ALTRINCHAM FC MATCH REPORTS


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ALTRINCHAM (1) 1
BUXTON (1) 1

EvoStik Premier Division match
played on Saturday, 4 November 2017, 3pm


SUMMARY

A draw was probably a fair outcome to an entertaining game which both sides had chances to win. After two early goals in this match, the only surprise was that none of a series of chances for both sides was converted later in the game.

Buxton took a second minute lead when, just after a fine save from Thompson, the ball came out to Hinsley who fired home from 20 yards. But Alty levelled in the eighth minute when Hancock headed home after good work from Joel Bembo-Leta in nodding a Johnston freekick back into the goalmouth.

Thompson pulled off several fine saves and Buxton had to clear a Hulme effort off the line, as play went from end to end in the second half. Despite late pressure from the home side, the game ended with the Bucks' first draw of the league campaign and an end to Alty's run of eight successive league home wins. But the Robins remain top of the league table.


SCORERS:
REFEREE: Mr Matt Corlett
ATTENDANCE: 974
TEAM NEWS

Yet again, Altrincham were below full strength as, in addition to nunerous injuries, they went into this match without the suspended Simon Richman and Jake Moult. The injured list included John Disney, Tom Hannigan and Lewis Short, whilst those recovering from injury lay-offs were Sean Miller (currently on loan at Colne), Tolani Omotola (on loan at Loughborough Dynamo) and Josh Amis (playing fpr the reserves). On the positive side, new loan signing Connor Hampson, from Stockport County, started at left-back.

Former Alty players in Buxton's side were Greg Young and Andy McWilliams. Greg, Buxton's captain, was sent off in midweek but his suspension had not yet started.

LINE-UPS:

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Laurence TAYLOR, 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE (c), 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Mason WALSH, 14. Shaun DENSMORE, 15. Tom PEERS, 16. Sam SHERIDAN, 20. Tim DEASY

BUXTON (All blue with white sleeves): 1. Jan Budtz, 2. Jake Williams, 3. Andy McWilliams, 4. Joe Maguire, 5. Kern Miller, 6. Greg Young (c), 7. Joe McGee, 8. Greg Abbott, 9. Ant Wilson, 10. Liam Hardy, 11. Luke Hinsley. Subs: 12. Curtis Morrison, 14. Sam Smith, 15. Josh Meade, 20. Arron Jameson


BACKGROUND

Mike Garnett's records provide the historical record of games between our clubs...


REPORT

Wearing their special "poppy" shirts for next week's Remembrance Day, Altrincham defended the Golf Road end as the Bucks kicked off on a dry afternoon at the J. Davidson Stadium which was accommodating an excellent gate approaching 1,000. The absences of Richman and Moult meant that Alty deployed an unfamiliar central midfield of Taylor and Harrop, the former returning after injury and the latter more accustomed to a more forward role.

Alty debutant, Hampson, won his side an early corner on the left but Johnston's kick went to keeper Budtz. Play switched ends and Thompson had to make a flying save to keep put a Buxton shot only for the ball to come to Hinsley, just outside the penalty area. he rifled a low shot into Thompson's right-hand corner to shock the Robins as they fell behind inside two minutes of the match.

Captain for the day, James Poole then poked a shot narrowly wide from a Johnston feed but Alty's shaky start continued as Hancock, Johnston and Bembo-Leta each lost possession in quick succession to a hardworking Buxton side (6 mins).

But things improved as a Johnston cross was followed by a Hancock shot which hit a defender, before Harrop got forward and was brought down towards the left corner flag. A deep Johnston freekick was nodded back across goal from beyond the back post by Bembo-Leta and Hancock headed home from close range to level the scores. Just as Alty had had a case for the ball going out of play before Buxton's opener, so too did the visitors claim that Bembo-Leta's header had been from over the byline (8 mins).

Alty's unfamiliar backline then got in a tangle when Jones left the ball for Thompson who, likewise, left it for his central defender but Alty survived the mix-up. Altrincham began to improve with Johnston now seeing the ball regularly and when a sweeping diagonal ball from Harrop found Johnston on the left, his shot prompted a handball appeal, which went unheeded by the referee (12 mins).

Altrincham threatened again when Hulme almost played in Johnston but the ball reached the keeper first (17 mins). Buxton responded as a McGee shot won a corner and this allowed Maguire a free header which he put very wide of the target. Following Harrop's interception of the ball, Poole was tripped, 25 yards out, in a central position. But Poole struck the freekick over the bar. Buxton now won the game's second corner through Hinsley's deflected shot, following which the Bucks blasted a shot well over the bar (23 mins).

