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EvoStik Premier match
played on Saturday, 18 November, 2017, 3pm


Altrincham cruised into a 3-0 lead inside eleven minutes at Coles Lane but wasteful second-half finishing limited the visitors to only one more goal after the interval.

Hulme turned smartly to open the scoring in the second minute with a less than full-blooded shot which, nevertheless, beat the keeper. And he then won the ball which led to a corner from which James Jones headed in, after a knock-on, to make it 2-0 in the 9th minute.

Next, from Densmore's freekick from the wide right, 50 yards out, Moult headed home a third goal two minutes later.

Alty spurned several further chances in the second half with Hulme losing out on three occasions when put through on goal before he finally added a fourth, nine minutes from time from Johnston's feed. Late on the Royals hit the post and in the closing stages Thompson produced a fine block from close range as he was tested for the first time in the match.

REFEREE: Mr Robbie Dadley

Simon Richman was available before starting his three-match ban, but Josh Amis had gone on loan to Colne, where he has joined Sean Miller. Also unavailable were Laurence Taylor and Tom Hannigan, who were both with the Reserves today. In addition, John Disney and Lewis Short remained sidelined by injury, but Josh Hancock was fit after being rested on Tuesday night with a minor knock.

Joel Bembo-Leta moved to the bench as Shaun Densmore came in at right-back. For the Royals, Townsend (from Barwell) and Birch had returned to their former club to start today.


SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN (All blue) 1. Nicky Draper, 2. James Beresford, 3. Nathaniel Kelly, 4. James Haran, 5. Michael Townsend (c), 6. Matt Baker, 7. Tyler Little, 8. Reece Webb, 9. Danny O’Callaghan, 10. Aaron Birch, 11. Gurjit Singh. Subs: 12. Lewis Probert, 14. Harri Lovett, 15. Matt Walters, 16. Alex Perry, 17. Lee Smith

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 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. Tom PEERS, 14. Max HARROP, 15. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 16. Mason WALSH, 17. Sam SHERIDAN.


This was Altrincham's first ever visit to Sutton Coldfield Town, where there is an artificial pitch. At kick-off Altrincham led the EvoStik Premier, whilst the Royals occupied bottom place, as did their ground-share tenants Romulus in the division below.


It was dry and fairly bright as Alty kicked off on the Royals' 3G pitch. Inside two minutes, Hulme turned and scored from the edge of the box, his less than powerful shot nevertheless beating Draper to make it 1-0 to the visitors.

Following a good Harrison run, Alty won the game's first corner on the right. After a foul on Hancock on the edge of the box, his freekick struck the wall.

As Alty dominated, Hulme won the ball and, via Hancock, Alty won a corner, which James Jones headed into the net after the ball had been knocked on to him (9 mins). And 0-2 soon became 0-3 for Sutton Coldfield after Kelly had fouled Poole just inside the Royals' half, on Alty's right wing.

From Densmore's well-flighted freekick, Moult headed home (11 mins).

Following a few more uneventful minutes, the Royals' supporters' band struck up with La Cucaracha! Following his third foul on Harrison, Haran was fortunate only to be spoken to by the referee (21 mins).

When Hulme was played in, left of goal, Draper blocked well and moments later Alty spurned another chance when Hancock played in Poole who twisted smartly but shot wide when he should have hit the target (26 mins).

The hosts' first serious attack arrived on the half hour when Haran got the better of Jones up the right but his low cross was skied over the bar by O'Callaghan.

The Royals' improvement continued as Beresford's long throw earned the home side their first corner (33 mins).

When Haran put Jones on the floor, this latest in his litany of offences was only met with a lecture from the referee (36 mins).

Next, O'Callaghan's hooked shot looped well over the bar but, a couple of minutes afterwards, an impressive Poole clearance found Johnston who won a corner (39 mins). Hulme's header from the corner won his side another one.

Following another lively rendition of La Cucaracha from the supporters' band, an impressive curler from Poole just cleared the bar after a clever backheel by Harrison in the build-up (43 mins). As half time beckoned, Johnston struck an ambitious shot, from the right, into the side netting.

The Royals had improved in the latter part of the first half but Thompson had not yet been tested.


Altrincham started the second half brightly and after several abortive probes of the home defence, the ball was cleared off Hulme's toes for a corner after a trademark Johnston run. After this a Poole cross won another corner (52 mins).

From Poole's corner, Harrison had a clear header but he put it well off-target.

After a Hancock foul, 40 yards from his own goal, Beresford had a shot blocked before a counter-attack saw Hampson set Johnston running but he was halted. Next, a Johnston shot was only held at the second attempt before the injured Beresford had to be replaced by Walters (61 mins).

Now, a brilliant, raking Moult pass found Johnston, who fed Hulme in the box, but the ball got under his feet and was cleared. Soon, Hampson gained his team a corner and then Johnston got to the byline but clipped the ball to the keeper as Alty remained on top (64 mins).

Another two chances came and went as, firstly, Moult put Hulme through on goal but, again, the keeper won the duel, blocking well, and secondly Poole miskicked when inside the box (66 mins).

For Sutton Coldfield, a Walters 20 yarder went wide before Probert came on for Webb (68 mins). The Royals now got in another long shot, as Birch's effort flew just wide from 20 yards (69 mins).

The home side were now having a better spell without really threatening.

At the other end, Hulme was fed by Poole but, once again, the keeper emerged the victor of the one on one encounter (71 mins). However, Hulme's head did not drop and soon he did superbly to get past his man but his cross evaded his team-mates.

Now Perry came on for Townsend to complete the Royals' changes before Altrincham made their first substitution, which came just after Harrison had hammered a shot wide from a Johnston corner (75 mins). Walsh replaced Poole, so Hancock went to the no.10 role.

Alty's offside trap failed in the 80th minute, allowing Walters to get free and hit the post as he fired past the advancing Thompson (80 mins).

The visitors finally got their fourth goal a minute later. Johnston appeared to have been halted but then got the ball again and, from the right byline, he found Hulme, who netted with a low shot, his fifteenth goal of the season (81 mins).

The supporters' band played a few bars of the theme to the film Titanic, "Sinking fast", before resuming with more upbeat music. They certainly were far more entertaining than the customary unmelodic drums beaten inanely at certain other football grounds.

When Walsh was fouled, the referee finally booked Haran for his regular offending (86 mins). And, three minutes later, Walsh was again the victim as Baker became the match's second booking.

In the final minute, a Moult shot won a corner, which the same player was unable to turn into the net at the back post. In the first of three added minutes, Jones hobbled off and Bembo-Leta came on to maintain his record of never finishing on the losing side when Alty have finished a game with eleven men on the pitch.

The final minute of added time witnessed Thompson's first and last save of the game as he impressively blocked a close range shot from a right-wing cross.

So Altrincham had secured a comfortable win but with Shaw Lane also victorious they remain catchable by the Yorshiremen.