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Evo-Stik Premier Division match
played on Saturday, 21 October 2017, 3pm


On an afternoon when the squally wind and heavy rain were the only winners, Altrincham were unable to convert their general superiority into a goal at Cantilever Park. But, with Shaw Lane also drawing, Alty remained top of the table on goal difference.

REFEREE: Mr Dale Baines

Disney, Taylor, Hannigan and Amis were all injured and Miller and Sheridan were also not in the squad. However, Mason Walsh was included in the squad after his midweek debut as a used substitute against Ashton United in the Integro Cup. Jones started in place of Hannigan in the only change to the starting eleven from the last league match, against Halesowen Town.


WARRINGTON TOWN (Blue) 1. Tony McMillan, 2. Liam Goulding, 3. Rory McKeown, 4. Evan Gumbs, 5. James McCarten (c), 6. Jack Higgins, 7. Josh Hine, 8. Caleb Richards, 9. Jamie McDonald, 10. Sean Williams, 11. Abou Sanogo. Subs 12. Adam Carden, 14. Scott Bakkor, 15. Connor Hughes, 16. Gerard Kinsella, 17. James Barrigan`

ALTRINCHAM (All purple) 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 3. Lewis SHORT, 4. James JONES, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Tom PEERS, 15 Shaun DENSMORE, 16. Mason WALSH, 20. Tim DEASY


This was Altrincham's first competitive match at Cantilever Park. Mike Garnett's records showed that all five of the previous encounters between the two clubs had been at Moss Lane, in the Cheshire Senior Cup.


In squally wind and rain Warrington Town kicked off and soon Alty had a freekick from Goulding's hold on Hancock (2 mins). Two minutes later, the same player was penalised for handball. So, not surprisngly, the game had got off to a scrappy start in the difficult conditions, with a Moult foul near halfway being the next interruption to play.

Curiously, there was virtually no action at all on the Alty left before Poole was fouled 25 yards from goal. Goalkeeper McMillan was almost caught out but beat Poole's freekick away for a corner. This was taken short and badly wasted (9 mins).

On the contrary, Warrington won a corner on their right and they brought up all their big men to stand in a crowd almost on the line for an inswinger. The goalmouth jostling led to Thompson being lectured before Altrincham cleared the corner when it was finally taken (11 mins).

Five minutes later another Town corner arrived and, once again, Warrington grouped their big players under the bar but Thompson caught the ball well. When Hine won his side's third corner, Richman sliced his clearance which prompted the ball to be pinged around the box till Thompson gathered it (19 mins).

Bembo-Leta was then flattened 40 yards out and the freekick prompted a decent spell from Alty in the gusty wind and rain. On 24 minutes Short's cross came off Higgins for a corner. This was taken by Poole and was cleared. Warrington were taking no prisoners and, next Higgins's forearm brought Hulme down but the referee, an graduate of the school of officialdom which lets things go in the first half before tightening up after the interval, showed no card.

Alty continued to see more of the ball before former Northwich Vics' man Sanogo had a shot pushed round the post for a corner after a good build-up on their left. Next, a foul by Gumbs earned him a lecture, before Sean Williams fouled his former team-mate, Jake Moult (31 mins).

From a Hulme cross, a corner resulted but it was headed clear. But at the other end, Thompson kicked clear, but too short and, as a consequence, a corner was won by Town with them positioning the usual mass of bodies in the goalmouth for it (33 mins).

Another Williams foul went unpunished but was immediately followed by Hine's two-footed challenge which upended Short. The first surprise was that Hine was not booked; the second was that referee had not even given a foul when play resumed after Short had recovered. The Alty left-back was to spend the remainder of the game limping and it was surprising that Densmore did not come on to replace him,.

The clatterings continued as Gumbs flattened Johnston and finally Mr Baines managed to locate his yellow card (35 mins). Poole's freekick evaded everyone in the box.

Warrington themselves threatened after 41 minutes when Hine's low cross from the right was scooped narrowly over the bar by McDonald. As the interval approached the sky was darkening and the rain intensifying and, now, a Sanogo low shot ran to Thompson (44 mins).

Following a Poole mis-pass, Jones was penalised after his header had cleared the ball for Altrincham.

Altrincham had been the better side but conditions which were already difficult, were to worsen over the half-time interval as the rain became torrential.


The second half began scrappily before Jones advanced and Hancock got into the box but then lost the ball (51 mins). Poole continued to have difficulty finding his range in the swirling wind as he again overhit a pass out of play for a goalkick.

And Alty continued to be wasteful at freekicks as another, for a foul on Short by Richards, came to nothing. The visitors were having the better of the game without creating clear openings. When Goulding handled the ball, 40 yards out, Poole again overhit the freekick for a goalkick (56 mins).

As the rain poured down the ball slipped out of Short's hands at a throw in. Despite the poor conditions and less than enthralling action on the pitch, the large numbers of Altrincham fans expressed their vocal support.

Next, Hulme played in Richman but McMillan blocked his shot well for a corner. After this Poole was fouled near halfway and Hancock was then tripped, 35 yards out. This time, Johnston overhit the freekick to McMillan (62 mins).

Warrington introduced Kinsella for Richards on 64 minutes, after which Alty's best move of the game came up the right but Poole's shot went straight to McMillan, from Richman's overlap (65 mins).

Alty were the better side this half with Richman and Jones impressing, but Warrington were keeping the normally irrepressible Johnston fairly quiet. Short then had to cover a counter-attack smartly, after a fine ball forward by Kinsella.

Hulme was then booked for a foul for which the referee would not have produced his notebook in the first half (69 mins). After Poole had overhit a pass out for a goalkick, a Johnston cross went to the keeper.

When Johnston then got free on the right he was brought to earth by Higgins, who was booked (73 mins). Next Warrington brought on Bakkor for Sanogo (74 mins). The booked Higgins now fouled Hulme on the right but Poole's freekick was cleared (77 mins).

With Short still limping and rain continuing to pour down, play was halted for a foot-up offence by Town against Poole. Johnston's freekick did not clear the first defender as Alty's disappointing delivery of dead-balls continued.

Altrincham now changed both wingers as, first debutant Mason Walsh came on for Hancock on the left (81 mins) before Harrop replaced Johnston on the right wing (83 mins).

The freekicks continued as, now, McKeown felled Harrop but yet again the freekick was disappointing as it went to McMillan (85 mins). After Short had been penalised for foot-up, Harrop won a corner, followed by a Harrison shot which Mc‎Millan saved (88 mins). Harrison was soon active at the other end as he covered a rare Jones error, whilst some idiot threw smoke bombs on to the edge of the pitch.

Town won a late corner off Bembo (89 mins) before Warrington made an added time substitution with McDonald taken off and Hughes brought on. In the second of three added minutes, Hine lifted a shot over the bar before Jones fouled Hughes and was booked.

The final minute saw Alty appeal to no avail for a penalty for hands in the box by Williams.

So, ultimately, Altrincham could not convert their superiority into a goal with the poor weather being largely, if not entirely, to blame. But a point was probably a fair outcome as, despite their relative lack of possession, Warrington arguably had the better goalscoring chances of the game.