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EvoStik Premier match
played on Tuesday, 13 March 2018, 7.45pm


Following this game, Altrincham's erratic recent form has now seen them fail to win three of their last six games and concede eleven times in those matches, five of which have been at home. Against a Workington side which had lost its previous six league games and which arrived with an injury-hit squad, Altrincham's defence conceded three poor goals in a match in which the hosts, at the other end, gained fifteen corners but failed to capitalise on them.

Alty made a quite bright start without being able to find a breakthrough before Workington went 2-0 ahead against the run of play. Allison netted both goals, his first coming after 23 minutes when he was allowed to evade two defenders on the edge of the box and the second came, five minutes later, when he latched onto a long punt upfield after Alty had lost possession.

Altrincham attacked again in the second half and got back to 2-2 thanks to a brace from Tom Peers, who was starting instead of the ill Josh Hancock. His first came when he dispossessed Douglas and netted from 20 yards just after the hour mark. Peers's second arrived in the 69th minute when Hulme's chipped cross was headed by him onto the inside of the post and crossed the line before being hacked clear. But, then, Workington debutant Rigg netted the Reds' winner in the 80th minute when an Alty clearance fell to him and he scored with a low shot past Thompson.


REFEREE: Mr M Barlow (who had also officiated Altrincham 4 Rushall Olympic 0 on 7 October 2017).

Pre-match Workington announced the non-contract signing of Steven Rigg but had stated that "Conor Tinnion and Sam Smith both have college commitments tonight and they join the injured trio of Phil McLuckie, Anthony Wright and Jordan Holt and forgotten man, Jack Ryan" in missing the game.

Altrincham were without Josh Hancock, who was ill, but Shaun Densmore and Tom Hannigan were both on the bench after their recent lay-offs.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Tom PEERS. Subs: 12. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Shaun DENSMORE, 15. Tom HANNIGAN, 16. Sam HEATHCOTE, 20. Tim DEASY

WORKINGTON (Sky blue and white) 1 Arran Taylor, 2. Matthew Douglas, 3. Gari Rowntree (c), 4. Dan Wordsworth, 5. Joshua Calvert, 6. Jamie Mellen, 7. David Symington, 8. Robert Wilson, 9. Scott Allison, 10. Steven Rigg, 11. Samuel Joel. Subs: 12. Leo Holliday, 14. Cameron Harker, 15. Sheldon Mossop, 16. Joseph Hetherington


Altrincham had lost the reverse fixture, back in September, 5-2 in a rain-sodden match in Cumbria in which Max Harrop had been sent off just before half-time. Since then Alty had been unbeaten away from home and in the sixteen following league fixtures, till the end of the year 2017, they had conceded just four goals. However, since New Year, they had conceded twelve times in just eight games. Likewise, Workington's form had taken a dip, and a far more alarming one, as they had lost their last six league matches before tonight.


After hard work had been put in to render the pitch playable after recent sustained rainfall, Alty kicked off towards the Hale end. Two early fouls, one on Hulme and another on Poole saw the second perpetrator, Calvert, lectured (2 mins). The first of what was to be a litany of corners was won by Altrincham in the fourth minute but was wasted when a short-corner routine failed to come off.

After a fairly quiet spell, including an offside at each end, a Peers shot won another corner at which Alty were penalised. Moments late Hampson and then Harrop won two more corners, the latter again being wasted with a short-corner routine which did not succeed (10 mins).

Likewise, a freekick won soon afterwards for a foul on Peers was hurriedly taken and came to nothing. But then a magnificent long ball from Harrop was taken skilfully in his stride by Johnston but, from left of goal, he was unable to find the target (12 mins). Alty were now decidedly on top but they had a scare when Symington's 30 yarder flew not too far wide (14 mins).

After Hampson had got to the byline, he shot into the side netting before a Rigg run was halted as he was tripped on the front edge of the box. Symington's freekick from 21 yards was stopped by Thompson (16 mins).

Having been spoken to earlier, Calvert was booked when he brought down Hulme (18 mins). Alty's liveliest player was Johnston but his next run ended with a cross which was a little too high for the unmarked Poole. Similarly, a Hampson cross was also just too high for Peers, moments later.

But against the run of play, Workington got forward after Hulme had been dispossessed. Allison turned past both central defenders in a single movement and slotted the ball home to give the visitors the lead (23 mins).

