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Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round match
played on Saturday, 21 September 2019, at 3pm


In a scheduled 90-minute cup tie, which the referee allowed to last for 108 minutes, Altrincham secured a well-deserved draw at Chester. Alty made a poor start, conceding a goal inside two minutes after the kick off. Delaying a clearance, Hampson lost the ball which allowed Glendon to feed the ball inside, to his left, for Hughes to drive home a low shot from the edge of the box.

However, Alty went on to enjoy the lion's share of possession before the interval without seriously looking like scoring. After the break, at which two Chester substitutions were made, Alty once again went to sleep in the opening stages just as they had done in the first half.. This time they were fortunate as Thompson saved a strong shot from leading-scorer Asante, his sole contribution of note to the game. But, with Altrincham again dominating a match which had already endured almost seven minutes of first-half injury time, play was then halted for ten minutes in the 52nd minute.

Chester keeper Griffiths sat down for treatment and after a few minutes was led off the pitch with an apparent blood injury. Instead of enforcing a substitution or a resumption of the game, referee Westgate allowed play to be suspended for what ultimately became a total of more than ten minutes from the moment the keeper had sat down. The bemused crowd was left wondering what on earth was happening. Eventually Griffiths was allowed to return to the game. Why the man in black allowed this farce to happen awaits a convincing explanation.

The lengthy break in play allowed Chester to regroup and they then enjoyed a better spell than they had been having prior to it. However, Altrincham then reasserted themselves and got the equalizer they deserved. This came when Hulme chased an overhit pass and just caught the ball near the byline, left of goal. His cross was met by an excellent looping header from Hancock which found the back of the net (75 mins).

Eleven added minutes were proclaimed, which was too short given the lengthy stoppage for the Chester keeper and the fact that there were other injury stoppages and two substitutions. And so, Altrincham will go into the replay on Tuesday with confidence, having twice had the better of encounters with Chester at their own ground this season.


REFEREE: Mr James Westgate

Altrincham restored Simon Richman to the starting eleven after suspension but the injured Steven Drench and Yusifu Ceesay had not recovered to play. New signing Lewis Archer, from Alvechurch, was cup-tied.

Richman took Williams's place in the starting side whilst youth keeper Joel Torrance made his second appearance in a first-team squad, named as one of just six subs named by the visitors, compared with the hosts' seven. Despite naming seven subs, none of Chester's back-up players was a goalkeeper.

Altrincham wore their red and white striped kit in preference to their normal grey away outfit. They were without manager Phil Parkinson whose wife had gone into labour, so Chris Parkes joined Neil Sorvel in the technical area.


CHESTER FC (All blue): 1. Russ GRIFFITHS, 2. Matty WATERS, 3. Joel TAYLOR, 4. Scott BURTON, 5. Danny LIVESEY, 6. Simon GRAND, 7. Bradley JACKSON, 8. George GLENDON, 9. Akwasi ASANTE, 10. Matty HUGHES, 11. Anthony DUDLEY. Subs: 12. James JONES, 14. Iwan MURRAY, 15. George WARING, 16. Danny ELLIOTT, 17. Craig MAHON, 18. James COTTRELL, 20. Matt THOMPSON

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, 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Ashley HEMMINGS. Subs: 12. Sean WILLIAMS, 14. Tom PEERS, 15. Shaun DENSMORE, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Max HARROP, 20. Joel TORRANCE.


Mike Garnett's records reveal the past record in matches between Altrincham and Chester FC. Altrincham had not lost at Chester on their previous four visits.


On a warm, sunny afternoon, Alty kicked off defending the away end and conceded, first, an early freekick given away by White, followed by a corner and then a goal! This second-minute goal came when Hampson delayed a clearance in the left-back position, and Glendon gained possession. He played the ball, inside to his left, where Hughes hit a low shot into the corner of the net to Thompson's right.

After the restart Altrincham put together a good move which yielded a corner, though not the penalty they had claimed as Hulme went down with Chester's Livesey. As Hulme was treated, Livesey's treatment on the pitch was curtailed and he hurried off for attention to a head cut (5 mins).

