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Evo-Stik Premier Division match
played on Tuesday, 26 September 2017, 7.45pm


In a very one=sided match, an impressive Altrincham deservedly overcame a disappointing Hednesford side, despite the visitors being without last Saturday's outstanding player, Johnston as well as three long-term injured team mates.

Alty dominated from the kick off but keeper Wren and some wasted chances kept it goalless till the 33rd minute when Hancock made space and scored with a wellplaced low shot.

Six minutes later Hulme doubled the lead. The goal came when Poole played a ball left to Densmore then Hancock crossed and Poole found Hulme who netted from six yards.

The Pitmen improved a little in the second half but Alty reasserted themselves with a third goal when Hulme netted from 12 yards after the ball had been cleared off the line following an Alty corner.


Altrincham had Jones available after suspension but Disney, Miller and Taylor were all still missing. Harrison had recovered to start but Johnston was out injured.

The Pitmen had two loanees from Gloucester City making their debuts in the shape of Reece King and Edjidja Mbunga.


HEDNESFORD TOWN (White shirts, black shorts and socks) 1 James Wren, 2. Alex Melbourne, 3. Tyler Weir, 4. Ben Bailey, 5. James Mutton, 6. Reece King, 7. Callum Bullock, 8. Tom Thorley (c), 9. Danny Glover, 10. Edjidja Mbunga, 11. James Lawrie. Subs: 12. Tyler Lyttle, 14 Sam Oji 15. Conor Levingston, 16. Joe Fitzpatrick, 17. Richard Platt

ALTRINCHAM (Purple shirts and shorts, white socks) 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 3. Shaun DENSMORE, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Tom PEERS, 8. Sam SHERIDAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Lewis SHORT, 15. Josh AMIS, 16. James JONES, 20 Tim DEASY


Hednesford was the scene of a fateful trip for Altrincham on 5 February 2000. That season, Alty were just back in the Conference after a two-year absence and they arrived at Hednesford in a respectable 16th position, on the back of a remarkable run of 14 league matches without defeat. But just three of those games had been victories! In the Alty side that day was Kevin Ellison, still scoring for Morecambe in League Two. He is shown, right, during the game. But Alty lost heavily that day to the Pitmen, 5-0, and went on to win just three of the remaining 16 fixtures, culminating in relegation on the last day of that season.

The two sides, now both relegated, next met in a 1-1 draw in a pre-season friendly match, played on Tuesday, 2 August, 2005.

In 2013-14 the clubs were back in the same division (Conference North) and they met four times; twice in the regular league programme and then in a two-legged promotion play-off. In the home league match Alty lost 3-1 but drew 1-1 in the away fixture three months later.

In the play-off first leg, the game at Keys Park ended 2-2 before almost 2,000 spectators witnessed a 2-1 home win for Altrincham with the winner, ironically, netted by James Lawrie, now a Hednesford player.

Overall Mike Garnett confirms the statistical record as...


After Hednesford had kicked off, a Hancock cross went for a goalkick inside the first minute. James Lawrie showed no deference to former team mate Jake Moult as Alty started quite well (4 mins).

The visitors' bright start continued as Hancock turned and shot to win a corner after which Moult got his revenge as he flattened Lawrie in the Pitmen's box (5 mins).

A well struck Hancock 20 yarder was beaten out impressively by keeper Wren as Alty pressed forward and then a corner was won by Bembo, on the right, but it was taken poorly by Poole (8 mins). Alty remained on top as Bembo got to the byline then Sheridan's deflected shot just cleared the bar for a corner which Peers headed wide at the near post (9 mins).

After Peers had done well, Poole then fired over as the one-way traffic continued towards the Hednesford goal.

Next Moult fired well over the bar as Alty failed to convert their dominance into a goal (15 mins). Hancock now brought down Mbunga from behind and was booked (17 mins). Four minutes later, from a freekick, a Peers header looped to Wren after which Bembo-Leta fed Poole who fired over the bar from 20 yards.

