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Evo-Stik Premier Division match
played on Saturday, 14 October 2017, 3pm


After a goalless first half in which Altrincham played plenty of attractive football but lacked the tempo and incisiveness to unlock the Halesowen defence, they turned up the temperature after the break to ensure they went to the top of the table. It took them fewer than 45 seconds of the second half to make the breakthrough. Hancock netted the goal after good work on the right by Bembo and Richman.

Nine minutes later, when Jordan Hulme chased a 50-50 ball inside the box, he was tripped and John Johnston netted the resulting spot kick.

Josh Hancock played in James Poole to make it 3-0, in the 82nd minute. Halesowen could have scored twice in the second half but Thompson made two fine stops to keep a clean sheet.

It is the first time since September 2013 that Alty have been top of a league table.

REFEREE: Mr David Croft

Disney, Taylor and Amis had all missed recent games through injury.


ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 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. Sam SHERIDAN, 14. Tom PEERS, 15. Sean MILLER 16. Shaun DENSMORE, 17. James JONES.

HALESOWEN TOWN (Blue) 1. Daniel Platt, 2. Roland Agbor, 3. Kyle Morrison, 4. Oliver Finney, 5. Bradley Lewis, 6. Asa Charlton (c), 7. Mor Serigne Diop, 8. Jordan Goddard, 9. Dan Udoh, 10. John McAtee, 11. Jack Kelly. Subs 12. Marcus Poscha, 14. Jordan George Richards, 15. John Hill, 16. Thomas Parsons.


This was Altrincham's first ever match against Halesowen Town. The Robins started the game in second plac‎e whilst Halesowen Town, despite two successive wins, lay 21st.


The Yeltz (Halesowen) kicked off towards but inside the first minute, Johnston won Altrincham a corner on the right, which Hancock headed wide.

For the visitors, a Diop cross was deflected to Thompson but it had crossed the byline for a corner. From this, a Finney header deflected narrowly over the bar for another corner, which was followed by the visitors' third corner (3 mins).

After an Alty attacked faltered with Hancock's mis-pass, a Johnston shot from the right just cleared the bar (5 mins). End to end play continued with a Kelly cross which went across Alty's box.

And when a Hulme and Hancock interchange also faltered, a McAtee shot at the other end just cleared the bar from 20 yards.

Altrincham were enjoying some good possession but moves were being undone by mispasses. Indeed a move involving around 15 Alty touches ended in a Moult overhit pass (13 mins).

Alty were on top but the mispassing continued, Johnston, Moult, Bembo-Leta, Hancock all being guilty before a Hancock run fed Richman whose shot was blocked (26 mins).

In fact, it was Halesowen who got in the best shot of the game so far when McAtee forced a diving save, low down, from Tony Thompson (27 mins).

When Alty got a sight of goal, their aim was off target; a Poole snap shot flew very high over bar from a Hulme lay off and then another quickly taken effort from the same player went even higher over the bar from a Hulme pass in the box (32 mins).

Alty continued to play the ball around neatly but without the tempo to cause the visitors too many alarms. When Hancock was barged over outside the box, his freekick comfortably cleared the bar (35 mins).

Altrincham did threaten when Johnston won a corner on the right. This was half-cleared and prompted a melee in the box, in which Harrison fed Hancock, whose shot was blocked.

Another freekick came soon when Johnston was barged over but it was wasted by being taken too hastily and the Yeltz countered. However, Diop's shot went just wide from right of goal from McAtee's pass (38 mins).

A stoppage for treatment to Hannigan was followed by Hulme cutting in and shooting but his effort was saved comfortably (41 mins).

A good Altrincham move then ended with a Bembo-Leta ball from the right, across the box, which won a corner on the left. Platt mispunched this corner which led to a Hannigan cross from the right but Bembo-Leta headed this over the bar from five yards in a central position (43 mins).

After Goddard had fouled Johnston, Poole's freekick from 35 yards out, right of centre, yielded a corner on the left. In the first of two added minutes, Short was penalised just outside Alty's box.

McAtee's freekick cleared the bar, after which Charlton clattered Johnston near half way and was booked (45+2 mins).

It had been a disappointing first half for Alty. A lack of incisiveness and of sufficient tempo, combined with unforced errors, had left them with nothing to show for plenty of possession.


Alty kicked off towards Golf Road in bright sunshine and Hancock netted inside 45 seconds. The goal came after Bembo and then Richman had advanced up the right and Hulme had cleverly back-heeled the ball through to Hancock.

Next, Poole made space well but dragged his shot wide. Alty now had to make a change as Hannigan, who had required first-half treatment, came off and Densmore replaced him. As a consequence, Bembo moved to centre back and Densmore assumed the right back position (49 mins).

Alty maintained the pressure with a Poole shot which was deflected for a corner. With Alty still going forward, Hulme went towards the right of the box to chase a 50-50 ball and he was tripped on the edge of the penalty area. After some hesitation by the referee, possibly as he waited to see if a goal resulted, Mr. Croft pointed to the spot.

John Johnston calmly converted the spot-kick as Platt went the wrong way (54 mins).

Immediately the visitors withdrew Diop in favour of Poscha. In a rare incursion at the other end, a Udoh shot was blocked (56 mins).

At this stage the vast majority of Alty attacks were coming up the right. Just before the hour mark, Hancock controlled the ball well but his shot went wide.

There was more energy from Alty in this half as their attacks continued with Platt having to save a shot from the edge of the box. However, Halesowen almost got back into the game when Udoh got the better of Bembo but his low shot prompted a fine one-handed stop by Thompson, to the keeper's left (62 mins).

Johnston now gained a corner on the left, before a Hancock shot deflected for another corner. This was taken short, Johnston drifted along the byline and this led to a Hancock shot which flew inches over the bar. The pressure was maintained as Hulme won another corner on the right (64 mins).

But once again Altrincham lived dangerously at the back as Finney did well and beat Moult. Thompson beat out his shot to Udoh but the whistle went for an Alty freekick (65 mins).

Richards replaced Lewis for Halesowen (67 mins) after which Agbor fouled Short and was booked after protesting (68 mins).

Altrincham applied further pressure as a fierce shot by Densmore was beaten out by Platt and Hulme won a corner.

A Hancock 30 yarder cleared the roof of the Golf Road terrace and a couple of minutes later, Richman also fired over the bar (74 mins).

The half chances came and went as a Johnston shot went just wide and at this point, Miller came on for Johnston on the left wing (76 mins).

One of the best moves of the game almost produced a goal as Alty advanced up the right. A return pass to Densmore saw the right-back poke the ball past keeper Platt but the ball lacked sufficient power and a defender cleared (78 mins).

The one-way traffic continued as Short advanced and put a ball across the goalmouth. Alty finally scored a third goal when Hancock played in Poole who calmly beat the keeper to make it 3-0 (82 ins).

Now Peers came on for Hulme and Halesowen introduced Hill for Udoh, so Miller moved up top and Peers slotted in on the left.

A rasping 20 yarder by Poole was held by Platt at the second attempt (86 mins) before Miller hammered a ball across the box from the right.

Short won a corner during the three added minutes but there was no change to the 3-0 scoreline before the final whistle.

This had been a fine second-half performance after a slightly disappointing opening half. With Shaw Lane involved in the FA Cup this weekend, Altrincham moved to the top of the league on goal difference ahead of Warrington Town, whom we meet next Saturday.