With Chester playing on, a man short, goalkeeper Griffiths now sat down for protracted treatment. Many of the Alty fans suspected this had the whiff of a tactical injury designed to buy time for the ongoing patching up, off the pitch, of Livesey (8 mins).

With Chester restored to eleven men, Livesey now wearing a head bandage, play continued relatively quietly before Chester won a 17th minute corner. Alty responded by winning a corner thenselves (19 mins). Just as he had done last week, Johnston, for reasons best known to himself, deliberately took the corner from outside the corner segment marking. The referee remonstrated with him quite rightly.

> Altrincham were now beginning to dominate possession but their build ups were too laborious to trouble the hosts. Play halted again when Livesey went down off the ball for further treatment before resuming (29 mins). Richman was then fortunate to escape with words rather than a booking for a reckless challenge (31 mins).

With Alty still dominating possession, Johnston won a 35th minute corner but then took it poorly himself. Indeed it was an afternoon of consistently poor corners and freekicks from the visitors. The Alty pressure continued but when Livesey hauled down Hulme, the referee took no action (40 mins).

In a rare Chester foray, Jackson beat White and got to the byline but a goalkick resulted. Alty then won four corners between minutes 43 and 45, none of which came to much. Four added minutes were decreed for the earlier stoppages. A further stoppage for treatment to Burton meant that the game was into its seventh added minute when the whistle finally sounded for the interval (45+7 mins).

Half-Time: CHESTER FC 1

Chester FC made two changes at the break, presumably through injury to Burton and Taylor, though the managers could have been forgiven for making tactical changes given the visitors' first-half superiority. The subs were Chester's version of James Jones, and Iwan Murray.

As in the first half Altrincham fell asleep from the kick off. Hughes was allowed to feed Asante, who had had an anonymous first half, and the leading scorer struck a firm shot which Thompson did well to block and then gather (46 mins). The first half had ended with four late corners from Altrincham and now they won three more in a three-minute spell. Only the second of these proved dangerous with Moult rising for a clear header but directing his effort over the bar (47 mins).

Next Hulme was a pace away from beating keeper Griffiths to a through ball as he sprang the offside trap (52 mins). For the third time in the game a Chester player now sat down off the ball for treatment. Again it was keeper Griffiths who repeated his first-half sit-down. This time, after a couple of minutes treatment to an apparent cut, he was led off, seemingly to be subbed (55 mins). But, this was not to be the case. Referee Westgate allowed his treatment off the pitch to continue for a further lengthy period rather than insisting on a substitution.

Quite why he allowed Chester to enjoy what amounted in the end to some ten minutes of stoppage time was totally unfathomable to the supporters. There were rumours of a failure to locate a blood shirt but that sounded a pretty flimsy explanation. Play finally resumed in the 63rd minute.

The disruption had the effect of disrupting Alty's dominance and things got worse as, almost immediately, Johnston pulled up sharply as he neared the byline. Whether his enforced inaction during "Goaklkeepergate" had a role in this was unclear but he resumed after treatment (67 mins). Around the 70 minute mark Chester briefly enjoyed their best spell of the second half.

But then a seemingly overhit ball up the left channel set Hulme chasing an apparent lost cause. The striker did well to get to the ball and his cross was deftly headed back across goal by Hancock, the ball looping into the far corner of the net for a merited equalizer (75 mins).

Of the next three corners, Chester won two, but then Johnston got past two opponents only to be chopped down by the chasing Murray who was duly booked (86 mins).

Once again Alty's freekick was poor, as Hemmings, who otherwise played well, hugely overhit his deadball (87 mins). Chester's Waring now replaced Asanti (90+1 mins). With only eleven added minutes being decreed, fourteen would have been a more accurate figure. Hancock was then hurt by a challenge for which the referee deemed him the aggressor.

Alty had a late scare as Waters shot across goal, and only narrowly wide, before Hancock had to give way to Alty's only substitute of the game, Williams (90+7 mins).

When Hampson got into the opposition box there were strong appeals for handball against Livesey which went unheeded before Alty won the first of two late corners. The already booked Murray then felled White but escaped a second card (90+8 mins).

The referee finally ended proceedings in the 112th minute of a game in which Altrincham played some of their best football for a while to earn a deserved replay.

Full-Time: CHESTER FC 1