ALTRINCHAM FC MATCH REPORTS
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KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS (1) 2
ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
played on Saturday, 14 September 2019, at 3pm
The wait goes on. It will now be at least 26 years and 16 attempts before Altrincham record a first win in the league at Aggborough since 1994 after this lamentable performance.
Kidderminster started the game as a club in some turmoil. One point gleaned by the Harriers from five previous home matches this season and an inability to pay some of their staff their earnings suggested that Altrincham might record their first away win of the campaign against a dispirited outfit. But the afternoon showed that it was the Harriers who had the spirit and organization to run out comfortable winners.
The hosts took the lead in slightly fortunate circumstances when Davidson's attempted cross rebounded off White into the path of Chambers. But there was nothing fortunate about the way he expertly curled the ball over Thompson into the upper reaches of the far corner of the net, to Thompson's left (12 mins). Just six minutes later Alty lost ever-present centre-back Jones to injury. With Altrincham frequently surrendering possession cheaply they then needed a great block by Thompson to stop Williams making it 2-0, after Peniket had outmuscled Hannigan (32 mins).
A couple of minutes after Kidderminster had hit the post, just before the interval, Harriers' Johnson scythed down Hancock from behind and was merely shown a yellow card. It was clear the visitors could expect no help from the man in black in this fixture.
At Southport earlier this season a woeful first half had been followed by a much improved second half but there was no such silver lining here. Mispass followed mispass, players were outmuscled and there was a lack of creativity. With the game being played largely in the Alty half, Harriers made it 2-0 in the 66th minute. Following a rare Alty incursion into the Harriers' end, a Harriers' throw deep in their own half led to a long ball over the top of Moult, which set Chambers in on goal and his low shot hit the inside of Thompson's left post before crossing the line.
For Alty Hemmings was one of few to emerge with much credit and he prompted a late but ineffectual flurry from the visitors. How virtually the same squad which reached the play-offs last season can be playing so poorly away from home this season is a problem to which an answer is needed as soon as possible.
- 12 mins: Ashley CHAMBERS (Kidderminster Harriers 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 66 mins: Ashley CHAMBERS (Kidderminster Harriers 2 ALTRINCHAM 0)
REFEREE: Mr Michael Barlow
ATTENDANCE: 1,463 (106 from Altrincham)
Altrincham were without the suspended Simon Richman and the injured Steven Drench and Yusifu Ceesay but Connor Hampson had recovered to play after his knock last week. Also Conor Branson had left the club in midweek so numbers were short for selection whilst Lewis Walters was away on loan at Buxton.
So, there were two changes as Hannigan returned from suspension and Johnston replaced Ceesay. Mullarkey was unlucky to lose his place to the returning Hannigan. Youth keeper Joel Torrance made his first appearance in a first-team squad.
KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS (All red): 1. Tom PALMER, 2. Sam AUSTIN, 3. Correy DAVIDSON, 4. Rhys WILLIAMS, 5. Cliff MOYO (c), 6. Ryan JOHNSON, 7. Declan WEEKS, 8. Milan BUTTERFIELD, 9. Ashley CHAMBERS, 10. Ed WILLIAMS, 11. Richard PENIKET. Subs: 12. Alex PROSSER, 14. Ewan MOUNTJOY, 15. Harry HIGGINSON, 16. Ollie SHENTON, 17. Darragh LOWTH
ALTRINCHAM (All grey): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT, 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Ashley HEMMINGS. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Tom PEERS, 15. Shaun DENSMORE, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 20. Joel TORRANCE.
Alty had not won a league match at Aggborough since 1994 despite fourteen subsequent attempts. Altrincham's historical record against Kidderminster Harriers is provided by Mike Garnett... >
- At home: P26-W12-D5-L9-F37-A32
- Away: P27-W9-D7-L11-F29-A44
- All: P53-W21-D12-L20-F66-A76
Alty went into this game in fourteenth position. The Harriers had taken just one point all season at home in five matches.
After Altrincham had kicked off, on a warm, sunny afternoon, they twice allowed Kidderminster to run unchallenged from half way to the fringes of the penalty area, with a corner being conceded, which Thompson punched clear (2 mins).
The best Alty could muster in the opening ten minutes was a wide 25-yarder from Hulme.
Though the Harriers had enjoyed the better of a pretty mundane opening spell, they took the lead in slightly fortunate circumstances. Davidson's advance on the left seemed to have been stalled by White only for the ball to deflect luckily into the path of Chambers. However, the striker took his chance impressively, curling a shot into the far, top corner from left of centre, about 15 yards from the byline inside the penalty area (12 mins).
