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Vanarama National League North match
played on Tuesday, 28 January 2020 at 7.45pm


On a soft and bobbly surface two first-half goals lifted Altrincham to sixth in the table.

Given the difficult surface, Altrincham used a more direct approach than usual. Play was fairly scrappy in the opening stages but Alty gradually got the upper hand. They took a 34th minute lead with a fine shot into the top corner of the net by Hancock.

Ten minutes later, from a right-sided corner, a mistake by home keeper White allowed Altrincham to score, Hannigan hooked the ball towards goal to where Hulme got a deft touch to put it through the keeper's hands.

The second half was fairly uneventful as Alty defended capably and Kettering lacked the guile to manufacture a clear goalscoring chance.


REFEREE: Mr Thomas Kirk, who refereed the Halesowen Town v Alty cup tie this season.

The injured White and seemingly fit Wall gave way to Mahon and Hampson in the starting eleven. Harrop returned from suspension to join the bench where Walters returned after his loan spell at Trafford.


KETTERING TOWN (Red shirts with black stripes, black shorts, red socks): 1. Paul White, 2. Gary Stohrer, 3. Matthew Taylor, 4. Luke Graham (c), 5. Brett Solkhon, 6. Jay Williams, 7. Daniel Nti, 8. Aaron O'Connor, 9. Lindon Meikle, 10. Ben Milnes, 11. Jason Law. Subs: 12. Tre Mitford, 13. Jack Bennett, 14. Michael McGrath, 15. Michael Richens, 16. Joel Carta

ALTRINCHAM (All grey with red and white sash on shirts): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Craig MAHON, 8. Josh LUNDSTRAM, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Tom PEERS. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Luke WALL, 15. Lewis WALTERS, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Joel TORRANCE.


The match only got the go-ahead at around 2pm after a pitch inspection, with Kettering having lost recent home games to waterlogging.

This was Alty's first visit to Burton Latimer, where the Poppies now reside in a groundshare agreement. The ground is next door to a huge Weetabix factory.

The late Mike Garnett's records tell us the historical record of Altrincham against Kettering Town.


Altrincham kicked off towards the Tin Hat End and it was soon apparent that they would not be playing their customary passing game given the pudding of a pitch, parts of which were sanded. After an uneventful opening Alty won three corners in succession on the left. All were taken by Mahon, all were curling inswingers with a low trajectory and all landed well in front of the near post; all came to nothing (7 mins).

Kettering had a couple of long throws for which Altrincham brought all their outfield players back with the usual result that the clearances simply went back to the opposition. Play was fairly even and lacking in any real excitement as the teams came to terms with the difficult surface.

Hancock did get a shot at goal but this was underhit and ran to the keeper (19 mins). Alty were now getting the upper hand but neither side had created a clear chance as the game reached its half-hour point.

Things improved soon afterwards as Meikle's well-struck 25 yarder flashed past Thompson's left upright (32 mins).

But it was Alty who took the lead shortly after this. Hancock's initial attempt at goal was blocked at source but the ball came back to him. This time he hit an impressive shot into the top corner of the net to the keeper's right, from just outside the box in a fairly central position (34 mins).

Alty now enjoyed a dominant spell, with a Peers cross going across the goalmouth without being converted into a goal (41 mins). Kettering responded with a good shot which Thompson saved (42 mins).

Altrincham then won a corner as Kettering hacked the ball away. From the corner from the right, Hannigan hooked the ball towards goal to where Hulme got a deft touch to put it through the keeper's hands. It was his first goal in eleven league outings.

Again Kettering responded and Law should have done better as he received a ball from the right, in space, but fired wide of Thompson's right stick (45 mins). Alty deserved their lead but the two-goal margin was perhaps a little flattering given that the Poppies had created two or three decent shooting opportunities, only to waste them.


Kettering started the second half on the front foot and won an early corner and then a freekick but neither threatened a goal. Play was fairly scrappy before each side made a change around the hour mark. Mitford replaced O'Connor for the home team before Walters came on for Mahon (61 mins).

The play continued in mediocre fashion and after a Kettering corner had come and gone, Alty introduced Mullarkey for Densmore (72 mins). Altrincham had created no chances at all in the second half, so far, but they had fairly comfortably absorbed Kettering's attempts to get back into the game.

Richen replaced Law (76 mins) and five minutes later Alty won a corner and, in truth, there was little else of note that happened.

Walters won his side a rare corner (81 mins) as Kettering's attempts to get forward faltered either on unforced mistakes or competent defending from the visitors.

Next, Carta came on for Meikle (84 mins), before a Walters cross came out to Lundstram, whose well-struck volley only just cleared the bar. The Crewe midfeld loanee had a good game tonight.

Three minutes of added time concluded a second half which was pretty much a non-event as Altrincham did a professional job in seeing out the game with their two-goal lead intact. The points lifted them back into the play-off places, in sixth position.