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Vanarama National League North match
played on Saturday, 2 February 2020 at 3pm


Despite conceding two poor goals, Altrincham emerged with a deserved point thanks to James Jones's excellent 20-yard effort.

On a poor pitch, Alty fell behind in only the fifth minute, to Telford's first venture forward of note. Jake Moult tripped Barnett just outside the corner of the box. Ex-Alty loanee Daniels's freekick was hit into the wall but rebounded to him. Under a challenge from Mahon, he hooked the ball hopefully towards goal and was as surprised as anyone to see it deceive Thompson, the ball looping over the keeper into the net at the back post.

Despite being the only side trying to play good football, Alty trailed at the break. And when the hosts had the better of the first twenty minutes of the second half, it looked ominous for Alty.

But a piercing through ball from Mahon set Walters free and he did well to slot the ball past the debutant German keeper Luyambula, a Birmingham City loanee (68 mins).

Seven minutes later, Daniels's freekick from wide left, a good 40 yards diagonally from goal, saw Thompson seemingly trying to punch the ball away. However, the Alty keeper completely missed the ball as it sailed into the far top corner of the net.

Alty made it 2-2 with six minutes of normal time remaining. Jones picked up the ball and advanced up the middle before beating the keeper with a shot of a quality not normally associated with a centre-back.

Alty dominated the closing stages and were unfortunate to see Hancock's header from a Hulme cross hit the keeper before being hacked clear. Alty dropped a place to seventh, but only separated from sixth by goal difference.

The two sides meet again on Tuesday at Altrincham.


REFEREE: Mr Matt Corlett
ATTENDANCE: 1,159 (151 in away end)

With Andy White still injured, Altrincham were unchanged, as regards the starting eleven. White was not able to take part in the warm-up and looks set for further absences. Simon Richman returned to the bench after injury in place of goalkeeper Joel Torrance.

Telford were unchanged except that they gave a debut to German keeper Michael Luyambula, a loanee from Birmingham City, as Yates, their previous loanee keeper, had been recalled by his employers. As the matchday programme revealed, in the four previous Altrincham games at the New Buck's Head, Telford had employed four different goalkeepers; so today meant it was five different keepers in five such games.


AFC TELFORD UNITED (White shirts, black shorts and socks): 1. Michael LUYAMBULA, 2. Arien BIRCH, 3. Ross WHITE, 4. Ellis DEENEY, 5. Shane SUTTON (c), 6. Zak LILLY, 7. Ryan BARNETT, 8. Adam WALKER, 9. Matt STENSON, 10. Aaron WILLIAMS, 11. Brendon DANIELS. Subs: 12. Theo STREETE, 14. Jon ROYLE, 15. James McQUILKIN, 16. Darryl KNIGHTS, 17. Marcus DINANGA.

ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): 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. Simon RICHMAN.


Before this match Altrincham had played every team in the division this season except for AFC Telford United and Spennymoor Town. Alty arrived in sixth place whilst AFC Telford United lay thirteenth, nine points behind, despite having played one more fixture. However, the Bucks were buoyed by a 4-2 victory in midweek at home to Blyth Spartans. For their part, Alty had lost just one of their previous ten fixtures.

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

Against AFC Telford United:

Against Telford United:


The Bucks kicked off towards the away end on a soft pitch, devoid of grass in many places. Although a bright, dry day, it was a gusty afternoon.

A shrewd ball from Mahon, slid up the middle, allowed Hulme the game's first shot, albeit off target, from 20 yards (3 mins). But then Moult tripped Bennett just outside the corner of the box on Telford's right.

The freekick, taken by former Alty loanee Daniels, went straight into the wall. As Mahon jostled Daniels, the Bucks' player hoisted a hasty, hopeful ball towards the goalmouth.

Goalkeeper Thompson seemed to have it covered, only for the ball to drop over his head into the far corner of the net. Daniels looked as surprised as everyone else that he had scored (5 mins).