Just after Moult had hit a freekick across the pitch and out of play, Jones sat down off the ball (16 mins) and, after treatment, had to be replaced by Mullarkey (18 mins). But Alty continued to misfire as Thompson now kicked the ball to the Harriers' Austin.
Shortly before Alty won their first corner, Hulme was lectured for dissent (22 mins). The corner caused some alarm but Kidderminster eventually got the ball clear. Hampson was the next, but far from the last, Alty player to pass the ball to an opponent before Williams skied a long shot well off target (25 mins).
White added to the mis-pass phenomenon which was assuming epidemic proportions. Butterfield was then booked for a crude challenge on Hulme (27 mins). Shortly afterwards, Hannigan's misplaced pass drew Mullarkey into a foul for which he, too, was booked (29 mins).
When Chambers beat Hannigan in the air, he fed Ed Williams and it took a fine stop by Thompson's leg to prevent the Harriers' man scoring, a corner resulting (32 mins).
When the already booked Butterfield tripped Johnston he escaped further censure other than a freekick (34 mins). And the referee then also failed to book Williams when he literally threw Hulme to the ground shortly afterwards (36 mins).
Hancock was the next to give the ball away as the Altrincham errors continued. A fine ball from Hemmings did lead to a Hancock shot but his attempt to place the shot was blocked. At the other end, a run by Austin forced a save from Thompson (39 mins).
Kiddy came close to making it 2-0 when a Peniket effort from 15 yards came back off the far post (42 mins). Moments later Johnson scythed down Hancock from behind but the referee selected a yellow rather that the red card that might arguably have been more fitting for such an uncontrolled challenge (43 mins).
There was still time for Hulme to be flattened by Moyo in added time before Alty had a chance to regroup at the interval.
|Half-Time: KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 1|
Any hopes of an improved performance after the break soon evaporated. Indeed, it took a fine tackle by Hampson to halt Williams (48 mins) as Kidderminster largely camped in the visitors' half in the second half. Alty managed to clear the ball in a melee after a home corner before Austin shot narrowly wide from a Chambers knock down.
As well as their faltering passing, Alty were also coming off second best in physical challenges before they survived another home corner (58 mins).
On 64 minutes Harrop replaced the out of sorts Hancock. Within two minutes, however, Harriers had doubled their lead. The goal came after a rare Alty foray into the opposition half had led to a home throw, deep on the right wing in their half. Williams threw the ball forward to Weeks who launched an aerial ball forward which cleared Moult and left Chambers advancing on goal.
From the edge of the box Chambers hit a strong, low shot which beat Thompson's dive, to his left, and cannoned off the inside of the post into the net (66 mins).
When the talismanic Jake Moult gets barged off the ball, you know that Altrincham are not playing well and that is what happened in the 72nd minute. Indeed, it now took a great save from Thompson from a Williams shot to keep the score at 2-0 (72 mins). Alty's keeper certainly kept down the score today with at least three important saves.
After Peers had come on for his tenth substitute appearance of the season, in place of Hulme (74 mins), the Alty errors continued as Moult passed the ball to Harriers' Weeks. In a rare moment Alty won a corner through Hampson on the left. Bizarrely Johnston twice attempted to take this from a good foot outside the corner sector and was rightly made to place the ball correctly. What was going through his mind was unfathomable (79 mins).
When Harrop was tripped just outside the box it gave Alty a rare sight of goal. Hemmings's freekick was on target,itself worthy of note on this dismal afternoon for the visitors, but the keeper saved it without too much alarm (83 mins).
In the last fve minutes Altrincham showed more attacking intent than in the previous eighty-five minutes. However, the formation that they deployed was difficult to discern. At times, Hannigan popped up on the left wing, and fellow centre-back Mullarkey was found on the right whilst Jake Moult at times seemed to be a lone defender.
The Harriers wound down time with two substitutions. First Prosser replaced Chambers, who had been a thorn in Alty's side throughout (86 mins). Then Mountjoy replaced Davidson (87 mins).
Four minutes of added time saw Hemmings force a save from 18 yards (90+2 mins) before Kidderminster made a final change with Higginson replacing Ed Williams (90+3 mins).
All in all this was an afternoon to forget for Altrincham, except for the fact that this is the third time (after Southport and Boston) in which Altrincham's away form has been dismal. Apart from Hemmings, who was today their best player, and Mullarkey, all the rest of those on the pitch were in the squad which did so well last season. Collectively and individually they are playing at several grades below their capabilities.
|Full-Time: KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 2|