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Vanarama National League North match
played on Saturday, 15 February 2020 at 3pm


In very gusty but dry conditions, Altrincham moved up to fifth with a comprehensive win over a Blyth side lacking in confidence.

They opened the scoring after Hampson had been fouled on the front edge of the box, left of goal. Hancock hit a superb freekick into the nearside of the net to replicate his achievement at Spennymoor on Tuesday (20 mins).

And last Tuesday's game repeated itself again when Alty were awarded a penalty. This time Hulme, who had earned the spot-kick, took it himself but the keeper saved his effort as had also happened last Tuesday to Hancock's attempt (34 mins).

With the wind now behind them, Blyth were able to get forward a little more at the start of the second half but they created little threat to the Alty goal.

Elliott Durrell was introduced as a substitute and play immediately resumed with a throw-in. The ball came to Durrell who, with his first touch made space, and with his second, fired the ball into the far corner of the net from 18 yards (57 mins).

The game was wrapped up in the 65th minute when Mooney was put clear and he finished well past the advancing keeper, Hemming.

Blyth were then decidedly second best as Altrincham created more chances but without adding to their tally.


REFEREE: Mr David McNamara

Alty were unchanged except on the bench where Andy White displaced Max Harrop. Simon Richman was involved in the warm up but Sean Williams was not, as both recover from injury.

Blyth's new signing Blaney had been sent off last weekend against Chester FC so the Irishman was suspended for this game. But Lee Clark had brought in two more new faces in Aaron Cunningham and Leighton McIntosh, who both started.


BLYTH SPARTANS (Green and white striped shirts, black shorts, green socks) 1. Zach Hemming, 2. Rhys Evans, 3. Kris Thackray, 4. Jack Hunter, 5. Aaron Cunningham, 6. Tom Devitt, 7. Lewis Hawkins, 8. Daman Mullen (c), 9. Macaulay Langstaff, 10. Leighton McIntosh, 11. Olly Scott. Subs: 12. Robbie Dale, 14. Adam Wrightson, 15. Jack Lambert, 16. Ben Harmison, 17. Scott Fenwick.

ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 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. Elliott DURRELL, 14. Tom PEERS, 15. Andy WHITE, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Lewis WALTERS.


With Storm Dennis battering the UK and eight matches postponed in the National League North, this match survived and was to be played in surprisingly dry conditions throughout. However, strong and gusty winds swept down the pitch towards the clubhouse end.

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


Blyth kicked off and won an early corner (3 mins) before a Hampson cross produced one for Altrincham, too, a minute later.

The early stages were reasonably end to end as The Moors gained another corner before a trip on Jones by Mullen regained possession for Altrincham. But neither side had created a clear opening before Thackray became the first player to be booked, for a foul on Hulme (13 mins).

Altrincham were now begining to get on top but a wild shot from Mooney and a weak effort from Densmore were the best they could muster in terms of a goal threat.

Next, Hampson jinked into the box but was fouled just outside the box as he advanced. Any regrets that Hampson had not been allowed to carry on by the referee were to be dissipated when Hancock netted the freekick. From a similar position from which Hancock had netted on Tuesday at Spennymoor, he repeated the trick with a dipping shot into the bottom nearside corner of the net to make it 1-0 to his side (20 mins).

The strong wind was making flowing football difficult but Alty were playing the more composed football.

Blyth's best effort as the game passed the half-hour mark was a wide long-shot from Hunter (31 mins).

An Alty cross into the box caused mayhem with the keeper dashing out but not gathering the ball and Hulme being brought down in the right of the box. Again echoing the game at Spennymoor, Alty were awarded a penalty. Hancock had seen his spot-kick saved last Tuesday so Hulme, who never usually takes spot-kicks, tried his luck.

He hit the ball too centrally and at a comfortable enough height for Hemming to beat the ball away (34 mins).

The penalty save lifted the home supporters and their team immediately got forward but Hawkins and McIntosh collided as they both went to head a cross and, between them, put the ball wide.

Mooney then picked up his third booking in four games for a foul on Scott (38 mins). But when Blyth messed up the freekick routine the volatile crowd showed its displeasure.

Thompson's first bit of serious action saw him come out to smother the ball, getting a kick in the chest for his pains. He recovered after a brief stoppage and, with the home crowd baying at him, he lifted his jersey to show where he had been caught by an opponent's foot! (41 mins)

Alty threatened as the interval approached. A good shot by Mooney was beaten out by Hemming before Hancock fired narrowly wide (44 mins). With a rare glimpse of sunshine in the distance, the half drew to a close with Alty deservedly ahead.


Alty were now facing the strong wind and this encouraged the hosts to have a go at getting forward. A fine run up the middle by Cunningham led to a header from McIntosh to Thompson (48 mins).

But although the hosts were spending more time in the Alty half, they were not threatening to score.

After an Alty corner, a throw was awarded to them on the left. At this point each side made a change. Dale came on for Mullen and for Alty Durrell replaced Mahon (56 mins).

The throw was laid off by Hulme to Durrell, lurking on the left front corner of the box. With his first touch, he gathered the ball, made space and then fired an excellent finish into the far corner of the net to double the lead (56 mins). It was the perfect substitution.

Soon afterwards, Hunter was booked and then Hancock got in a cross but there was no one in the goalmouth to convert it (62 mins). Hancock then got himself needlessly booked for kicking the ball at goal well after he had been given offside (64 mins).

Mooney then tried a 50-yard shot but, although the wind did cause his looping effort to drop, it landed on the roof of the net and not in the back of it. Almost immediately Mooney was put clear up the inside right channel and as Hemming advanced he calmly slotted the ball past him into the far side of the net to make it 3-0 to his side (65 mins).

After Robbie Dale had almost lost the ball in his own box, Durrell, Lundstram, Mooney and Hancock combined with the last named's fine shot being clawed away by goalkeeper Hemming (68 mins).

Now Blyth introduced Fenwick for Hunter (69 mins). Soon after this, Mooney got in two shots at goal which Hemming dealt with as the direction of play was one-way. Mooney was then withdrawn for Walters (73 mins).

The hosts won a fortunate corner when a long range punt by Langstaff was deflected at source by a defender and a second corner immediately followed but to no avail. Despite leading 3-0, Thompson attracted the referee's attention for his slow play before Alty made a final change with Mullarkey replacing Hancock (79 mins).

When Hampson cleverly dinked the ball past Hawkins, the home player brought him down and was booked (83 mins). A couple of minutes later Densmore dummied as the ball came towards him in the Blyth penalty area and he was taken out by a defender who made no attempt to touch the ball. Why a second Alty penalty was not awarded was a mystery.

Another of several kicks by Thompson veered at almost 45 degrees to go out of play as the wind strengthend further. Four minutes of added time included a Blyth corner before a Hampson effort won his side a corner.

Although a second corner resulted, nothing came of it and the final whistle confirmed a three-point haul for Alty which lifted them to fifth place.

This was a comfortable victory but the visitors had had to dig deep to overcome the strong winds as well as their human opponents.