At the other end, Lilly was all over Hulme. From the resultant freekick, from 25 yards, Hancock beat the keeper all ends up, only to see his effort come back off the woodwork (10 mins).

Despite trailing, Alty were enjoying more possession. After a Peers shot had run to the keeper, Alty won a corner but Mahon wasted it (13 mins). Having been caught around the ankle as he made a 50-50 challenge, Tom Peers now had to limp off to give way to Lewis Walters (18 mins).

Next, a Densmore challenge on Daniels gave the Bucks a freekick on the front edge of the box. Daniels's freekick led to two successive corners (24 mins). The game passed uneventfully before Hancock shot narrowly wide (30 mins).

The referee was allowing some clear offences to go unpunished and, when Lundstram was brought down, play was alowed to continue and it took a good save from Thompson to thwart Barnett.

After Densmore had been booked for a foul (35 mins), Hampson fired over the bar after a good Alty build-up. Luyambula continued to timewaste as he had done ever since his side had taken the lead in the fifth minute.

As half-time approached a Mahon shot earned a corner, which in turn produced another. From this second corner the ball came out to Moult who fired well over the bar (44 mins). When Lilly hauled down Hulme, he was deservedly booked for what was at least his third signifcant foul of the match (45 mins).


With the floodlights now illuminated, Alty started the half with a fine move, at the end of which Lundstram headed a Walters cross from the right narrowly over the bar (46 mins).

But Telford then won a corner and went on to have the better of the next twenty minutes. However, Telford's Walker was booked (50 mins) before the home side gained another unproductive corner. Thompson was then caught late by the already booked Walker after the keeper had kicked a ball clear.

At this stage Altrincham found themselves penned back and their passing was letting them down whenever they did gain possession.

Just before the hour mark, Telford threatened as Barnett impressively got past Hampson and Mahon on the Telford right and won a corner. At the other end, Luyambula got away with still having the ball in his hands as he launched a kick upfield from outside the box, the linesman being yards upfield of the incident.

With an equalizer not looking at all likely, Alty brought on Harrop on the left wing, with Lundstram being withdrawn (65 mins). Mahon moved to a more central role in midfield (65 mins).

Almost immediately, Mahon picked up the ball some 40 yards from goal and threaded the ball left to set Walters running at goal. The winger calmly slotted a low shot past the advancing keeper to level the scores (68 mins).

Straightaway, Alty threatened again but Harrop now made a mispass inside the box. The game was now much better fare as Daniels fed Williams, whose low shot was impressively saved by Thompson, low down (71 mins).

But then disaster struck the Alty keeper. Daniels's freekick from near the touch line, a good forty yards diagonally from goal, sailed into the far top corner as Thompson seemed to try and punch rather then catch the ball but failed to make any contact at all. So Alty trailed again (75 mins).

Soon after this, Daniels was booked for a foul (76 mins). Both sides then made a change as McQuilkin replaced the combative former Leamington and Solihull striker Stenson, and Richman replaced Mahon (78 mins).

Luyambula continued to move at a snail's pace at every goalkick but his negativity soon got the reward it deserved as Altrincham equalised. The goal came from an unlikely route as centre-back Jones picked up the ball near halfway and advanced up the middle. When about twenty yards out, he fired a superb shot into the upper reaches of the Telford net to make it 2-2 (84 mins).

Next a fine dribble from Hulme was just halted inside the box before Hancock gained a corner (88 mins). Alty's pressure continued as four added minutes were decreed. However, Tom Hannigan was booked before an impressive Hulme cross from the right was headed at goal from close range by Hancock but the ball was blocked on the line and cleared (90+2 mins).

The last meaningful action was an Altrincham corner (90+4 mins) but the score remained deadlocked at 2-2, leaving Alty still awaiting a first win at the New (as opposed to the Old) Buck's Head.

The sides renew their combat on Tuesday when Telford visit Moss Lane for the return fixture.