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Vanarama National League match
played on Wednesday, 7 October, 2020 at 7.45pm
behind closed doors


Altrincham started well and enjoyed the majority of the early possession before a slick one-two between Wootton and Thomas left Hannigan beaten and Wootton slotted the ball in at the near post, shooting through the defender's legs (15 mins). The TV replay showed a clear offside against the scorer in the build up but, of course, no VAR is used at this level!

Josh Hancock had a great chance to level but delayed and Slocombe blocked him off (24 mins) before the Magpies doubled their lead in the 27th minute. Thomas's barge left Densmore on his back on the byline and his cross was nodded home at the back post by Wootton.

With Notts now on top, Wootton won a penalty against Hannigan but Thompson saved, tipping Wootton's spot-kick round his left post. In this case the absence of VAR helped Alty as the keeper had advanced off his line before the kick was taken (39 mins).

So Alty started the second half two goals adrift. They were denied a blatant penalty when Hancock was clearly hauled back at the start of the second period but County soon re-established their control, with Roberts the star man.

From 25 yards Reeves was allowed time to hammer home a third Notts goal in the 64th minute. But Alty did not give up and substitute Dan Mooney fired home a superb goal from 25 yards from what was probably his side's first shot on target (77 mins).

The result means Alty drop to eighteenth ahead of their visit to league leaders Eastleigh on Saturday.


REFEREE: Mr Daniel Middleton
ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.

Dan Mooney had completed his one-match suspension, held over from last season, and had also recovered from his pre-season injury to be named in the squad for this match. He replaced Max Clayton on the bench. Otherwise, Altrincham, in their new yellow strip, started the match unchanged from Saturday.


NOTTS COUNTY (Black & white striped shirts, black shorts and white socks) 1. Sam Slocombe, 2. Richard Brindley, 13. Connell Rawlinson, 24. Alex Lacey, 16. Dion Kelley-Evans, 10. Callum Roberts, 4. Jake Reeves, 8. Michael Doyle (c), 6. Jim O'Brien, 7. Wes Thomas, 9. Kyle Wootton. Subs: 3. Sam Graham., 11.Enzio Boldewijn, 18. Jimmy Knowles, 19. Elisha Sam, 20. Ruben da Rocha Rodrigues.

ALTRINCHAM (All yellow, with red and white sash on shirt): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 20. Shaun DENSMORE, 2. Andy WHITE, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 15. Matty KOSYLO, 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 23. Tom PEERS, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Yusifu CEESAY. Subs: 7. Dan MOONEY, 30. Simon RICHMAN, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Ritchie SUTTON, 17. Curtis MILLER.


After the previous night's games, which were a second fixture of the season for many of the participating clubs, Altrincham had dropped to sixteenth place before they started this, their own second game, at Meadow Lane.

It was first-ever league match between the two clubs, though the Magpies had narrowly won an FA Cup tie at Moss Lane in 1972/73 season with a penalty.

County had lost their opening fixture of this season, at Dover, whereas Altrincham had secured a point at home to Weymouth in their first match of the 2020-21 campaign at a sodden Moss Lane. So, for the first time in history, Altrincham were above their famous opponents in the league system!


Inside the first half-minute after kick-off Jake Moult was penalised for a foul but it was his side which settled the better in the opening stages. As early as the fourth minute a good Alty move saw Kosylo lay the ball low across the goalmouth from the right but no one was on hand to convert the chance.

Then Ceesay showed some promising touches on the left wing. With Alty dominating possession, the first shot however came from Notts County through O'Brien's 30 yarder, which sailed miles over the bar in the twelfth minute.

But a couple of minutes later the hosts came much closer after Densmore had lost possession and County had broken forward with Thomas firing narrowly over the bar (14 mins).

The respite for Alty was short as Wootton was soon allowed to advance on the left, though clearly a foot or so offside. He played a sharp one-two with Thomas before turning past Hannigan and slotting the ball through the recovering defender's legs and into the near corner of Thompson's goal, to give County the lead against the overall run of play at that point (15 mins).

A sliced clearance from Hannigan gave County the game's first corner but that came to nothing (22 mins). After a foul on Peers the quickly taken freekick led to Hancock being put clear against the keeper in the County penalty area. But the Alty number ten hesitated and he was closed down by Slocombe (24 mins). It was to prove costly as Notts County soon doubled their lead. Thomas out-muscled Densmore on the byline, left of goal and chipped the ball to the back post where Wootton headed the ball into the net to make it 2-0 (27 mins).

Alty survived a home freekick from 22 yards, after a foul by Kosylo with former Blyth striker Roberts making a hash of the attempt. However, Jake Moult became the game's first booking after apparently not retreating sufficiently in the Alty defensive wall prior to the freekick (33 mins).

With Altrincham now on the backfoot it threatened to get worse for them when Wootton won a penalty against Hannigan but Thompson saved the spot-kick, tipping Wootton's spot-kick round his left post. In this case the absence of VAR helped Alty as the keeper had advanced off his line before the kick was taken (39 mins). The resulting corner came to nothing as did all of the home side's dead ball kicks in this match.

Before half time Thompson made a routine save from Thomas.


So Alty began the second half two goals adrift but they started on the front foot. They were denied a blatant penalty when Hancock was clearly hauled back by the shirt (46 mins). But, after that let-off, County soon re-established their control, with Roberts their star man. Kelly-Evans now hit a shot at Thompson (49 mins) before Wootton looked set to score. He turned smartly inside the box but was quickly closed down (50 mins).

Roberts's fine, curling shot then hit the post as Altrincham were forced onto the back foot.

Andy White now picked up a yellow card for a crude challenge on Reeves (58 mins) as falling rain began to get heavier.

Then, from 25 yards, Reeves was allowed time to hammer home a third Notts goal in the 64th minute. However, Alty soon won their first corner after which a Moult header had to be smartly tipped over the bar. Rather than give a corner the referee, for some reason, gave a home freekick. In fact, Peers had quite clearly been wrestled to the ground near the penalty spot.

Next Mooney came on for Ceesay (68 mins) who had had a quiet game after a promising start in the first half.

Three changes were made on 73 minutes as Boldewijn and the six foot five inch Same replaced Roberts and Wooton for The Magpies, whilst Alty brought on Richman for Williams.

Mooney soon sparked an upturn in Alty's performance and what might have been a torrid final fifteen minutes became an encouraging spell for the visitors. When Mooney drifted in from the right, he drove a fine, low left-footed shot past the keeper from 25 yards to make it 3-1 (77 mins).

Immediately, Curtis Miller came on for Kosylo (78 mins). Straightaway, a fine ball from Miller on the left found Peers but, with his back to goal, he was unable to control the ball in the goalmouth (79 mins).

After a Mullarkey slip Notts County won a corner (84 mins) after which Rodrigues replaced Thomas (86 mins). Another home corner came in the ninetieth minute but again produced no threat of a goal. Three added minutes saw Altrincham win themselves a corner but Mooney's flag-kick was easily cleared (90+3 mins).

Whilst no one could dispute the result, Alty had not been best served by refereeing decisions and could take some heart from their late revival at 3-0 down, when a drubbling could well have been the ultimate outcome.

It gets no easier as Alty now travel to league leaders Eastleigh on Saturday.