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Vanarama National League North match
played on Saturday, 4 January 2020 at 3pm


Altrincham made it twelve points over the festive season with this second away win of the league season.

The Robins started the game the better side, enjoying plenty of possession but were unable to convert that superiority into a goal. White's header against the post was the nearest to a first-half breakthrough, whilst the hosts lacked any kind of goal threat.

Nevertheless, The Brakes had the better of the closing stages of the first half but the quality of the game declined before half time arrived with the score remaining goalless.

Again Alty looked the brighter after the interval and they deservedly took a 57th minute lead when Josh Hancock netted his fiftieth goal for the club, from a Densmore feed after the right back had made a characteridstic surge forward.

Two home substitutions helped the Brakes in the final twenty minutes but Alty defended well and in the closing stages had two or three counter attacks which could well have produced another goal.


REFEREE: Mr Michael Barlow, who had already reffed Alty this season at Kidderminster and at home to Gateshead.

Altrincham's sixteen were unchanged from New Year's Day, with James Jones still absent through illness.

Leamington were without top scorer, Josh March, following a £25,000 deal for him to move to Forest Green Rovers which had been announced on the eve of the game.


LEAMINGTON (Yellow and black stripes, black shorts, yellow socks): 1. Jake Weaver, 2. Junior English, 3. Stephan Morley, 4. Callum Maycock, 5. James MAce, 6. Jack Lane, 7. Callum Gittings, 8. Joe Clarke, 9. Kaiman Anderson, 10. Jack Edwards (c), 11. Dexter Walters. Subs: 12. Kieran Dunbar, 14. Jordan Murphy, 15. Connor Taylor, 16. Josh Martin, 17. Josh Allen.

ALTRINCHAM (All grey): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Andy WHITE, 4. Toby MULLARKEY, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Max HARROP. Subs: 12. Luke WALL, 14. Ethan WALKER, 15. Connor HAMPSON, 16. Tom PEERS, 20. Joel TORRANCE


The late Mike Garnett's records remind us of the historical record in clashes between the clubs.

Earlier this season Alty won the reverse fixture at home, 5-0. Altrincham went into this game in twelfth place, two places and a point ahead of The Brakes, but having played three games fewer.


Although Altrincham kicked off, it was Leamington who gained the first corner and, shortly afterwards, they forced a comfortable save from Tony Thompson, who was to have a quiet afternoon (4 mins).

At the other end Harrop went down looking for a penalty but his pleas were unsuccessful as Alty, nevertheless, began to get the upper hand (7 mins). Theye taken the lead when a fine cross from the right from Johnston was headed against the upright by the incoming White at the back post.

The visitors' pressure continued as, from a Johnston corner, Mullarkey got in a clean header but his aim was wide (9 mins).

Alty soon threatened again when Hulme cleverly threaded his away into the box but Weaver blocked his stab at goal (13 mins). Although Leamington gained an 18th minute corner, Alty remained on top as they now then won three corners in succession. The last of these prompted a goalmouth scramble during which a home defender cleared the ball off the line (21 mins).

Leamington improved a little as the half-hour was reached but the overall quality of the game declined into a scrappy stalemate. Laycock's weak shot at Thompson was the nearest to a goal threat from wither side at this stage (33 mins).

For Alty, Simon Richman laid a low cross across the home goalmouth but no one got on the end of it (36 mins). Moult then got himself booked for hauling down Walters, who had looked as lively as anyone for the Brakes (38 mins).

After an acrobatic Harrop shot had gone wide, the sides traded a corner apiece before a merciful end to a first half, which had started promisingly but had descended into mediocrity, was signalled by the referee's whistle.

Although they had been the better side, this was Alty's sixth league game on the trot in which they had not scored in the first half.


As in the first half, the side which kicked off the second period conceded an early corner. But having won the corner, Johnston took it poorly and followed it up with an equally disappointing cross (46 mins). But, overall, Alty started brightly, as Hulme fed Hancock who turned smartly but his shot ended stuck, high up in a tree, outside the ground (48 mins).

Moments later Peers came on for Harrop who was, presumably, injured (49 mins). Next, Hulme once more impressively jinked into the box but Weaver blocked his effort (51 mins). Alty keeper Thompson meanwhile remained largely a spectator.

However, the Alty custodian should have been tested when Edwards muscled Hannigan to the ground but he put his header comfortably wide (54 mins).

As with Richman's first-half cross, White now rolled a similar low ball across the six-yard box but, again, no team-mate was on the end of it.

Alty continued on top as Peers fed Densmore, who had darted forward on the right. The right-back played the ball inside to Hancock who calmly slotted his shot past Weaver to put Altrincham ahead (57 mins). It was his 50th goal for the club.

For the third time in the afternoon Alty laid a low cross across the Leamington goalmouth only for no one to be its recipient. This time it was Peers's ball which just evaded Hancock (58 mins).

At this stage it was looking comfortable for ALtrincham as the Brakes offered very little threat. However, after the hour mark, the hosts began to apply some pressure with Lane's 25-yard drive going only narrowly wide (64 mins).

Altrincham responded and a characteristic burst forward by Denmsore saw his well-struck low shot saved by Weaver, with a corner resulting shortly afterwards.

But when Leamington made two changes, Murphy for Gitting (69 mins) and Taylor for Walters (71 mins), the tide seemed to turn in the Brakes' favour. Alty's reponse was to bring on Hampson at left-back for Densmore, with White swapping defensive flanks as a consequence (76 mins).

Leamington had a good chance in the 79th minute when a fine cross-field ball by Anderson located Clarke but his first touch was not good and his shot from right of goal ended in the side-netting.

A Mullarkey foul and then a joint lecture for Hannigan and his opponent Taylor underlined at which end the pressure was being applied at this point (83 mins).

However, the home side were not creating clear chances and Alty remained a danger on the break. A fine ball from Johnston located White whose low cross was cut out (88 mins). Next Dunbar replaced Anderson for Leamington and, at the same time, Wall came on for Hulme for Alty (87 mins).

Johnston now again got forward for Alty and via Hancock, Wall's shot went disappointingly to the keeper at the near post (90 mins). In the decreed three added minutes Alty had another fine chance on the counter attack as Peers got clear up the inside-right channel but his cross failed to locate the unmarked Wall (90+1 mins).

The final whistle confirmed Altrincham's fourth successive win but it left them still in 12th place albeit with games in hand on the rest of the table. With several catch-up games to be played in the next few weeks, they havea great chance of getting themselves in sight, or indeed within, the play-off places.