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Buildbase FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round match
played on Saturday, 25 November, 2017, 3pm


Altrincham progressed to the First Round Proper of the Buildbase FA Trophy thanks to two early goals at the Impact Arena.

Without the injured Jones, Short and Disney, Altrincham took a seventh minute lead when Hulme's clever back heel led to Johnston's low cross from the right, which Marcus Marshall could only turn into his own net as Hancock waited to convert the chance behind the defender.

Alty's second was a Johnston penalty, awarded after the referee judged Hulme's ball to have struck an Alfreton hand.

Alfreton made three substitutions early in the second half and looked a better side as a result. Alty keeper Thompson made a couple of excellent stops and Westcarr hit the post but the visitors were also a threat themselves, with Johnston striking the upright in the closing stages.

But Altrincham were good value for their win.

REFEREE: Mr Ricky Wootton

Simon Richman started his three-match suspension today and also unavailable were Josh Amis and Sean Miller (on loan at Colne). John Disney remained injured and both James Jones and Lewis Short were missing, through injury. Both Laurence Taylor and Tom Hannigan played for the reserves last week and the latter started today.

Harrop came in to replace the suspended Richman in central midfield.


ALFRETON TOWN (Red) 1. Chris Elliott, 2. Marcus Marshall, 3. Cieron Keane, 4. Kegan Etherington, 5. Luke Shiels, 6. Tom Allan, 7. Tom Platt, 8. Craig Disley (c), 9. Craig Westcarr, 10. Brody Robertson, 11. Brendon Daniels. Subs: 12. Ryan ennings, 14. Andre Johnson, 15.Kieron Hinchley, 16. Jamie Brough 17. Chris Sharp.

ALTRINCHAM (Purple) 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs 12. Tom PEERS, 14. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 15. Mason WALSH, 16. Laurence TAYLOR, 17. Sam SHERIDAN


Our last meeting with Alfreton before today had been almost exactly a year ago, on Saturday, 19 November 2016. That National League North league match had ended in one of the Robins' most disappointing results of 2016-17 when two late goals meant a 3-2 defeat for the Robins.


On a cold afternoon, Altrincham kicked off and, in only the second minute, Hulme won a corner which was cleared. Indeed, Alty started the brighter of the two sides and Hampson, at left-back, made an early impression.

Then, as Altrincham advanced up the middle, a smart backheel by Hulme set Johnston running on the right and his low cross was turned into his own net, off the back post, by Marcus Marshall, who had Hancock behind him waiting for a tap-in (7 mins).

At the other end, Disley shot wide from 20 yards before a Johnston cross at the other end was just knocked wide by Poole. But Poole was now limping and had to be replaced by Peers (11 mins).

Alty's Thompson was called into action to save a deflected Daniels freekick before Peers's low cross was almost turned into the net by Johnston but a corner was the outcome (15 mins).

Following Johnston's corner, Hulme flicked the ball forward and a penalty was awarded for handball, which seemed a little harsh. Johnston netted the penalty comfortably to make it 2-0 to Alty after just 17 minutes.

Next, Moult fouled Daniels on the front edge of Alty's box but Daniels's freekick went into the wall. However, a home corner soon resulted, but it came to nothing (19 mins).

Alty were playing the better football and a fine move now ended with an excellent Johnston shot, which was well saved. A couple of minutes later, Thompson beat out a long-range shot. Alty soon threatened again but, this time, Johnston just overstepped the byline to concede a goalkick.

When Alfreton gained a corner on their right, Thompson threw the ball away and was lectured. Moments later a low cross was almost turned into the Alty net but Hannigan blocked well and conceded only a corner (27 mins).

Thompson was the busier of the keepers as, next, he beat away Etherington's shot from 25 yards for a corner.

The game's first booking came after 34 minutes when Keane tripped Hancock as the Alty man turned past him in midfield (34 mins).

The home side were seeing a lot of the ball but it was Altrincham who looked the more incisive as, now, Johnston cut in and forced a good save, which gave Alty another corner (37 mins).

Another corner soon arrived, won by Hampson and, in turn, this yielded a third from Johnston's shot.

At the other end, following a good Hannigan block, the Reds shot well over the bar (42 mins).

As half-time approached, Alty were living dangerously but Marshall failed to capitalise on an opening before a team-mate fired over the bar. In added time, Marshall walked off with what seemed to be a facial injury and the ten men played on to the interval.

The half ended with Altrincham having been the better side.


Alfreton made a double change as Johnson and Sharp came on for Marshall and Robinson. Although the Reds had kicked off, Hulme won Alty a corner inside the first minute.

Johnston was again proving a danger to the home defence and, now, he cut in from the left and shot just wide. Only five minutes into the half, Alfreton made their final change of personnel as Jennings replaced Daniels.

The home side were now showing more fire but without creating any clear chances. And when Shiels was late in challenging Hulme on halfway, he was booked (54 mins).

Next, Harrop shot wide from Hancock's feed but, soon afterwards, some Thompson timewasting was noted by the referee. After this, an Alfreton throw on their right led to a blocked shot then a header over the bar (62 mins).

Great play by Hulme in the box led to Peers's shot which won a corner but three minutes later it took a brilliant save at the foot of the post by Thompson to beat out a Jennings shot for a corner.

Alty now took Harrop off, and Sheridan came on (68 mins). Next, Peers beat his man well but scooped his shot over the bar. Play switched and Westcarr held off Harrison but his firm shot hit Thompson's left post (69 mins).

Johnston yet again got to the byline and, this time, found Hulme whose shot, from virtually on the goal line was blocked by the keeper. To the annoyance of home fans, the referee now declined a home penalty appeal for hands at the Alty end (73 mins).

Thompson then had to block a Westcarr header before the pass of the game, a raking 70 yard ball by Sheridan which located Johnston. At the back Alty were soon weathering some pressure but then Hulme did brilliantly on the byline only for Peers to slice his shot wide (78 mins).

Alty wound down the next few minutes with a couple of throw-ins before Hancock went off for Taylor to come on (86 mins).

Peers was then caught, late, but play continued and Thompson had to beat out a Jennings shot (89 mins). Two Alfreton corners came and went before almost five minutes of added time ensued. In the fourth of these a brilliant Johnston run up the left got him to the byline from where his shot hit the far post.

Alty saw out the remaining seconds to ensure their deserved place in the First Round Proper in a match which had shown their ability to more than match opponents from a higher division.