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EvoStik Premier match
played on Saturday, 23 December, 2017, 3pm


Although Altrincham ran out comfortable winners, Matlock made them work hard for more than an hour. After Hancock had spurned an early chance, Jordan Hulme latched onto James Poole's excellent ball up the middle to beat Phil Barnes in the 14th minute.

With fog making visibility difficult in the second half, Alty extended their lead after 67 minutes when Hulme cleverly backheeled a cross from the right into the net, his 19th goal of the season. And it was another cross from the right that Hancock headed home to make it 3-0 in the 88th minute, a goal scored whilst the visitors were temporarily down to ten men.


REFEREE: Mr Lewis Smith

Alty made changes from the team which exited the FA Trophy in midweek, with Densmore, Hannigan and Hancock returning to the startine eleven.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 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. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Tom PEERS, 15. James JONES, 16. Sean MILLER, 17. Lewis SHORT

MATLOCK TOWN (All grey) 1 Phil Barnes 2 Adam Yates 3 Kieran Wallace 4 Joe Doyle-Charles 5 Max Hunt 6 Dwayne Wiley 7 Jake Green 8 Michael Williams 9 Shaun Harrad 10 Jamie Jackson 11 Rhys Sharpe Subs: 12 Ted Cribley, 14. Michael Harcourt, 15. Nico Degirolamo 16 Nathan Whitehead 17 Jordan Pierrepont


Alty had lost the return fixture at Matlock, 1-0, back in August.

Mike Garnett's records reveal the following data on previous meetings with Matlock Town...


Matlock Town kicked off, defending away end, under floodlights which initially seemed superfluous but which soon proved their worth. The visitors started with Cribley, wearing no.12, replacing Williams who must have been injured before kick off. The game's first corner was won from a Moult crosswhich came off Sharpe in the third minute.

From a short-corner routine, Hancock had a free header which he headed disappointingly wide from a cross from the right (4 mins). Towm responded as Cribley won a corner off an uncharacteristiclly hesitant Moult (5 mins).

The visitors were settling well and, after they had been caught offside, a Hannigan foul on Harrad, 40 yards out, gave them a freekick which came to nothing. Following a Wiley clearance, from Hulme, Hancock lobbed an effort wide.

Another Alty corner arrived in the eleventh minute after Hampson had located Hulme. Next, Harrop was felled 35 yards out but Poole's freekick went off Moult's head for a goalkick. Moments later, Poole's fine ball over top dropped to Hulme who strode forward before his low shot beat Barnes to make it 1-0 (14 mins).

Matlock's Green won his side a corner before it needed a great Hannigan tackle on Green as the Matlock man was about to pull the trigger inside the Alty box (18 mins). The sky now became very overcast and mist started to form as the influential Cribley fed Green who stumbled and allowed Alty to clear their lines and win a freekick.

Next, a Jackson cross won the visitors a disputed corner, which Wiley headed just wide at the near post (23 mins). Following a freekick awarded against Hannigan, Matlock's quick freekick set Jackson free but he only managed to win a corner as he was tackled inside the box.

The next five minutes witnessed five goalkicks at one end or the other but little else of note. Johnston was then penalised on the right touchline and was judged to have jumped in on his man and was booked (32 mins).

The resulting Matlock freekick yielded another Town corner after which Doyle-Charles fired well over the bar. Play continued fairly scrappily as the afternoon became increasingly murky with drizzle now falling (37 mins). Soon afterwards, things looked up with an impressive Johnston run but keeper Barnes saved well (39 mins).

Seemingly piqued by his booking, Johnston now turned up the tempo with another run into the box and Poole gained a corner on the right, which was cleared easily. Alty's lively end to the half continued when Hulme was only just unable to get a toe on a long Densmore ball before Barnes gathered it in.

Johnston was soon at it again as he raced past a defender up the left and a resulting Poole effort was blocked. Next, a fine Harrop ball was only just too strong for Johnston (44 mins). Weirdly three added minutes were declared fora half which had witnessed no obvious interruptions. In the first of these, Poole fed Hulme who brought down the ball impressively, left of goal, but hen volleyed over the bar (45 mins).

So, Alty led deservedly, but not decisively, as half-time arrived.


It was now quite misty as Alty kicked off towards Golf Road. Alty started on the front foot but player identification now became an issue in the fog! Matlock won themselves a corner before Alty had to take off an apparently injured Harrison who was replaced by Jones (53 mins).

Three minutes later, Richman came on for Harrop in midfield. Just before the hour mark, Hulme's shot was deflected justwide for a corner. Immediately after Hunt had made a clearance, the big defender was replaced by Harcourt (62 mins).

Then, out of the fog, a player who was unidentifiable from the main stand, got in a low cross which Hulme expertly backheeled into the net to make it 2-0 (67 mins).

Jackson continued to impress for Town as the fog now became a little less thick. But Alty had the upper hand as a Densmore advance led to Hancock seeing his effort saved (73 mins). The Gladiators now brought on Whitehead for Harrad (75 mins).

Matlock continued to look for a way back into the game as Alty maintained their lead fairly comfortably. After 83 minutes Miller came on for Johnston and he immediately won a corner. After this, Degirolamo replaced Matlock's Cribley (85 mins).

After Doyle-Charles had collided an Alty man he needed treatment which continued after he had walked off the pitch, leaving his side with ten men (86 mins). Shortly after this, Alty won a corner, following which a cross from the right was converted by Hancock's head to make it 3-0 (88 mins).

In the final minute Doyle-Charles returned to the pitch before Alty saw out more than three minutes of added time. The win kept Alty at the top of the table as they go into an intense festuve period, staring with two away trips to Marine and Coalville before a New Year's Day home fixture against Witton Albion, all of whom had impressive away wins today.

Footnote: Simon Richman was also booked in this game.