ALTRINCHAM FC MATCH REPORTS
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ALTRINCHAM (0) 1
KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS (1) 1
played on Saturday, 21 December 2019, at 3pm
After putting in a poor first half, Altrincham upped their tempo and emerged with an ultimately deserved point against full-time Kidderminster. The visitors closed down Alty effectively in a first 45 minutes during which the hosts failed to land a shot on target.
Harriers took a deserved 20th minute lead when the impressive right-back Austin got up the right and his cross was missed by an Alty defender allowing Butterfield a free header, which gave Thompson no chance.
Belatedly, Alty came to life in the final five minutes of the first half but still trailed at the interval and they could have few complaints at that situation.
The second half brought both a better Altrincham performance and an improved spectacle. The equalizer arrived in the 74th minute. Alty had just won a corner and substitute Wall came on and his first act was to take the flag-kick. His corner was put into the net at the back post from close range by Moult after an initial attempt from a team-mate had been blocked.
- 20 mins: Milan BUTTERFIELD (ALTRINCHAM 0 Kidderminster Harriers 1)
- 74 mins: Jake MOULT (ALTRINCHAM 1 Kidderminster Harriers 1)
REFEREE: Mr Peter Shacklady, who was officiating Altrincham's second successive league game, having overseen the defeat at Bradford.
ATTENDANCE: 988 (96 in away end)
Alty were again without John Johnston (hamstring) but he was involved in the warm up today, which was encouraging. Two changes from the midweek FA Trophy game saw Hampson and Mullarkey give way to Densmore and Jones. Alty opted to start without a keeper on the bench.
For the Harriers, former Alty loanee Ashley Hemmings was fit to start but Richard Peniket remained sidelined.
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. Ethan WALKER 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Tom PEERS. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Luke WALL, 15. Simon RICHMAN, 16. Toby Mullarkey, 17. Shaun DENSMORE, 20. Liam BLACKBURN
KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS (Blue shirts and socks, white shorts): 1. William MANNION, 2. Samuel AUSTIN, 3. Correy DAVIDSON, 4. Rhys WILLIAMS, 5. Cliff MOYO (c), 6. Ryan JOHNSON, 7. Alex PROSSER, 8. Milan BUTTERFIELD< 9. Ashley CHAMBERS, 10. Ashley HEMMINGS, 11. Olver SHENTON. Subs: 12. Dennis DIGGIE, 13. Thomas PALMER, 14. Knory SCOTT, 15. Ethan FREEMANTLE, 16. Brandon DIAU.
This was only the second Saturday fixture at the J. Davidson Stadium in the fifteen weeks since Leamington were beaten 5-0 there.
Altrincham went into the game eighteenth, two points behind the Harriers but having played four games fewer. Alty were seeking to end a run of five games without a win whereas Kidderminster had won their last match but none of the preceding seven fixtures.
On a dull but fairly mild December afternoon, Alty kicked off towards the away end where 96 visiting fans were housed, though there were others seated in the main stand. Christmas shopping and both sides' indifferent recent form probably contributed to a disappointing attendance overall.
After just 80 seconds, Hulme won a freekick on the right but this was disappointingly taken by Williams, who was to take most of the game's corners and freekicks.
The early stages became scrappy with one passage of play featuring five successive throw-ins to one side or the other (8 mins). The visitors should have taken an eighth-minute lead when Austin split the home defence and set Chambers in on goal. But Thompson came out and did well to block the striker's effort at the cost of a corner.
Altrincham were finding themselves closed down quickly by the visitors and their forward movements were too predictable to bother the Harriers' defence. And, as both sides were prone to giving the ball away cheaply, it was not proving an afternoon of high quality on the pitch.
After Davidson had won the visitors a corner, Austin did the same two minutes later as they continued in the ascendant (18 mins).
When Liverpool loanee, Rhys Williams fed Austin, the right-back got in a cross which evaded an Alty head in the centre of the penalty area and was met by a firm header from the unmarked Butterfield which gave Tony Thompson no chance as it arrowed into the net for the first goal of the afternoon (20 mins).
Another Kiddy corner soon arrived but, midway through the half, Alty strung together a ten-pass move which earned them a freekick but the home defence cleared this comfortably. indeed, Alty failed to trouble Mannion in the visitors' goal at all before the half-hour mark.
Neither side was particularly impressing over the next ten minutes before Altrincham belatedly improved as the interval came into sight. The uplift started with a fine low cross from Walker which only just evaded the toe of Peers in the goalmouth. And, a minute later, a decent home move culminated in a chance for Walker which he lifted very disappointingly well over the bar (40 mins).
After this, when Hulme was flagged offside, he petulantly hammered the ball at goal, striking the post, and was fortunate to escape with a lecture rather than a booking (41 mins). And, closer to the interval, a good ball from Moult saw Peers do well to get the better of a defender but poke his shot wide as he was jostled inside the box (44 mins).
But, at the other end, Alty were guilty of overplaying and almost lost possession in their own box. In added time Alty put together another good move but the ball came out to Jones who fired well over the bar (45+1 mins). The half ended in the third added minute when an Alty corner, won by Hulme, came to nothing.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 |
KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 1
Freemantle replaced Chambers for the second half, the Harriers' no.9 having needed treatement just before the interval.
Three minutes into the half a Moult cross just evaded his team-mates as, spurred on by the vocal home support, Alty started the half with a better tempo than they had shown in the first 45 minutes.
Following an Alty corner the ball came out to Williams whose shot was hit at the keeper but, nevertheless, constituted his side's first effort on target (51 mins). Kiddy responded with a corner as the half continued to be a far better spectacle than the first half which, to be honest, was not very hard to achieve.
Next a Hemmings 20-yarder had to be pushed round the post by a diving Thompson, who conceded a corner. For Alty, a Moult nod down just ran to Mannion ahead of Peers, who was to have a good second half (60 mins).
A good Alty move ended with Peers netting the ball but offside was the correct decision (61 mins). The home side were now on top and won the next three corners. Following the first, Moult headed at the keeper, after which a needless trip by Hulme in midfield got him booked for the third game running (64 mins). He was swiftly followed into the book by Hemmings, for downing White on halfway.
Alty almost went two-down when a counter-attack by Davidson led to Shenton being put clear but Thompson again did very well to block with his legs (68 mins).
Now Thompson again proved to be the busier keeper as he went full length to save from Butterfield (73 mins). It was to prove a pivotal moment as Alty equalised from a corner soon afterwards. Having won the corner, Alty made a swap before it was taken, as Wall replaced Walker (73 mins).
Wall's first act was to take the corner, from the right. The ball bobbled around the box as Kidderminster blocked an initial Alty effort but the ball was worked towards the back post where Moult bundled it home to level the game (74 mins).
Kidderminster were not settling for the point they had but the final stages were to see Alty generally on top. Following another Wall corner, Jones headed wide from a decent chance (81 mins). On 82 minutes Richman replaced Hancock.
Next, Peers and Hulme combined before Hulme's low ball flew across the goalmouth with no one able to get a touch (83 mins). There was a scare for Alty in the 88th minute when Moult's tackle saw a Harriers' man go down in the box but play was waved on. Afterwards, Wall's tackle from behind on Davidson earned his side's third booking of the match (89 mins).
Four added minutes were decreed during which Alty dominated possession but there was to be no late change in the scoreline.
A draw was probably a fair outcome. After their poor first half, Alty were much improved after the interval but they have now gone six games without a victory in all competitions. They remain eighteenth in the table, albeit with games in hand, ahead of the Boxing Day clash at Curzon Ashton.
|Full Time: ALTRINCHAM 1|
KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 1