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Buildbase FA Trophy, Third Qualifying Round match
played on Saturday, 24 November 2018, at 3pm


League-leaders Bradford (Park Avenue) looked a pale imitation of a potential championship-winning side as they were swept out of the FA Trophy by Altrincham who recorded their third win over the Yorkshiremen this season. Altrincham had already got the upper hand when they were awarded a 13th minute penalty after Hulme had gone down, under a challenge from Killock, whilst jinking into the penalty area.

From the spot, John Johnston sent Drench the wrong way to make it 1-0. Jordan Hulme himself made it 2-0 in the 36th minute when a fine pass from Johnston set Andy White running into the BPA box. His cross was relayed by Josh Hancock to Hulme, who netted from six yards.

Alty's third goal, in the 54th minute, was the impressive culmination of some twenty passes. At the end of the move, Johnston ran forward and fed Hancock who scored.

BPA enjoyed their best spell of the game, for a few minutes, after substitutions had been made and, had Beesley not missed a sitter and Hurst not spurned another good chance, the outcome might have been closer.

But Alty wrapped things up at 4-0 when debutant Kallum Mantack netted, at the second attempt, in the 78th minute, having only joined the game three minutes earlier. After that it was exhibition stuff from Alty as BPA ended the afternoon well beaten. The visitors won one aspect of the game, however; they picked up five bookings to Altrincham's clean sheet in the disciplinary count.


REFEREE: Mr Richard Aspinall, who also officiated our home game against Ashton United earlier this season.

Altrincham were unchanged after their fine win over York City last time out. On the bench, Max Harrop returned after suspension to displace Charlie Scott.

Bradford boss Mark Bower had indicated before the match that his side were at their strongest, personnel wise, for some time, with Oli Johnson and Nicky Wroe amongst those on the bench after injury.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Owen DALE. Subs: 12. Kallum MANTACK, 14. Max HARROP, 15. Josh LANGLEY, 16. Shaun DENSMORE, 20. Elliot WYNNE.

BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) (Green shirts, white shorts, black socks): 1. Steven Drench, 2. Mark Ross, 3. Danny Lowe, 4. Jamie Spencer, 5. Shane Killock (c), 6. Gianluca Havern, 7. Ben McKenna, 8. Conor Branson, 9. Jake Beesley, 10. Alex Hurst, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 12. Ryan Toulson, 14. Jack Atkinson, 15. Nicky Wroe, 16. Oli Johnson, 17. Adam Nowakowski


The visitors arrived at the J. Davidson Stadium as league leaders in the Vanarama National League North. But Altrincham were also in good form, having won five and drawn one of their previous six league matches and having already beaten the Avenue twice this season.


After the visitors had kicked off on a chilly afternoon, the opening stages were uneventful until a sixth-minute effort from the left, by Connor Hampson, went narrowly wide from 20 yards.

Altrincham then began to get the upper hand without seriously threatening a goal before Bradford got in their first shot of note as McKenna fired well wide from 25 yards (10 mins).

A couple of minutes later Hulme jinked his way into the box and went down under a challenge from Killock, prompting referee Aspinall to point to the penalty spot. After the visitors had mobbed the referee in a vain protest, his decision stood and Johnston stroked the penalty home as Drench dived the wrong way (13 mins).

From a Clee throw, Beesley earned a corner off Jones, after which Mr Aspinall stopped play to come across and have words with the Bradford management team.

Andy White then got in a good, low shot which forced a full-length save from Drench (22 mins) but it was BPA who won the next corner (27 mins). The visitors almost got in a mess when one of their players tried to chest the ball back to goalkeeper Drench, only for Hulme to nip in and get the ball, on the right byline. He fed Johnston, whose shot was beaten out for a corner (32 mins).

Alty were now well on top and they doubled their lead in the 36th minute. Johnston played a fine ball forward to White, who advanced into the right of the box. His low cross found Hancock who relayed the ball to his left for Hulme, towards the back post, to convert from six yards.

Bradford's best effort of the half now arrived following a Clee freekick. The ball came out to McKenna, whose well-struck 25 yarder was beaten out by Thompson (42 mins).

When, soon afterwards, Richman was tripped by Lowe's challenge for a 50-50 ball, the referee booked the Bradford man a little harshly (43 mins). So half-time arrived with Altrincham in control.


Altrincham won a corner inside the first minute of the second half before the visitors picked up their second booking of the afternoon when Beesley grabbed hold of Jones (49 mins).

Altrincham remained the better side as a ten-pass move was constructed but no sooner had that build-up broken down than the hosts put together an impressive move of more than twenty passes which culminated in Johnston accelerating towards the penalty area in the inside-right channel. He fed Hancock, who netted smartly from the edge of the box to make it 3-0 (54 mins). It was Hancock's sixth goal in his last five games.

The visitors made a double swap just before the hour mark as Johnson and Wroe replaced Lowe and Spencer (59 mins). On resumption of the game after this changeover, Dale fed Johnston for a shot which Drench saved. BPA then wasted a glorious chance to get a toehold back in the game when a ball from the left found Beesley unmarked in the centre of the goalmouth but the striker sliced his effort badly wide.

This relatively shaky spell for Alty continued as Thompson made a risky turn past an opponent before passing to Hannigan. The centre-back played the ball back to his startled keeper and Thompson sliced his kick over his own bar for a totally needless corner (63 mins).

Soon after a Dale shot had been saved at the other end, Alty were again grateful for the visitors' profiligacy as Johnson got to the byline only for Hurst to blast his lay-off over the bar (68 mins).

At this stage Altrincham were allowing the visitors to come at them, with a Clee shot having to be saved next, before the final change for the visitors occurred as the tall Nowakowski came on, up front, in place of Beesley (71 mins).

As the game continued in low-key fashion at this stage, Hancock's fine ball over the top located Dale but he dragged his shot well wide (74 mins). Next, Connor Hampson went down for the second time in a few minutes and had to be replaced by Densmore (74 mins). And, moments later, Mantack came on for his debut in place of Johnston (75 mins).

Having been sitting back and absorbing BPA momentum, Alty now stirred themselves once more and netted a conclusive fourth goal. Hulme advanced on the left and the ball came across the goalmouth where Mantack, from about six yards, initially got the ball under his feet but he was allowed time for a second stab at goal and this time he found the net for a debut goal inside three minutes of his appearance on the pitch (78 mins).

Immediately Harrop replaced Hancock (79 mins). Bradford were now well and truly beaten and a foul on Dale by McKenna earned him his side's third yellow card (84 mins). When the already cautioned McKenna now blatantly pushed over the fast-moving Harrop from behind, the referee chose to award a freekick but mysteriously witheld a second card for what was blatant an offence as possible (85 mins).

The visitors' frustrations continued as Wroe picked up a fourth card for scything down Harrop as he advanced towards the box, before Havern made it a nap hand of bookings in the third minute of added time for a foul on the advancing Densmore. A by-now woeful Bradford looked anything but the league's leaders at this stage of the game and they will have been grateful to hear the final whistle soon afterwards.