The Pitmen continued to make unforced errors. Alty threatened again when Poole was played into the box, and was held, but he got in a shot which was blocked and play continued (24 mins). Alty were mainly using their left wing where Hancock was deployed.

In a rare foray, Mbunga went down under Bembo-Leta's challenge in the box but home appeals were in vain. On 28 minutes a Poole freekick led to a fine shot by Hulme which was saved and the ball was eventually halted on the goal line by Wren after Alty had miskicked from six yards. At the other end, Hednesford's first meaningful shot flew well wide.

At last Alty got the goal their dominance merited. Bembo fed Hancock, just outside the D of the penalty area. He made space well and placed a well struck, low shot into the keeper's bottom right hand corner, to make it 0-1 (33 mins).

An impressive Alty break saw Poole play the ball left to Densmore. Then Hancock crossed from the left to Poole who fed Hulme who scored from six yards to double the lead (39 mins).

Goalkeeper Thompson had been a spectator as Alty had dominated from the start. In midfield Sheridan was playing well but the whole team was playing with a good tempo and understanding.

Peers now squandered a great chance as he delayed his shot and keeper Wren again saved well then, from a cross, Peers skied another effort over the bar. Their keeper had kept Hednesford in the game so far; it could have been 5-0 without his saves.

Following a mistake by Mutton, Poole broke up the right but Hancock skied his cross over the bar. Half time arrived after as one sided a game as we have seen this season.


The first real action of the half saw a Hancock curler clear the bar (49 mins). But the Pitmen were showing a bit more intent this half without threatening the solid Alty defence.

After ten minutes they brought on Fitzpatrick for Bullock. After this a Peers shot won a corner on the right, taken by Poole. It took a brilliant reaction save from a Peers flicked header to keep the ball out following the corner (57 mins).

On 57 minutes Richman replaced Sheridan. a minute later Lawrie tried a snap volley and got it all wrong as the ball landed nearer the corner than the net.

Just before the hour mark, there were ironic cheers from home fans as a half-blocked shot ran to Thompson, their first shot on target if it could be called that.

Following a Peers foul 30 yards out on the Pitmen's left, the freekick landed at Mbunga's feet but was cleared. Briefly, Alty were letting the initiative slip a little.

After the impressive Bembo had been upended on the right, a poor freekick by Poole hit the first man defending it (64 mins). A Peers cross now won a corner on the right. Poole's corner from the right prompted a clearance off the line and Hulme put the rebound in the net from 12 yards to make it 0-3 (66 mins).

So Alty had reasserted selves after a slightly better spell by the Pitmen. But the home side's frustration showed as Lawrie clattered his former team-mate Richman and was rightly booked. The ex-Alty man was immediately substituted by Levington (69 mins).

Poor Richman was immediately fouled again, this time on the edge of the Pitmen's box. Hancock's freekick narrowly cleared the bar before he was replaced by Amis (71 mins). The sequence of poor challenges by Hednesford continued as Hannigan was clattered by Glover, who was booked (71 mins).

Alty now had Hulme on the left and Amis up top. But the fouls continued as Richman got his third piece of rough treatment in as many minutes, this time from Thorley (72 mins).

The visitors were again now in almost total control. Next, Poole fired over the bar after another Bembo-Leta advance. After a foul by Moult, Alty got to the other end where an impressive dribble by Hulme won his team a corner after Richman had got forward on the right. From the corner Richman skied his shot over the bar from 25 yards (76 mins).

Two Alty fouls by Richman and Densmore marked the start of several scrappy minutes in which Altrincham held their lead comfortably and Hednesford showed no real signs of getting even a consolation goal. Five minutes from time Lyttle came on for Mbunga. Alty won a late corner which came to nothing (89 mins).

After some three minutes of added time the whistle sounded to conclude a most impressive performance from an Alty side which had now reached the play-off places.

Hednesford had been very disappointing, never troubling Thompson in the Alty goal, whilst Altrincham had been very impressive, moving the ball about swiftly and accurately, especially in the first half. At the back they had looked solid whilst Bembo, Sheridan, Hulme and Hancock had particularly impressed in what was an excellent team performance.