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EvoStik Premier match
played on Saturday, 30 December, 2017, 3pm


Altrincham secured a third successive 3-0 league win to leave them seven points ahead of second-placed Workington (who have played two more games) and eight points clear of closest rivals Shaw Lane, who have three games in hand after their match today was postponed. After a disappointing first half, Alty took the lead on the stroke of half time when James Poole's curling freekick from just outside the penalty area beat keeper Coton.

The visitors dominated the second half and Jordan Hulme made it 2-0 after 72 minutes. Substitute Sean Miller nipped in ahead of Coton to nod a long ball up the middle over the keeper to complete the scoring in the 88th minute.


REFEREE: Mr Bradley Hall

Alty made one change as Ben Harrison returned at centre-back in place of James Jones. On the bench Tim Deasy replaced Lewis Short.


COALVILLE TOWN (Black and white striped shirts, black shorts and white socks) 1. Matthew Coton, 2. Cleveland Taylor, 3. Lee Torr, 4. Danny Jenno, 5. Dean Freeman, 6. Steve Towers (c), 7. Tom McGlinchey, 8. Alex Howes, 9. Daniel Creaney, 10. Nat Watson, 11. Blair Anderson. Subs: 12. Kyle Dixon, 13. Jamie Hannis, 14. Jermaine Hollis, 15. Alex Dean, 17. Kyle Bryant

ALTRINCHAM (All purple) 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Sean DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 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. Sean MILLER, 15. James JONES, 16. Andrew WHITE, 20. Tim DEASY


This was Altrincham's first ever visit to Coalville Town, who lay 12th in the league at kick-off. For Coalville, two impressive away wins, at Warrington Town and at Nantwich Town, had preceded a disappointing home defeat to Barwell on Boxing Day. That was their fifth successive home defeat in the league. The Ravens had played more games than most clubs in the league this season but they boasted the third highest goalscoring total (43 goals in 26 matches). However, they also had the second worst number of goals conceded this season (51 goals).

Altrincham went into this match in search of their fifth successive league win in an unbeaten run which had reached 15 games in the EvoStik Premier. The reverse fixture had seen Alty win 4-2 but not before Coalville had fought back from 0-2 to 2-2.


Considering the recent bad weather, the pitch looked to be in good condition though it was inevitably soft. Matchday conditions were dry but breezy as Alty kicked off. They started the brighter as Johnston had to be halted on the left before a Poole 25-yarder was saved by Coton, son of the former Manchester City keeper Tony Coton.

But the Ravens soon got forward and, after Harrison had sliced a ball out for a corner, Densmore had to head an Anderson cross over his own bar for another corner. Following this, Creaney netted from Anderson's miskick but he was offside. Vocal Alty keeper Tony Thompson promptly told his team-mates to "Sort it out" after this nervous spell (4 mins).

Although Alty now saw a lot of the ball their final pass was not coming off. At the other end, Coalville won a freekick off Richman, following which McGlinchey fired just wide from a Watson feed (10 mins).

The soft surface was only partly responsible for an error-strewn period in which passes went astray and balls were overhit before another corner arrived for Coalville, won by Watson's impressive run into box (16 mins).

Next, a Hampson ball rebounded to Creaney whose lob was off target. In the 19th minute, Anderson drifted towards the box but put in a wild shot. After this, Torr got past Densmore but Creaney was blocked before Thompson had to make a save from Howes.

The hosts had to make a change when Freeman went down and was unable to continue. He was replaced by Bryant who slotted in at left-back (24 mins). Play continued fairly scrappily to the half-hour mark, at which point a Moult 25-yarder cleared the bar from Hancock's pass.

Despite not yet firing on all cylinders, Alty kept to their methodical build-ups and, after an impressive Densmore run, a corner was won by Hulme (37 mins). Poole took this, short, and received the ball back from Johnston before hitting a shot into the side netting (38 mins).

Moments later, Hulme fed Poole, whose curling shot went just wide from 20 yards. After a Hancock cross had been dropped by Coton, Hulme won a corner on right, which the keeper punched clear (42 mins). But as half-time approached Alty increased their momentum amd won another corner on the right. Following this, a Poole ball led to a Hulme header which Coton punched out.

The pressure continued as a Johnston shot was blocked and then Richman was fouled as he shot powerfully from the front edge of the penalty area. From a fairly central position, Poole expertly curled a low freekick past the wall, to its right, and into the net past Coton's despairing dive, to give Alty the lead (45 mins). Curiously only one added minute was announced when the injury to Freeman, and his substitution, had clearly taken longer than that.

In fact the referee played more than two added minutes during which a Hancock cross won a corner on the right and another followed; but neither came to anything.

So Alty held a 1-0 interval lead which they deserved despite, so far, not being at their best today.


The Ravens kicked off under the floodlights but Alty started on the front foot. Fouls on Moult and two on the influential Poole gave the visitors freekicks but the first shot on target of the half was from Coalville's McGlinchey but it was saved fairly routinely (51 mins).

Hulme now gained a corner, taken from the right by Poole, which drifted across the goalmouth. The next corner was won by Coalville but it was cleared. The Ravens now made another change as Howes went off, and Dean came on. Next, a McGlinchey shot cleared the bar from a cross from the left as the hour mark neared.

After Densmore had been fouled, Coton collected Poole's freekick at the second attempt (62 mins). Four minutes later, Densmore did well and this led to Johnston stinging the keeper's palms and gaining a corner (66 mins), followed immediately by a second flag-kick.

On 70 minutes Hulme received a needless booking for kicking the ball away after a freekick had been given to Town. Next, a Densmore cross was only just too strong for Richman at the back post but the next Alty attack saw the ball fall to Hulme, whose low shot from the edge of the box made it 2-0 (72 mins).

Alty had had much the better of the second half and their dominance continued as a goalbound Richman shot hit the keeper on the line and was cleared. Coalville's final change saw Dixon come on for Anderson (76 mins).

Two minutes later Alty's Hulme gave way to Peers. Coalville now won a corner as a header deflected narrowly wide and this was followed by a second corner, after which Miller replaced Hancock (81 mins).

After 84 minutes Coton just beat Peers to a through ball but Alty continued to press as Johnston had a shot saved. Then, Richman fed Peers who rounded the keeper but was then blocked from shooting. After this Poole was fouled and his freekick cleared the bar.

With two minutes of normal time remaining, an excellent ball up the middle from Densmore saw Miller and Coton converge on it. The Alty substitute won the race and nodded the ball past the exposed keepr and he then followed it into the net as the lead became three goals (88 mins).

Four added minutes did not alter the score in a match which, after a disappointing first half, Altrincham had deservedly won. It was their fifth league win on the belt and Jordan Hulme has scored in all of those games. The victory put Alty seven points clear of Warrington, who have played two more games, and eight clear of Shaw Lane who have three games in hand.