrop soon saw a shot blocked by a defender before Abbey Hey scored a goal. A Freakes shot from the edge of the box hit someone and looped towards goal. Blake rushed in unmarked to poke the ball past the exposed Deasy and reduce Alty's lead to a single goal (74 mins).

With Alty supporters fearing a repeat of Saturday's collapse, Abbey Hey brought on Fabrice Bembo-Leta for Swallow (76 mins). The goal lifted the visitors but then Alty responded as a Johnston shot was deflected before a Hulme effort was saved (81 mins).

The referee finally produced a yellow card when Blake dived in for a tackle (81 mins) When Hulme won a corner, Abbey left three men upfield as they sought an equalizer, A foul on Moult led to Noon being booked for some unrelated reason (88 mins). With the game into the nervous nineties, Alty won a freekick against Freakes, 25 yards out. The irrepressible Johnston's freekick was only just tipped round the post for a corner (90 mins).

In added time, Hulme was booked for kicking the ball away at a freekick. There was a very late chance for Abbey Hey as a Djenny Bembo cross fed Freakes but his flick ran to Deasy.

Altrincham now saw out a game they had largely dominated but in which their weakened team had been unable to translate their possession and attacking thread into a larger margin of victory. They now travel to Shildon in the next round, just as they did at the same stage of the FA Cup in 2012.

The Club's best wishes go to Abbey Hey who gave Altrincham a good run for their money in both games and look set to have a good league season ahead of them.