A couple of minutes later the Reds won a corner on their right, which White had to head away from his station on the goal-line. Then, Alty were caught with a sucker punch as a Johnston run was halted upfield and a punt up the middle allowed Allison to slot home comfortably to make it 0-2 (28 mins).

Following an Alty freekick on the left by Johnston, a Poole shot won a corner, which was headed clear. Next, when Wordsworth fouled Hulme off the ball, he was booked (32 mins).

A superbly struck 35-yard effort from Harrop was then impressively tipped round the post by keeper Taylor for another Altrincham corner but almost immediately after this Alty again lost the ball upfield, through Hampson this time, and the counter-attack opened up Alty's defence. Fortunately, Moult was able to hack the ball clear (36 mins).

Johnston now switched to the right but after running into trouble, he was penalised for a foul. Altrincham were unable to create any openings and as the interval approached, Poole was booked for "simulation" as he went down anticipating a challenge (43 mins). In added time, a Johnston corner led to another but, despite leading the corner count by a country mile, Altrincham had failed to trouble the visitors' defence from any of them.


It was not long before Alty increased their corner-kick tally, through Johnston. This went across the goalmouth but no one could convert it. Things got worse for Alty when they again lost the ball, this time through Harrop, and Workington again punctured the fragile centre of the Alty defence. Allison got clear and in rounding Thompson was brought down by the keeper. Having already netted five goals against Alty in little over two hours football this season, Allison fancied a second hat-trick. However, with Thompson having gone the wrong way, the striker's spot-kick clipped the outside of the goal frame to give Alty a let-off (49 mins).

Two minutes later Altrincham seemed to have taken full advantage of the penalty miss when Taylor dropped a cross onto his own defender's head and inadvertently recorded an own goal. But the goal was disallowed by the linesman's flag for offside! (51 mins).

Altrincham were becoming frustrated and, next, a Poole shot was blocked before Harrop's appeals for a penalty went unanswered. When Hulme held off a couple of challenges as he impressively drifted right across the penalty box edge, he found himself in the referee's book for protesting and the official's failure to see a foul on him (59 mins). A resulting Alty corner was wasted again.

Things looked up when Peers dispossessed Douglas 25 yards from goal and then scored with a fine, low shot from 20 yards, to make it 1-2 (61 mins). Alty now went for a leveller but at the back they made a change with Jones replaced by Hannigan (64 mins). Alty threatened again when Hulme won yet another corner after which Harrop hammered a shot over the bar (68 mins). The equalizer arrived soon afterwards. Hulme again did well and from right of the box, before Johnston's chipped cross was headed against the inside of the back post by Peers before being cleared. But the linesman conformed that the ball had crossed the line for the equalizer (69 mins). With this goal Peers became the fifth Altrincham scorer in double figures this season.

Johnston was now menacing Workington again with his darting runs and soon an excellent shot from him gained another corner as Taylor tipped it over the bar (72 mins). There looked to be only one winner of the match now, though Workington remained a potential danger on the counter-attack.

A Johnston freekick produced yet another corner and when a defender slipped, a minute later, a further corner-kick resulted (78 mins). But then the Reds were awarded a freekick near half way on their left. This was half-cleared by Harrison but ran to Rigg who was not closed down as he placed a low shot into the bottom corner of the net to Thompson's right to stun Altrincham (80 mins).

After the restart Peers fouled his man and was booked (82 mins) before a Poole shot was blocked for a corner (85 mins). From this, Johnston's cross hit the crossbar. Alty made another change as Heathcote made his second debut for the club, replacing Moult and playing up front (86 mins). He soon had a half chance from a strong, low cross but could not capitalize.

As the ninety minutes ticked away, Peers won a further corner and White was booked for a foul (88 mins). Workington introduced Mossop for Joel (89 mins) before four added minutes were played. Although a freekick was won by Heathcote and then Hulme won a corner, Workington saw out the match to record a double over Altrincham this season. Whilst Ashton's defeat and Warrington's draw tonight lessened the immediate impact of dropping three points, the result reduced the potential lead over Shaw Lane back to a single point, should the Yorkshire club win its four games in hand.

Next up is another home match, against an improving Stalybridge Celtic, when Altrincham will be looking for a much tighter defensive showing than exhibited tonight.