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Pre-season Friendly match
played on Tuesday, 15 September, 2020 at 7.45pm
behind closed doors


his behind-closed-door match was goalless and fairly uneventful in the first half but the game witnessed seven goals after the break. Ex-Alty man Craig Mahon, starting at right-back for The Nash, did hit the post with a low shot in the first half but the ball rebounded to Tony Thompson.

An injury to Tom Hannigan forced him off before the interval.

Two penalties in five-minute spell early in the second half saw the hosts forge ahead. Both were converted by former Chester FC man Matty Waters who had joined The Nash this summer after playing against Alty in the play-off eliminator at Moss Lane.

A low shot from the edge of the box by Curtis Miller was not dealt with by keeper Mason and that made it 2-1 (65 mins). Two minutes later Mason was left flat-footed as another Miller shot was diverted into the net by Tom Peers and this made it 2-2 (67 mins)

The pattern of two goals for each side in short order continued as a Curzon trialist netted a brace in the 75th and 81st minutes, making it 4-2 to the hosts. Jordan Hulme then returned to the fray and netted after Mason had failed to hold a Senior shot (86 mins).


ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.

Altrincham included two trialist defenders. They were full-backs Ashley Smith-Brown and Joel Senior. Smith-Brown (24) started out at Manchester City, being released in 2018 having spent 2016–2017 in Holland with NAC Breda on loan, where he made 29 appearances. Two appearances in an injury-hit spell on loan at Scottish side Hearts followed in 2017–2018, followed by a loan to Oxford United.

He spent 2018–2020 at Plymouth Argyle, where he made 31 appearances, but last season he went on loan at Oldham Athletic.

Joel Senior (21) was with FC United and then Curzon Ashton before he moved to Premiership Burnley who have since released him.

Curzon had strengthen over the summer and their ranks included a number of ex-Alty men in Max Harrop, Craig Mahon, Jude Oyibo and former loanee Paul Turnbull.


CURZON ASHTON: (All blue) 1. Cameron Mason, 2. Craig Mahon, 3. Matty Waters, 4. Paul Turnbull, 5. Oliver Thornley, 6. Noah Stokes, 7. Connor Hughes, 8. Rob Evans, 9. Darren Stephenson, 10. Alex Curran, 11. Max Harrop. Subs: 12. Marcus Poscha, 13. Douglas Thame, 14. DAle Whitham, 15. Jude Oyibo

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Joel SENIOR, 3. Ashley SMITH-BROWN, 4. Toby MULLARKEY, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Yusifu CEESAY, 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 9. Jordan HLME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Matty KOSYLO.

Second Half: 19. Matt GOULD, 12. Shaun DENSMORE, Ashley SMITH-BROWN, Will HALL, 14. Ritchie SUTTON, 4. Toby MULLARKEY, 15. Curtis MILLER, 7. Yusifu CEESAY, 18. Simon RICHMAN, 16. Tom PEERS, 17. Max CLAYTON


This was Curzon's fifth pre-season game and they had yet to win. For Alty it was only their second outing after the three promotion play-off games back in July/August.

This game had to be played behind closed doors because of Covid-19 restrictions.


The match started fairly uneventfully and was to continue that way for most of the first half.

Alty's first shot of note produced a routine save from goalkeeper Mason (11 mins). Kosylo was looking bright and the two trialist defenders, Smith-Brown and Senior, looked comfortable. Kosylo and Ceesay were playing on the left and right-wings respectively, which was something of a surprise.

Alty had a close-shave in the 17th minute, when a low Mahon shot was apparently deflected onto the upright but it rebounded safely into Thompson's arms. Soon afterwards, a home freekick likewise ended up with the Alty keeper.

Former Robin, Max Harrop, looked lively for his new employers but there was little in the way of goalmouth action at either end.

Alty suffered a blow when Tom Hannigan was injured after a tackle and, after treatment, he had to be subbed by Ritchie Sutton (37 mins). Tom joined Dan Mooney (ankle ligaments) and Andy White in the injury bay.


Alty rang the changes in the second half with Gould, Densmore, Hall, Richman, Peers and Clayton all coming on and Mullarkey moving into midfield. Curzon also made changes at the break with ex-Alty youth Jude Oyibo one of those making his bow.

The game came to life with two home penalties in the space of four minutes. Smith-Brown and Mullarkey seemed to be the nearest suspects for the concession of the first spot-kick, which Waters converted, despite Gould almost getting to it. The second was also converted by Waters after another foul in the Alty penalty area (57 mins).

Play was fairly scrappy but then Miller pulled a goal back as his low shot from just outside the box evaded Mason's grasp (65 mins). Alty immediately brought back Williams, Kosylo and Senior for Smith-Brown, Ceesay and Mullarkey (66 mins).

A minute later Alty had levelled the scores as a Miller shot was diverted past the flat-footed Mason by Tom Peers (67 mins).

A Curzon trialist then glanced home a header from a right-wing cross, giving Gould no chance to make it 3-2 (75 mins). And, six minutes later, the same trialist converted another cross to restore Curzon's two-goal advantage at 4-2 (81 mis).

Hulme immediately replaced Miller (82 mins) and, four minutes later, the new man made it 4-3 as Mason failed to hold a Senior 25-yarder and Hulme converted the loose ball (86 mins).