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Vanarama National League North match
played on Saturday, 7 March 2020 at 3pm


This game was not the one-sided affair suggested by the final score but, nevertheless, Altrincham were well-deserving winners.

The hosts got off to a great start as, in just the third minute, Elliott Durrell continued his run of scoring in every game for Altrincham with his fourth in four outings since joining the club. After Shaun Densmore had got forward and hooked the ball across the goalmouth from the right, Durrell fired the ball home, from left of goal, to make it 1-0.

Alty did not build on that lead and gradually Spennymoor got into the game and enjoyed a decent spell around the half-hour mark. But a superb cross-field ball from man of the match Josh Lundstram led to the second goal for Alty in the 39th minute. The pass having located Durrell on the left wing, the no.11's progress was checked but Alty kept possession. The ball was relayed, inside, to Hulme who fired home across the keeper to make it 2-0.

The Moors started the second half with a purpose and got back into the game in the 52nd minute. Right-back Forbes was allowed to advance in space before hitting a fine shot into the top left-corner of Thompson's net from nearly 30 yards.

In retrospect the turning point was a fine save by Thompson from Ramsdale, six minutes later.

Midway through the half Alty regained their two-goal lead when Tom Hannigan's diving header converted Mooney's corner from the left (68 mins).

Alty's fourth goal came in the last minute of normal time. Hulme was located in space, outside the box, left of goal. Almost nonchalantly he hit a superb dipping shot into the far, top corner of Gould's net.

The win restored Alty to fifth place on an afternoon when Alty's play-off cause was aided as rivals Chester FC and Gateshead lost, and Boston only drew.


REFEREE: Mr Aaron Bannister, whose previous Alty games included the 3-1 home win over Blyth Spartans in January and the FA Cup win at Southport earlier this season

There was no place for Max Harrop in the squad, again, as Alty named the same starting eleven that beat Hereford FC last week. On the bench, however, Andy White returned from injury to displace Lewis Walters.

The Moors' captain, James Curtis, was suspended for this game. Compared with the Spennymoor eleven who had started in the reverse fixture, Magnay for Curtis and Anderson for McKenna were the only changes for Spennymoor, who began the game seventh, with Alty sixth.


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. Elliott DURRELL. Subs: 12. Craig MAHON, 14. Andy WHITE, 15. Tom PEERS, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Simon RICHMAN

SPENNYMOOR TOWN (Pale green shirts and shorts, blue socks): 1. Matt Gould, 2. Tyler Forbes, 3. Stephen Brogan, 4. Jason Kennedy, 5. Nathan Buddle, 6. Carl Magnay, 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


Mike Garnett's data reminded us of the history between the clubs, before kick off today.

Against Spennymoor Town:

Against the forerunner club, Spennymoor United:


Spennymoor kicked off towards Golf Road. As the game went into its third minute, Elliott Durrell maintained his record of scoring in every game that he has played for Alty. His goal, this time, arrived after Lundstram had fed Densmore, who then exchanged passes with Mooney. Densmore got to the return pass and hooked the ball across the goalmouth from the right.

There was no one able to connect in the centre of the goalmouth but, from left of goal, Durrell drove the ball past Gould.

Young Crewe midfielder Lundstram, on loan at Moss Lane, soon impressed again as he advanced up the middle, prompting Mooney to cut inside and put a shot narrowly wide (5 mins).

Like Lundstram, Mooney was looking lively for Altrincham as the hosts continued to set the pace. But it took a fine block from Jones to prevent Anderson getting in his shot from the edge of the box (11 mins). But the hosts continued on top as another good move ended with a Hancock shot, which Gould had to dive down low to save (13 mins).

Next, after a ten-pass move, Hancock won a freekick and from this, which he took himself, a corner was won. But this came to nothing (17 mins).

Spennymoor now began to see a bit more of the ball but Altrincham soon put together a 19-pass move as they enjoyed the majority of possession. However, the hosts had not reinforced their one-goal lead and the game went through a phase of the two sides cancelling out each other.

The teams exchanged a corner apiece either side of the half-hour mark but there was no goalmouth action to talk of in this part of the game. So, it came a little out of the blue when Altrincham netted a second goal. A magnificent diagonal cross-field ball from Lundstram located Durrell near the left touchline.

Although Durrell was halted, Alty retained possession and the ball was fed, inside to Hulme, just outside the box. There appeared to be no real danger to the visitors but Hulme thought otherwise and lashed a low shot from the left, across Gould, and into the far side of the net (39 mins).

Half time arrived without too much further incident and Tony Thompson left the pitch without having been seriously troubled in the first 45 minutes.


With the floodlights now on, Spennymoor started the second half on the front foot and won a corner inside 30 seconds, which Thompson caught well when the ball was crossed in from the right.

After treatment for Kennedy, who had seemed to fall awkwardly, Hancock hit a fine 25-yard effort at goal but the diving Gould pushed it away (50 mins). Almost immediately aftewards, a Hampson shot won a corner.

But Alty then allowed right-back Forbes to advance and, before he was challenged, he hit a fine shot into the top corner, at the near post, from about 30 yards out in an inside-right position. So, it was 2-1 and the spectators had witnessed three well-taken goals (52 mins).

Straightaway, Mooney saw a 30-yarder saved but Alty were indebted to goalkeepr Thompson in the 58th minute as he made a fine block from Roberts, following which a cross located Taylor who could only scuff his shot to Thompson.

The travelling Spennymoor supporters were giving their team good support as the game, at this stage, could have swung back to parity.

After 66 minutes Altrincham withdrew Durrell and brought on Peers to replace him on the left. Within a minute, Peers had won a corner, which Mooney took from the left. The ball was met by the diving Hannigan, whose header powered past Gould to make it 3-1 (68 mins).

After another Alty corner had come to nothing, the Moors almost got themselves back in the game for a second time when Ramsdale powered a close-range effort goalwards only for Thompson to make an outstanding block (75 mins).

Hampson now went down, injured, for the second time in as many minutes and now he had to hobble off, to be replaced by Andy White, making his first appearance after missing seven matches through injury (77 mins).

Spennymoor kept battling and won a corner before Alty brought on Mullarkey for Mooney (81 mins). Two minutes later former Guiseley and Darlington forward Adam Boyes replaced Anderson for the visitors.

And in the 88th minute, there was another change as, now, Johnson replaced Roberts for the Durham side. With Alty comfortably holding their 3-1 lead, they advanced on the right before Hulme was found in space, left of centre, just outside the box.

Almost noncholantly, he struck a looping shot from 18 yards which beat Gould and dipped under the bar near his left-hand upright.

So it was 4-1 and all five goals had been well taken. In honesty Spennymoor were not three goals worse than Altrincham but the hosts were fully deserving of the three points which lifted them back to fifth place.

With Chester FC, Gateshead and, of course, Spennymoor themselves losing today, and Boston only drawing, it had been a good afternoon for Altrincham in the pursuit of a play-off position. The Robins' tough run-in continues as they travel on Saturday to league-leaders York City for the third time this season.