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EvoStik Premier match
played on Saturday, 24 March 2018, 3pm


After their recent run of poor home results, Altrincham were back to much better form at Halesowen in what was only their second away match in ten weeks, thanks to postponements and a run of home fixtures assigned by the league. But for wayward shooting, especially in the second half, Altrincham would have won by a wider margin against a Halesowen side which kept going to the end.

Alty took the lead in the eleventh minutes after attacking relentlessly from kick off. Jordan Hulme netted the goal after a superb jinking run into the box by John Johnston.

Despite losing Tom Hannigan to injury after 32 minutes, Alty doubled their lead seven minutes later when Simon Richman scored from close range, following a pass from Hulme.

Alty kept their first clean sheet for ten weeks but failed to add to their own score in the second half.

Results elsewhere helped Alty to extend their lead at the top of the table to four points.


REFEREE: Mr Scott Tallis

Connor Hampson remained sidelined by his knee injury and goalkeeper Tony Thompson was unavailable through work commitments. So Tim Deasy made his first league start since the defeat at Workington in September.


HALESOWEN TOWN (All blue) 1. Daniel Platt, 2. Enock Ekongo, 3. Kyle Morrison, 4. Ahmed Ali, 5. Marcus Poscha, 6. Asa Charlton, 7. Ivor Lawton, 8. Daniele Bragoli(c), 9. Lee Hughes, 10. Lee Knight, 11. Bradley Lewis. Subs 12. Jordan Goddard, 14. Jack Kelly, 15. Kevin da Veiga Monteiro, 16. Myles Arnold, 17. Roland Agbor.

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Andy WHITE, 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. Max HARROP, 15. Chris MERRIE, 16. Sam HEATHCOTE, 17. James JONES.


This was Altrincham's first visit to Halesowen, having won the reverse encounter 3-0. However, despite Alty being top of the table and Halesowen second-bottom, the Yeltz had secured three wins in their previous five matches compared with a sole win for Alty in the same number of games, all of which had been at home.


After Altrincham had kicked off, Hancock won an early corner, which Halesowen hacked away (2 mins). Another corner on the left soon followed, from which a Hulme effort was saved (4 mins). It was all Alty as Ekongo now had to clear off the line and then a Poole shot was blocked as Alty bombarded the home goal (7 mins).

Next, Johnston won a corner, from which a Harrison backheel went into the side netting. The pressure finally told as a superb jinking run into the box by Johnston saw the ball rebound to Hulme who scored with a first-time shot to make it 1-0 (11 mins).

It had been all Alty so far on a pitch that was firmer than at the JDS but bobbly. Alty's next threat came when a fine shot by Moult flew inches wide from 18 yards (16 mins). After a fine passing move, a Johnston shot was held at the end of a fine passing move as the visitors' dominance continued.

Halesowen gained their first corner, through Ekongo after 20 minutes. Alty were soon at the other end but, after a wild Hancock cross, there came an even wilder White shot which flew miles over the bar (22 mins).

When Harrison was penalised for holding Hughes, the freekick from 25 yards was well held by Deasy from Lewis (29 mins).

Play stopped on 32 minutes to allow Jones to come on for Hannigan, who must have been injured though it was unclear in what way.

Soon afterwards, a fine Richman shot from 18 yards flew just wide before Deasy saw some rare action as he had to save with his legs from Hughes at the byline, conceding a corner on the Yeltz's right. From this, a header was saved by Deasy (35 mins).

Next, Hancock cut in but fired over the bar on an afternoon when his and his team-mates' shooting was largely off-beam. Indeed, Alty did not press home their early dominance until the 39th minute when Richman netted from close range from a Hulme lay-off, after a move up the left. This made it 0-2 (39 mins).

Following a Yeltz freekick, Densmore had to concede a corner, from which Hughes fouled Jones (43 mins). After Ekongo had felled White, a home goalkick followed the Alty freekick (44 mins). In added time Densmore won a corner. rom this, Johnston's corner-kick shaved the back post with Jones just unable to turn the ball in.


Halesowen gained an early freekick for a White foul, which Deasy collected from 20 yards. At the other end a Lewis slip in his own box allowed Hulme to win a corner (47 mins).

After Jones had done well in the Town box, Densmore then volleyed miles over the bar. In general, Alty's shooting this afternoon was wayward with effort after effort flying off target, chiefly too high. However the next attempt, from Richman, was on target and had to be saved (50 mins).

But normal service was resumed when Hancock then fired over the bar. A Hulme dribble in the box now won a corner, which was taken short and yielded another, which was cleared (55 mins).

Another corner soon arrived, when Hancock was halted in the box but again it came to nothing as Platt collected it easily.

Halesowen's best effort of the game came when a cross from the right was headed goalbound by the veteran Lee Hughes but Moult got in the way superbly to head the ball out for a corner (58 mins).

Just after the hour mark, Agbor came on for Knight, and Kelly for Lewis, for the Yeltz (61 mins).

Play went through a quiet spell until Johnston burst into the box only to launch the ball into orbit after it had taken a bobble as he struck it (66 mins). Then a White shot won a corner before a Richman shot cleared the bar.

Jones now allowed Agbor to steal the ball off him in the box but Alty cleared the ball and White won a freekick to relieve the pressure (68 mins).

In an otherwise impressive performance by Altrincham, one downside was the poor shooting and now Hancock launched another ball into orbit (69 mins). Two minutes later, a Hulme shot won a corner as Alty pressed forward again.

The speedy and skilful Agbor was impressing for the Yeltz and, after he had got past White, Hughes hit a firm shot narrowly wide (76 mins). Arnold replaced Bragoli (78 mins) and then Alty brought on Harrop for Hancock (79 mins).

When Harrison fouled the lively Agbor in the D outside the box, the freekick by Goddard hit the wall (81 mins). Alty responded as Johnston again ran into the box and won a corner. But once more the corner was wasted as it went straight to keeper Platt.

The home team kept going as Kelly shot over the bar after more good work by Agbor.Then a fine Hulme nod put JJ through but the keeper blocked his effort well (85 mins). ALty's keeper did equally well, in the 88th minute. From a freekick just outside the box, conceded by Moult, Deasy flew to his left to push away a fine Goddard shot.

In added time Alty survived a late scare in the box when Jones sliced the ball over his own bar for a corner. Poole was fouled in the box after Deasy had punched the corner clear and when the Alty man went down moments later for treatment, the referee surprisngly blew the final whistle after just 90 seconds of added time.

This had been an impressive performance by Altrincham and, with both Warringotn and Shaw Lane losing, it enhanced their position at the top of the table. With more composure in front of goal the margin could have been greater. The clean sheet was Alty's first for ten weeks; amazingly, the same period of time exactly since Alty had last had an away game outside Greater Manchester!