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EvoStik Premier match
played on Tuesday, 27 March 2018, 7.45pm


New Shaw Lane manager Chris Willock suffered a baptism of fire as a superb performance from Altrincham condemned the Yorkshire club to a fifth successive defeat, a run which has seen them concede fifteen times and fail to score a single goal from open play.

The Ducks started well but it was Alty who took a tenth-minute lead when Peers smartly finished off a smart through ball. The visitors got level from the penalty spot in the 37th minute when Thompson was judged to have felled Abadaki, after the ball had spun loose in the Alty box off two Alty defenders. Harris converted the spot-kick though Thompson got his hands to it.

Shaw Lane were swept aside by three goals in a ten-minute spell after half-time. Three minutes into the second half Simon Richman netted a finely taken goal from the edge of the box after Hancock had won the ball.

Alty's third arrived in the 56th minute when Moult drove a shot from right to left and it took a deflection, which Hulme claimed was his, before entering the net at the back post. Two minutes later, Hulme scored a more clear-cut goal from equally close range after a Johnston freekick had been relayed into the box by White from the left.

Goal number five was scored by Moult when Jones got on the end of a left-sided corner to volley the ball back across goal, from where Moult stabbed it home.

With Warrington only drawing tonight, Alty's lead was extended to six points at the top of the table, ahead of a run which now sees them face five games, four of them away, in a ten-day spell.

On the downside the virtually ever-present Ben Harrison picked up a knee injury which will now sideline him for some time.


REFEREE: Mr Nathanael Cox

Altrincham were again without the injured Connor Hampson and Tom Hannigan was only fit to start from the bench. James Poole's knee injury, picked up with the final kick of the game by an opponent at Halesowen ruled him out altogether tonight. Theo Bailey-Jones joined fellow Chris Merrie on a youthful bench, which also featured Sam Heathcote.

Shaw Lane started with the Lugsden twins who spent several formative years at Altrincham but Damian Reeves was once again only named on the bench by the Ducks.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white stripes, black shorts, red socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Andy WHITE, 4. James JONES, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Tom PEERS, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Tom HANNIGAN, 15. Chris MERRIE, 16. Sam HEATHCOTE, 17. Theo BAILEY-JONES

SHAW LANE AFC (All Blue) 1. Myles Wright, 2. Kieran Lugsden, 3. Ben Gordon, 4. Kelvin Lugsden, 5. Ryan Serrant, 6. David Norris, 7. Alexander Byrne, 8. Dominic Brown-Hill, 9. Paul Clayton, 10. Spencer Harris (c), 11. Godwin Abadaki. Subs: 12. Damian Reeves, 14. Tyler Williams, 15. Gavin Rothery, 16. Jake Skelton, 17. Oliver Dyson


This fixture took place at the fourth time of asking after postponements and a change of date by the league.


As seems to be the rule these days, the match kicked off several minutes late for no very good reason and Shaw Lane won a first-minute freekick which Alty cleared before, a minute later, an Alty freekick from Johnston forced a save from Wright.

The first of what was to be series of fouls by former Northwich man Byrne was committed on White, before the same Ducks player fired over the bar as the visitors edged the opening stages (5 mins).

So, when Altrincham took a tenth-minute lead it was arguably against the run of previous play. An excellent through-ball from Johnston found Peers who advanced and netted smartly, with a low shot to make it 1-0. And Peers was involved again when Wright had to smother the ball at the marauding Alty forward's feet (12 mins).

Altrincham were now getting the upper hand and, after a Densmore cross, Richman won a corner with a shot as he continued his recent knack of getting in shots on target from midfield (13 mins).

The match was being played at a great pace as, next, Hancock won the ball but Hulme was flagged offside (19 mins). Alty's pressure continued with a Densmore freekick, and then a White cross, both of which were cleared (23 mins). Up front Hulme and Peers were working hard, though one of several baffling decisions now penalised Jones for what seemed a perfectly fair challenge, winning the ball ahead of Abadaki.

Thompson held the resulting Kieran Lugsden freekick. After 27 minutes, Alty won a corner when Johnston fed Hulme, who forced a fine save to concede the corner. After Byrne had felled White again, the next goal action saw Richman spoon a shot wide (30 mins).

A crude challenge on Densmore by Gordon was met with a yellow card, despite crowd appeals for a red (32 mins), and just after Densmore had resumed referee Beckett further upset the home faithful when he again penalised what looked like a fair challenge by Altrincham.

Worse was to come for Altrincham. When the ball span off White and a team-mate just inside the box, towards goal, Thompson rushed out and got the ball but Abadaki was caught and went down. Mr Cox instantly pointed to the spot. Although the Alty keeper got quite a firm hand to the penalty, Harris's kick had sufficient power to find the net to level the scores (38 mins).

Almost immediately, Peers went down under a challenge at the other end but play was waved on. With Mr Beckett's stock already low amongst the home supporters, he annoyed them further when he penalised Byrne for his third foul yet failed to show a card (41 mins).

As the first half ended Jones's header dealt with a cross at the cost of a corner but this came to nothing, as did an Alty corner in added time.


For the second half Harrison, who has started all but one league match this season, had to be replaced by Hannigan. Almost immediately Hannigan was barged over after he had seen the ball out of play but no action was taken by the referee.

However, Altrincham exacted immediate retribution as Hancock won the ball and fed Richman, who advanced and swept the ball, low, into the bottom corner of the net from just outside the box to make it 2-1 (48 mins).

Next, a Hulme shot won a corner, which Shaw Lane hacked away. After a Serrant handball, a foul awarded against Hancock and an Abadaki holding offence, Alty scored twice in two minutes. The first of these goals came when a Moult shot from the right was deflected past the keeper, with Hulme claiming the goal which made it 3-1 (56 mins).

Hulme was indisputably the scorer of Alty's fourth in the 58th minute when he netted from close range after a cross from the left by White.

When, soon afterwards, Johnston got clear and appeared to be tripped, play continued. Next, former Guiseley forward Gavin Rothery came on for Brown-Hill (63 mins) and, a couple of minutes afterwards, Shaw Lane made two more swaps as Reeves and Dyson came on for Clayton and Harris (65 mins).

Hulme then was almost put clear before an Alty freekick led to a Peers shot winning a corner (69 mins). After a quiet spell for Thompson, Shaw Lane tested Thompson with a rare shot from Norris (71 mins).

From an Alty corner by Johnston, Jones did well to volley the ball goalwards from beyond the back post, where a stoooping Moult nodded the ball over the line to make the score 5-1, the third time Alty have netted five or more in a home league match this season (74 mins).

There was a league debut for youth-loan signing Chris Merrie on 78 minutes, when he replaced Hancock. Moments later a Shaw Lane foul attracted a yellow card but did not dissuade the visitors from another two fouls moments later (80 mins). Jordan Hulme was then replaced up front by Sam Heathcote after 82 minutes.

The closing stages saw Shaw Lane going forward as Alty soaked up their pressure. The visitors won three corners in four minutes which were all dealt with (87 mins).

Two added minutes did not alter the scoreline and there was further good news when it was learned that Warrington had only drawn with Workington, allowing Alty to extend their league lead back to six points.

Alty now face a severe test of stamina as they play five games in ten days, four of them away from home. First up is a trip to Rushall Olympic on Saturday. But, after this result put an end to a disappointing home run which had gleaned just a single point from three matches, Altrincham will go into the final nine games of this season with renewed confidence.