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Vanarama National League North match
played on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 at 7.45pm


Played in a biting and gusty wind throughout, this was a game which Altrincham should have won after dominating a large portion of the first half and the start of the second period. But a missed penalty, a disallowed goal and failure to defend after two corners cost Alty dear.

Altrincham started the game slowly and fell behind in only the eighth minute as a home corner came back for a follow-up cross by Brogan. The ball drifted in the windy conditions to the back post where Roberts was allowed to steal in and hammer the ball into the roof of the net.

A swirling snow shower then made conditions even more difficult for ten minutes or so as Altrincham took a hold on the game. They deservedly equalised in the 33rd minute with a fine 25-yard freekick by Hancock into the bottom corner of the net.

After being on top from the start of the second half, Moult lost possession in midfield. The ball was worked to the right where Ramshaw netted with a 30-yard screamer which Thompson could do little about (53 mins).

Four minutes later Densmore was upended in the box but Hancock's penalty was saved by the keeper to his right.

It was to prove costly as the Moors made it 3-1 midway through the half. As with the first goal, a home corner was half cleared only for the ball to be relaunched into the penalty area where, this time, Buddle headed it home (67 mins).

On 78 minutes a turn and shot by Hancock seemed to have made it 3-2 but, after a long chat with his linesman, the goal was ruled out for offside.

Alty had brought on Elliott Durrell for his debut and he was brought down to win a second penalty. He took it himself and sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 3-2 (83 mins). Despite some late pressure Alty left the wind-swept Brewery Field empty-handed.


REFEREE: Mr John Matthews

Alty had a pre-match injury list which comprised Drench, Peers, Hampson, Richman, Williams amnd White. Only Hampson had recovered to start, whilst Peers was named on the bench. Before the match, Alty had announced the signing of Elliott Durrell, following his departure from York City.

For Spennymoor, Brogan replaced club captain Chris Mason in the starting eleven and injuried meant that Carl Magnay and Jamie Chandler were replaced by Tyler Forbes and Shane Henry.


SPENNYMOOR TOWN (Black and white striped shirts, black shorts) 1. Matt Gould, 2. Tyler Forbes, 3. Stephen Brogan, 4. Jason Kennedy, 5. Nathan Buddle, 6. James Curtis, 7. James Roberts, 8. Shane Henry, 9. Glen Taylor, 10. Rob Ramshaw, 11. Ben McKenna. Subs: 12. Chris Mason, 14. Mark Anderson, 15. Billy Whitehouse, 16. Adam Boyes, 17. Andrew Johnson

ALTRINCHAM (All grey): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Daniel MOONEY, 8. Josh LUNDSTRAM, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Craig MAHON. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Lewis WALTERS, 15. Elliott DURRELL, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Tom PEERS


This was the third time of asking for Altrincham's away trip to Spennymoor Town, the only club in the division that the Robins had not yet faced this season.

The original date for the game was Saturday, 30 November, but the match had to be postponed owing to Alty's FA Cup tie at Portsmouth that day.

The game was rescheduled for Tuesday, 14 January only to be postponed after both the Altrincham team and their supporters had travelled to the Brewery Field. Purely coincidentally, of course, the referee who called off that game, Mr Herczeg, was spotted later that same evening at the Newcastle United v Rochdale FA Cup tie, up the road on Tyneside... according to reports from Spennymoor spectators.

Spennymoor Town, like Altrincham, reached the play-offs last season and, in this campaign, at kick-off, they lay just one place outside them, in eighth, with three points fewer than sixth-placed Altrincham currently have.

The late Mike Garnett's records reveal the history of games between the clubs.

Against Spennymoor Town:

Against the forerunner club, Spennymoor United:


With a strong and gusty wind and in a bitter temperature, Altrincham kicked off but it was the Moors who gained the first corner through Roberts (3 mins). McKenna earned his side a second flag-kick in the seventh minute, off Hampson.