After treatment to Jones's right leg following a strong challenge, Alty were opened up on the Buxton right as McGee got past Hampson, but Harrison cleared calmly at the second attempt (27 mins). When Jones fouled Hardy on the front left of the penalty box, it needed a superb one-handed tip, over the bar, by Thompson from Abbott's freekick as it arrowed towards the keeper's top left-hand corner of the net (30 mins).

Next, Hinsley went down but there was no penalty awarded, despite the visitors' appeals as Alty remained shaky at the back today.

Further forward, after Hardy had fouled Poole, the freekick was wasted before Thompson was called into action again, this time saving well from McGee after Hardy had cleverly chested the ball forward (33 mins). A Jones foul, 25 yards from his own goal, allowed ex-Alty left-back McWilliams a freekick, which hit Hampson.

Buxton threatened again as a Taylor foul, near the touchline on the Buxton left, saw Hardy nod on Abbott's freekick but the ball drifted just wide as the visitors looked the more threatening (36 mins)>.

However, the hosts improved as a Poole ball proved just too long for Hulme after a good advance by Bembo-Leta and, then, after Harrop had been fouled, a Hancock shot had to be saved as did a Hulme effort, following a superb Harrop crossfield ball to Hampson (39 mins).

For the second time in a five-minute spell, Taylor shot very wide from 20 yards but Alty came closer as the interval approached. A Johnston run was halted but the ball came out to Harrop who struck an excellent volley from 35 yards which dropped narrowly wide of goal (44 mins).

In added time, a Bembo foul earned him lecture. From the resulting freekick, Wilson's looping header from left of goal dropped over Thompson and into the far corner of the net. Wilson wheeled away celebrating but after a significant pause, the referee disallowed the goal as the linesman's flag had been raised for offside.

So, half-time arrived with Buxton good value for the 1-1 score and Alty's Thompson had been the busier keeper.


Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1
BUXTON 1

After Alty had kicked off towards the Golf Road end, Buxton won an unproductive corner (47 mins) and two minutes later, a Hinsley cross earned the Bucks another corner. After Young had illegally blocked a Thompson clearance, the ex-Alty defender needed treatment for his pains (50 mins).

Altrincham now began to get forward, as both Bembo and Harrison saw their advances halted before a Hampson cross ended in the keeper's arms.

Following a Johnston cross to keeper Budtz, Harrop was booked for a foul on Williams. A nod down from the freekick fell to Hinsley but he lifted his shot well over the bar (56 mins). Alty's final balls continued to fail as, first, Hulme failed to gather a perceptive Taylor pass before Poole started a promising move which ended with Johnston's mis-pass.

Buxton further increased their lead in the corner count, on the hour mark but a foul on Thompson earned a booking, presumably for Young (61 mins).

Next, a great Hulme dribble was undone by a mis-pass inside the box before a rasping, low cross from Hampson, who had a promising debut, won Altrincham a corner on their right (63 mins).

Disaster almost struck on 65 minutes when Jones missed a through ball but Thompson blocked well from Hardy in a one-on-one situation. Chances came and went at both ends as a Hinsley 20-yarder flew just wide before Johnston, left of goal, fired over bar from left after Hulme had again done well.

Alty almost took the lead in the 68th minute when Johnston beat his man on the Alty right and Hulme's effort beat the keeper but was cleared off the line by Young for a corner. from this, a Bembo header just cleared the bar and the Alty left-back was soon instrumental in winning a freekick.

Alty enjoyed a good spell now as, next, a Hampson 25 yarder was diverted for a corner. Play switched end as a Buxton shot was blocked before Wilson caught Thompson as the keeper collected an aerial ball. Soon, Poole won two corners in a row before a long ball found Wilson in the clear. But the Buxton striker elected to shoot from the right, more than 30 yards out, rather than advance on goal, and Thompson saved comfortably (75 mins).

A good Poole shot was then saved before Wilson barged through Hampson and won another corner, which was soon followed by another (79 mins). The visitors continued to threaten as a Wilson shot flew across goal and won a corner (82 mins). Play switched again as a good Hampson cross found no one in the goalmouth to convert it.

Buxton survived when Budtz missed a Poole freekick and then referee Corlett annoyed Alty as he awarded them a freekick as they broke up the left and had possession (89 mins). Budtz fumbled the freekick out for a corner before three added minutes commenced.

Peers was penalised for dissent (90+1 mins) before a strong handball appeal for a penalty went unheeded and only a corner resulted.

So, Alty's run of eight successive home league wins ended and Buxton secured their first draw in 18 league matches! The visitors had well deserved their point and, but for Thompson, Altrincham might have emerged with nothing. The many changes to the side occasioned by injury and suspension did not help the home cause.


Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1
BUXTON 1