Return to News Page


EvoStik Premier match
played on Saturday, 27 January 2018, 3pm


For the fourth time this season Altrincham were unable to put Warrington Town to the sword and, indeed, left it very late to salvage a draw after the visitors had snatched a 19th minute lead when Vassallo's slightly mishit shot squirmed past Tony Thompson. Thereafter the visitors showed little attacking ambition but they closed down Alty efficiently and withstood almost constant second-half pressing from the Robins until the second minute of added time. Then Poole's shot seemed to have been stopped by keeper McMillan but somehow it crossed the line for a much deserved equalizer.

As a spectacle this was far from pretty and referee Swallow produced nine yellow cards including one for Town captain McCarten whose crude and late challenge put Alty's John Johnston out of the game.


REFEREE: Mr Elliott Swallow (Blackpool)

Today marked Shaun Densmore's 350th appearance for Altrincham but they were without the injured Tom Hannigan and Tim Deasy for this afternoon's match.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white 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. Sean MILLER, 15. Max HARROP, 16. Andy WHITE, 17. Sam SHERIDAN

WARRINGTON TOWN (All blue) 1. Anthony McMillan, 2. Adam Carden, 3. Rory McKeown, 4. Sean Williams, 5. James McCarten, 6. Liam Goulding, 7. Gerard Kinsella, 8. Dylan Vassallo, 9. Jamie McDonald, 10. Tony Gray, 11. William Hayhurst. Subs: GK. Ben Ascroft, 14. Bradley Barnes, 15. Shaun Beeley, 16. Jack Higgins, 17. Stephen Milne.


This was the first ever league match between the two clubs at the J. Davidson Stadium but the fourth meeting between them already this season, with Alty yet to emerge the winners, after two draws and a defeat (in the FA Trophy).

After a pitch inspection by the referee, who had commendably arrived early, the match was declared "on" at 11.45pm. There was a small sanded area near the centre of the pitch as well as in the Golf Road goalmouth.


After a minute's applause for Jimmy Armfield, and with the floodlights on from the start, Warrington kicked off towards Golf Road. But an Alty corner arrived after just 15 seconds from an errant back pass. As was to happen several times, Alty's corner went straight to keeper McMillan.

A Town freekick from 20 yards out in a central position went into the defensive wall (2 mins) before Hayhurst headed a Gray cross over the bar (4 mins). When Johnston was harshly penalised in the Town box as he played in Hulme, he asked for an explanation from Mr Swallow as did Jake Moult, his captain (6 mins).

The referee again made a debatable decision as he penalised Hulme. Alty were now playing more fluently and, after Richman had twice won the ball, Hancock did well, prpmpting Johnston to win a corner (9 mins). At the other end, Hampson lost the ball and McDonald volleyed only narrowly wide.

A clever reverse ball by Poole now allowed Hulme a shot which was saved by the keeper's legs (11 mins). After this, McDonald went down and Richman was booked (12 mins). But the referee was much more lenient when a fine Harrison ball located Hampson who was felled by Carden, who was only lectured (16 mins).

Mr Swallow's fussy approach now saw him speak to Hulme who had not got a freekick that he was seeking moments before. Carden was also spoken to.

After an Alty throw in their own left corner, possession was lost and, from the edge of the box, Vassallo's slightly mishit shot squirmed past Thompson's grasp, to his right, to give Warrington the lead (19 mins).

After a few uneventful minutes, Johnston got into the box and his ball was only just too high for Hancock at the back post (26 mins). Warrington were working hard to close Alty down as the hosts sought to play the ball out from the back and the soft pitch was not helping Alty's customarily fluent style.

For the third time, Carden was spoken to by Mr Swallow but he still escaped the referee's notebook (29 mins). When Hulme and McMillan collided after going for a 50-50 ball, the Alty man was booked for the challenge (32 mins).

Alty were not creating chances and the visitors continued to close them down and Alty's frustration was heightened when Mr Swallow halted play to speak to Densmore and his captain, Moult (38 mins).

The referee further upset Alty when he stopped play for a foul on Harrison after the centre back had evaded the challenge and was advancing upfield (40 mins).

And the annoyance grew when Hayhurst was very late as he brought down Densmore and the referee played on. Mr Swallow redeemed himself when he went back and booked Hayhurst (41 mins).

The referee's eventful afternoon continued as Town were given offside and McDonald refused to give the ball back and was booked for obvious dissent (42 mins). Soon after Town had got the ball clear, after it had pinged around their box, a Moult foul earned him the game's fifth booking (44 mins).

Johnston went down in the box as the game went into added time but play continued leaving Alty a goal in arrears at the interval.


Each side replaced an already booked player for the second half. Milne came on for McDonald for Warrington and Harrop for Richman for Altrincham.

Alty started the half well as a cross was beaten out by the keeper before a strong Hampson shot also had to be stopped before he was fouled left of goal. The freekick produced an Alty corner, from which a Jones shot prompted a fruitless "hands" appeal.

Next, a Densmore foul earned him a booking (49 mins) but it was Altrincham who were dominating the game's forward movements.

After he had been caught offside, Hancock then made a good run which ended with him being tripped on the edge of the box, which meant booking number seven of the match for Vassallo (53 mins).

When the wall refused to move back to the ten paces' mark, the referee gave up his attempts to get them back before Hancock put the freekick miles over the bar.

After a Johnston run had been halted in the box, a good Hampson run gained a corner which again went straight to McMillan's gloves (58 mins).

When Johnston went racing up the right wing he was hacked down crudely by McCarten who was shown yellow when arguably a red card was more appropriate for his cynical challenge (61 mins).

Johnston continued after treatment but was hobbling badly. But it was his assailant McCarten who had to limp off first, seemingly having injured himself in the process (64 mins). He was replaced by Higgins. However, the crocked Johnston had to give way to Miller just three minutes later (67 mins).

Soon yet another Alty corner went meekly to goalkeeper McMillan after which Town's Beeley replaced Gray who left the field at a snail's pace. Next, a wild Moult shot flew over the bar following which McMillan was warned for timewasting (71 mins).

It was one-way traffic but Alty were unable to get a clear opening on goal; all 11 were back behind the ball for Town.

ALty now introduced Peers for Moult as they went for an equalizer (79 mins). The game's ninth yellow card saw Miller go in the referee's book for a foul (80 mins).

Altrincham continued to press forward but then there was a hint of desperation as a Harrison thirty yarder went into orbit over Golf Road (85 mins). Next, a Hancock piledriver hit a defender before Peers was seen off inside the box.

Soon, a good chance saw Peers poke the ball over the bar from Hulme's feed as time appeared to be running out for Altrincham (88 mins).

Four added minutes were proclaimed and then Hampson's driven cross found Poole in the goalmouth but the ball was diverted for a corner. Following this, Poole's shot was half stopped by McMillan but continued over the line for a fully deserved equalizer (90+2 mins).

So, for the fourth time, Warrington had frustrated Altrincham but Shaw Lane's draw and Workington's defeat meant that Alty's position was not seriously compromised by today's result.