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Vanarama National League North match
played on Saturday, 25 January 2020 at 3pm


On an afternoon overshadowed by rumours of the death, later confirmed, of former player Jordan Sinnott, this game rarely set the pulse raising.

Altrincham took the lead inside 40 seconds when Jordan Hulme's low cross from the right was turned home at the back post by Josh Hancock. And it was Hulme who was again the provider for the second goal, which was headed in at the back post by James Jones from Hulme's chipped cross.

In between the goals there was little to get excited about and the second half was even less eventful until Alty belatedly raised their performance in the final ten minutes.

Alty's first-half unjury jinx struck again as Andy White had to be substituted after 38 minutes. New signing Craig Mahon came on for the final half-hour and had a quietly effective start to his Alty career.


REFEREE: Mr Jonny Urwin

On the eve of this game, Alty fans were shocked by the departure to Chester FC of their lively winger, John Johnston. The loss of JJ was assuaged to some extent by the arrival of Craig Mahon from Chester. Mahon was named on the bench.

Last Saturday at Gateshead, a weakened Altrincham side lacked the suspended Harrop and the injured Williams, Richman and Peers. Harrop was serving the final match of his ban today but Peers started this game whilst both Williams and Richman, as well as former Bradford keeper Steven Drench, were involved in the warm-up but not in the squad today. In defence James Jones came into the side in place of Toby Mullarkey.

Lewis Walters was on the bench after being on loan at Trafford. Last week, at Gateshead, Alty had fielded debutant loanee from Crewe, Josh Lundstram, in midfield and Luke Wall had been brought in on the left; both started again today.

A number of ex-Alty players are on BPA's books, including Nicky Clee, Ryan Toulson and assistant player/manager Danny Boshell. Clee captained the team today and Toulson played whilst Boshell manned the technical area with manager Mark Bower.


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. Luke WALL, 8. Josh LUNDSTRAM, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Tom PEERS. Subs: 12. Craig MAHON, 14. Lewis WALTERS, 15. Connor HAMPSON, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Joel TORRANCE.

BRADFORD PARK AVENUE (Green shirts, white shorts and socks): 1. Tom NICHOLSON, 2. Ryan TOULSON, 3. Stelios DEMETRIOU, 4. Jake HIBBS, 5. Liam HUGHES, 6. Billy PRIESTLEY, 7. Ryan HALL, 8. Lewis KNIGHT, 9. Oli JOHNSON, 10. Alex HURST, 11. Nicky CLEE (c). Subs 13. Joe GREEN, 14. Mitch LUNA, 16. Tom CLARE, 17. Adam NOWAKOWSKI


Bottom of the table Bradford (Park Avenue) had beaten Alty 2-0 at the Horsfall Stadium earlier this campaign. Nevertheless, the Avenue arrived at the JDS twenty-four points behind Alty despite having played three games more.

The late Mike Garnett's records tell us the historical record of Altrincham against Bradford (Park Avenue).

Matches against the pre-1974 BPA finished as shown below...


The game got off to a dramatic start but markedly failed to maintain that level for the remaining hour and a half.

After kicking off towards the away end, Altrincham found the back of the new red and white goal-nets at the J. Davidson Stadium after just 38 seconds. Jordan Hulme got in an excellent low cross, from right of goal, and Josh Hancock arrived to tap the ball over the line near the back post.

The only event of note in the ensuing minutes was an Alty corner, conceded by Hughes as Hancock closed him down (7 mins). Taken short, the corner came to naught. Altrincham were passing the ball around accurately for the most part but with insufficient tempo to cause any problems, whilst BPA were unable to pose a threat to the home goal.

Things briefly improved with a fine Densmore ball to Hulme but the striker clipped his effort to keeper Nicholson (16 mins). More than once, at this stage, Hulme came very deep to get possession of the ball as the service to him further up the pitch was lacking.

A Demetriou cross evaded Thompson but Altrincham were awarded a freekick before any damage could result (23 mins). Four minutes later Alty did put together a good move but Peers miscontrolled the final ball to him, inside the box.

Bradford won themselves a corner on the half-hour but Clee curled this onto the roof of the net.

After 35 minutes a fine ball from Lundstram set Peers advancing up the middle but he was crowded out by two defenders. Two Alty corners were then won in succession.

However, before the second one could be taken, White sat down for treatment and was substituted by Connor Hampson (38 mins). It was the third first-half injury substitution needed by Altrincham in the last two home games.

With play drifting on, Altrincham got a second goal when Hulme's clever chip towards the back post was headed home by the arriving Jones (41 mins). It was a second excellent "assist" from the Alty striker.

The final minute of the first 45 saw Clee strike an excellent shot only narrowly wide, from 30 yards out. In added time, Peers got round Nicholson to the left of goal but Moult was unable to get his resulting effort on target.

It had been a moderate performance from Altrincham; not one to set the pulse racing.


For the second half, Nowakowski surprisingly replaced Bradford captain Nicky Clee, who was presumably carrying a knock. Bradford enjoyed the better of the opening stages of the half without seriously threatening a goal.

Hughes's lofted effort over the bar (47 mins) was followed by Thompson spilling a low shot from the BPA left but the visitors were declared offside.

Hall then found himself harshly booked for a 50-50 challenge on Lundstram in midfield (52 mins). Next, Wall got in a shot but it went well wide (55 mins).

Clare replaced Hall soon afterwards (56 mins) and, five unremarkable minutes later, Mahon made his Alty debut as Wall was taken off (61 mins).

Bradford continued to look the more threatening and a well-struck shot was parried by Thompson before Hannigan hacked the ball clear (64 mins). Moments later Thompson was booked for timewasting which was a hardly necessary tactic at 2-0 up with 25 minutes left (65 mins).

Bradford continued on the front foot before both sides made a change in the 68th minute. Mullarkey came on for Peers, and Bradford's Luna eclipsed Toulson, who had earlier taken a knock.

Altrincham survived a goalmouth melee (72 mins) before Alty at last produced an attacking threat when Hancock played the ball inside to Hulme but he was unable to convert the opportunity (75 mins).

Belatedly Altrincham upped their game in the closing stages. After Mahon had shot very wide of goal (79 mins), Lundstram's fine ball allowed Hulme to play the ball inside to Hancock who forced a fine save from Nicholson. Following this a foul by Nowakowski on Lundstram gave a Alty a freekick which came to nothing (80 mins).

Knight, who looked the pick of the Avenue players, won a corner for the visitors before Hancock laid the ball off for Mahon who, again, shot comfortably wide of goal (85 mins).

A better shot, this time from Lundstram, won Alty a late corner as they now took the game to their opponents. A ninetieth minute Altrincham corner was the last signifiant action before three minutes of added time were comfortably played out by the hosts.

This was a workmanlike rather than outstanding performance by Altrincham but, despite the visitors' efforts, Altrincham were not obliged to perform at the highest level to secure the points.