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Vanarama National League North match
played on Saturday, 16 November 2019, at 3pm

SUMMARY: For the second successive home league match Altrincham found the net five times, albeit with a ten-week gap between those matches!

And you would have got very long odds on the final score today after the first 25 minutes of this game, during which Hereford FC were comfortably the better side.

So, it was against the run of play when an Alty corner was deflected into Tom Hannigan's path and the centre-back stooped to head home from close range and put his side ahead (26 mins). To compound the visitors' misfortune it was 2-0 barely a minute later when Jordan Hulme scored with a clever back-flick from Andy White's low cross from the left.

And it could have been even worse for Hereford shortly afterwards as Hulme hit the bar with a clever flick from a Densmore feed (32 mins). The visitors remained second-best for the rest of the first half.

After the interval, Altrincham did make it 3-0 in the 57th minute as Hulme drove the ball home after a Johnston advance up the right. But Peter Vincenti made it 3-1 after 63 minutes when he sidefooted home after Josh Gowling had nodded down a freekick.

However, three minutes later, Alty restored their three-goal lead following another Johnston raid. This time, the striker slotted the ball home from near the penalty spot. Another two minutes had elapsed before Shaun Densmore swept home a fifth goal for the hosts, from a Hulme feed. The final twenty minutes were relatively uneventful as Altrincham remained eighteenth but with games in hand on virtually everybody else.


REFEREE: Mr Paul Brown
ATTENDANCE: 1,506 (192 in away end)

Altrincham were without last week's match-winner Tom Peers, who had a slight groin strain. So Jordan Hulme returned to the starting eleven. Luke Wall made his debut in the no.11 shirt with Yusifu Ceesay sidelined by injury. Connor Hampson was on the bench, having also missed starting other recent games through injury.

Today marked Josh Hancock's 100th appearance for Altrincham.

For Hereford, Keiron Thomas was out of action.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Andy WHITE, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Luke WALL. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 15. Connor HAMPSON, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 20. Joel TORRANCE

HEREFORD FC (All pale blue) 1. Brandon HALL, 2. Jason POPE, 3. Jack BODENHAM, 4. Ben POLLOCK, 5. Jordan CULLINANE-LIBURD, 6. Josh GOWLING (c), 7. Victor SODGINDE, 8. Stephen DAWSON, 9. Peter VINCENTI, 10. Tommy O'SULLIVAN, 11. Jordan NICHOLSON. Subs: 12. Martin RILEY, 14. Tom OWEN-EVANS, 15. Kelsey MOONEY, 16. Bradley ASH, 17. Alex BRAY.


This was the first Saturday match at the JDS, and also the first home league game for Altrincham, for exactly ten weeks, since Leamington visited on 7 September 2019. Before kick-off, only five home league home games had been played at the J. Davidson Stadium this season, the lowest number for at least twenty years by this date in the calendar.

Before kick-off there was a minute's applause in memory of the recently departed Martin Jordan (supporter and volunteer), Fred Nash (sponsor) and Les Campbell (player).


On a gloomy afternoon, with light but steady rain falling and the floodlights already illuminated, Hereford started the game playing towards Golf Road with the referee ordering an immediate restart for encroachment by Alty.

After being too quickly out of the blocks for kick-off, Altrincham made a slow start to the game itself and were very fortunate not to fall behind in the seventh minute. The chance came when Hancock lost the ball inside the opposition half and O'Sullivan was allowed to advance unchallenged. His well-struck shot from 22 yards left Thompson motionless but cannoned back off the keeper's left upright.

And the Bulls went close again two minutes later when O'Sullivan's freekick was beaten out by Thompson but a Hereford player, following up, was only able to find the side-netting (9 mins).

Alty belatedly showed a spark of life as they won a corner but they continued to look lethargic as referee Brown lectured Moult for a foul (15 mins). Alty continued to falter, losing the ball cheaply, before Wall nipped in smartly ahead of keeper Hall, to the left of goal, and won a corner which, again, came to nothing (20 mins).

But, when Johnston won his side their third corner of the afternoon, Altrincham took an undeserved lead. Johnston's corner from the left seemed to deflect off someone near the front post and fell for a stooping Hannigan to head home from a central position (26 mins).

And Hereford almost immediately found themselves two goals adrift as a low cross from the left by White was adroitly backheeled across goal into the far corner by Jordan Hulme for a smartly taken goal (28 mins).

Two goals almost became three when a fine pass from Densmore saw Hulme, left of goal, execute a superb flicked shot with the outside of his right foot, which looped over the stranded keeper but came back off the underside of the crossbar (32 mins).

Hannigan, who had taken a knock before he scored the opener but had played on, now went down injured. He resumed after treatment but Mullarkey was prepared on the bench.

From looking a decent side, Hereford had imploded and almost conceded again when Hall had to make a full-length save from Hancock, at the cost of a corner (38 mins). Just after Jones had earned another corner, Hannigan was replaced by Mullarkey (39 mins).

Hereford then had to hack away another corner (41 mins) as the game had swung comprehensively in Alty's favour. However, just before the start of four added minutes a Hereford counter-attack ended with loanee Sodginde spooning a chance well over the bar (45 mins).

An excellent move from Altrincham gained them an added time corner but this came to nothing (45+3 mins). It had been a half of two halves, with the visitors decidely the better side before Alty had taken the lead and dominated the final twenty minutes.


As in the first half it was the visitors who started the second period the better with, first, Vincenti and then Nicholson striking shots wide (50 + 53 mins). But, as in the first half, it was Alty who struck the first blow after the interval. after Williams had won the ball, Johnston advanced on the right and fed Hulme who drove a low shot through the keeper's touch to make it 3-0 (57 mins).

Immediately Owen-Evans replaced Pollock for the Bulls.

As in the first half, an Alty goal sparked them into life and deflated the visitors. A minute after their third goal Wall forced a fine save with an impressive volley which earned a corner, which was immediately followed by another. Next Johnston hit an effort just over the bar before each side made a change; Richman replaced Moult and Hereford's Ash came on for Sodginde (61 mins).

Hereford's slight hopes of retrieving the game were briefly raised when a freekick from 35 yards out was nodded down by Gowling and Vincenti swept the ball into the net to make it 3-1 (63 mins).

It took Altrincham just three minutes to restore their three-goal lead as Hulme drove home a Johnston feed from the right (66 mins). Now Harrop came on for Wall, who had had a promising debut (66 mins).

Two minutes later Densmore made it 5-1 as he drove home a low shot from Hulme's feed after the striker had held th ball up well (68 mins). Following their 5-0 win over Leamington, ten weeks earlier, this was Alty's second successive five-goal haul in a home league match.

Next, Vincenti was fortunate to evade a booking for a trip on the speeding Johnston before a fine ball from Williams set Hulme in on goal. He dribbled impressively past a defender but the keeper halted his progress (74 mins). To compound the visitors' woes, Pope was soon to be booked for a foul on Harrop (75 mins).

As the game drifted towards its inevitable conclusion, Bray replaced Vincenti with four minutes remaining. Apart from an added time corner by Hereford, which ended up with the ball coming to Thompson, the final stages produced little of note.

Despite the 5-1 win Altrincham remained eighteenth but they have games in hand on virtually every other club, as they prepare for a midweek visit from Gateshead.