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Vanarama National League North match
played on Monday, 26 August 2019, at 3pm

SUMMARY: No one emerged with any credit from a poor team performance by Altrincham who allowed a far from world-beating Boston side to thrash them with five goals which could all have been prevented. On a sweltering afternoon, Alty only created one serious shot on goal and failed to play with sufficient tempo or passing accuracy to trouble the hosts.

Returning to the starting eleven, goalkeeper Tony Thompson had twice made important blocks before he was beaten in the 40th minute. The goal arose when Boston won a corner after Harrop had lost the ball and poor defending allowed Platt an unchallenged headed goal from the back post area.

And, with literally the last kick of the first half, Knowles tapped home a second goal after a low Adebayo-Smith cross evaded Thompson (45+3 mins).

Sent out early for the second half, Alty started the second half a little better but conceded a third goal from Platt's low shot from the edge of the box (63 mins).

Substitute Jake Moult was dispossessed and Knowles made it 4-0 in the 83rd minute. Alty's humiliation was completed when a wild back-pass from Jones conceded a corner and more poor marking allowed a back post header to find Shields who swept home a fifth goal (87 mins).


REFEREE: Mr Jon Kenny

Altrincham were without Josh Hancock (calf problem) and Tom Hannigan (concussion), but Jake Moult was surprisingly named in the squad for the first time since his summer operation, despite not having had any warm-up game. Manager Parkinson named Shaun Densmore for his first competitive game-time of the season, at right-back in place of White, whilst Conor Branson likewise replaced Simon Richman in midfield. Toby Mullarkey made his first start of the season in place of the injured Tom Hannigan. So Alty had four players in their squad who had yet to start this season; Thompson, Densmore, Mullarkey and Moult. For Boston, Rollins and Thewlis were suspended.


BOSTON UNITED (Amber & black striped shirts, black shorts, amber socks): 1. Peter CROOK, 2. Carl BYRNE, 3. Alex WHITTLE, 4. Andi THANOJ, 5. Simon AINGE, 6. Luke SHIELS, 7. Tom PLATT, 8. Brad ABBOTT, 9. Jordan ADEBAYO-SMITH, 10. Dominoc KNOWLES, 11. Nicky WALKER. Subs: 12. Tom CLARE, 14. George GREEN, 15. Ashley JACKSON, 16. Shaun TUTON, GK. WILLS

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON (c), 4. James JONES, 5. Toby MULLARKEY, 6. Sean WILLIAMS, 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Conor BRANSON, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Max HARROP, 11. Ashley HEMMINGS. Subs: 12. Lewis WALTERS, 14. Andy WHITE, 15. Tom PEERS, 16. Simon RICHMAN, 17. Jake MOULT


Altrincham's historical record against Boston United is provided by Mike Garnett...

Alty went into this game in seventeenth position, one place above Boston on the basis of goals scored.


On a sunny and very hot afternoon, Boston kicked off towards the away end. The first shot was a Hampson effort from 35 yards which sailed well over the bar (4 mins). However, it was Boston who won the first corner, won by Smith off Jones (7 mins).

When Johnston's fine pass located Hulme, the striker seemed to be bundled over but Mr Kenny, not for the only time in this match, thought otherwise when a foul appeared to have been committed. Boston then put a ball across the Alty goalmouth before ten minutes of thoroughly mediocre fare from both sides passed, with neither side adept at keeping possession (20 mins).

Alty were now indebted to Thompson when he stood up to block a close range effort by Knowles from a Walker cross from the right (23 mins). A drinks' break soon followed on this hot afternoon.

Boston were enjoying the uper hand as now Jones blocked a Platt shot before the Lincoln loanee Adebayo-Smith lifted an effort well over the bar (28 mins). Next a home corner kick had to be hacked away before Alty finally won their first corner of the game from a Johnston freekick (34 mins).

This undistinguished match between two very average-looking sides carried on until Harrop lost possession in the centre of the pitch. A resulting cross gave Boston a corner on their right. The unmarked Platt, at the back post, headed the ball into the net to give his side a lead they just about deserved (40 mins).

In added time Walker badly wasted a freekick with a very high shot before a low cross from the right by Adebayo-Smith was allowed to drift across Thompson in the goalmouth to reach Knowles and the former Harrogate man netted easily from very close range to make it 2-0 (45+3 mins). Before Alty could kick off, Mr Kenny blew his whistle for half-time.


Altrincham's very early emergence for the second half was, presumably, indicative of harsh managerial words at the interval but whether it was wise for the Altrincham players to have to endure an unnecessary five minutes in boiling sunshine was debatable. Richman replaced Harrop before Alty kicked off.

An early Altrincham corner suggested a bit more resistance from the visitors in the second half and things looked up further when Williams landed Alty's first, and arguably only significant, shot on target (50 mins). After a Hulme effort had been blocked, Densmore dispossessed Adebayo-Smith who responded by hacking down the Alty defender from behind and receiving a wholly deserved yellow card (57 mins).

After a corner, won by Richman, had been cleared, Ainge fouled Hulme and the two engaged in some jostling on the ground before referee Kenny, who had missed or ignored the obvious foul, took the easy way out and booked both Hulme and his opponent (62 mins). It took Mr Kenny virtually two minutes to sort out this incident and get play going again with a wholly unwarranted Boston freekick (62 mins).

From this freekick, the ball broke for Platt to score with a low shot from the edge of the box, left of centre; so it was 3-0 (63 mins). When Byrne tripped Hampson, the ref again ignored or missed the offence before a Williams cross just evaded both Hulme and Hemmings in the goalmouth.

At this point Tuton replaced Lincoln loanee Adebayo-Smith for Boston (67 mins). After another drinks' break, Lewis Walters came on for a quiet John Johnston (69 mins) and, then Jake Moult came on for Branson (71 mins). It was the Alty captain's first action since a summer operation.

Walters was soon trying to bring a bit more urgency to Alty's attack but with little to show for his efforts. Boston then introduced Jackson for Whittle (76 mins).

l From a freekick for a foul on Richman, Hemmings's ball just evaded Jones at the back post. Mr Kenny again failed to take appropriate action when Shiels twice blatantly grabbed hold of Hulme. The referee awarded a freekick but did not show the card that was deserved (80 mins).

After Thompson had played the ball out to Moult, the midfielder uncharacteristically lost possession and the ball was fed to Knowles who scored with a shot from left of centre to make it 4-0 (83 mins). It was another in the litany of goals from Alty errors rather than Boston guile.

Knowles was then replaced by Clare (85 mins). A demoralised Altrincham then conceded a needless corner when Jones, under pressure as he ran towards his own goal, hooked the ball high over the byline. It proved costly as Alty again failed to defend a corner, allowing a headed knock-back from the backpost to be swept into the net by Shiels to round off an abject display by the visitors (87 mins).

This heavy defeat was all the more disappointing for owing so much to poor Alty play rather than an outstanding display by Boston. Worryingly, the goal-chances which were readily created last season have dried up for Altrincham and the attacking tempo has dropped; the defending of corners has been lax and the much vaunted passing game has become riddled with unforced errors. New signings Branson and Hemmings have yet to establish themselves and injuries to Hancock, Hannigan, Drench and Moult as well as suspensions for Hancock, Harrop and now Hannigan have further added to the manager's catalogue of problems.