This came back out to Brogan and his cross from the right towards the back post evaded Jones and was swept into the net at the back post by the incoming Roberts, the ball rising into the upper reaches of the goal (8 mins). So, for the second successive game, Alty trailed.

Another Spennymoor corner was dealt with more satisfactorily (10 mins). When Hancock counter-attacked with pace up the left he was bundled over deep in the Moors' half by the retreating Ramshaw. But it was the hosts who soon threatened again whe Ramshaw took advantage of a Jones error but fired over the bar (13 mins).

Alty started to get back into the game following a freekick for a foul on Mooney, which led to a corner. At this point a sudden swirling snow shower swept across the pitch and also towards the Spennymoor end. In the lengthy but temporary blizzard, Alty won a corner through Hulme.

Mooney then hit a freekick disappointingly into a defender in the wall and as the Alty man chased back to deal with the counter-attack he felled his man and was booked. Despite now enjoying plenty of the ball, Hulme's wide shot was the nearest to a goal threat from Altrincham (27 mins).

But when Alty won a freekick about 25 yards out, in the inside-left channel, Hancock hit this superbly into the keeper's bottom right-hand corner to level the score (33 mins). Altrincham went on to play some impressive passing football on a pitch which was in excellent condition for the time of year, with Mahon notable on the left.

Next, when Lundstram was fed the ball inside the box, his momentary pause allowed a defender to block his progress (40 mins). More impressive Alty play culminated in a Hancock shot which curled just wide of the target (44 mins). In the one added minute before half-time Alty dealt with a Spennymoor corner.


As the hosts kicked off it was dry but still windy and cold. Alty soon resumed where they had left off, enjoying plenty of the ball and they won an early corner. Soon, a Mooney shot curled just over the bar (50 mins). And Alty now won a corner to emphasize the feeling that they were going to take control of the game.

But then Moult tried to shield the ball near halfway but lost possession. The ball was played towards the right, where Ramshaw hit a screamer into the net from 30 yards, giving Thompson no chance (53 mins). As in the first half, the eighth minute had proved costly to the visitors.

Alty responded well with a Hulme shot having to be pushed away for a corner by the keeper and, from a second corner, the unmarked Moult disappointingly headed firmly over the bar (56 mins). But a minute later the pressure told as Densmore was clearly pulled to the ground by Curtis inside the box.

After an inordinate delay, Hancock hit the ball firmly to the keeper's right but Gould dived full-length to save it (58 mins). Spennymoor immediately counter-attacked through McKenna but Thompson saved his shot. Undaunted, Alty gained another two corners before Lundstram shot wildly wide (61 mins).

Spennymoor themselves then won two corners. The second, taken by Brogan, came out to Taylor, left of the box. His initial shot was blocked so he crossed the rebound and Buddle headed it firmly home from the centre of the goalmouth to make the score a flattering 3-1 to Spennymoor (67 mins).

Immediately, Alty gave new signing Durrell his debut in place of Mahon. A corner apiece came and went before Altrincham made a double change with Mullarkey and Harrop replacing Densmore and Mooney (76 mins).

After Hulme had got into the box the ball found its way to Hancock who turned and hit a fine shot into the net from the outer reaches of the box in a centralish position (78 mins). But the linesman raised his flag. Mr Matthews held a lengthy consulation with the assistant before ruling out the goal.

Durrell was showing some good touches and, when he was brought down by Kennedy inside the box, Alty had won a second spot-kick of the evening. Durrell took it himself, sending the keeper the wrong way to make it 3-2 (83 mins).

Three minutes of added time saw Alty unable to get themselves level. The evening finished with a corner to the visitors whch came to nothing (90+4 mins).

This was a match which Altrincham let slip. Whilst Ramshaw's goal was exceptional, the first and third Spennymoor goals were disappointing to concede. The result left Alty still sixth, ahead of Spennymoor but now only by goal difference.