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Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 27 October, 2020 at 7.45pm
behind closed doors


Hartlepool started brightly and kept Alty on the back foot for opening ten minutes before the visitors began to get into the game. Ceesay looked Alty's brightest attacking hope, on the left, with striker Adarabioyo seeing little of the ball on his debut.

Alty suffered a double blow around the half-hour mark. Firstly, Toby Mullarkey injured himself in making a challenge and had to be helped off, to be replaced by Ritchie Sutton at centre-back. Moments later Hartlepool worked the ball across field to former York City man Ferguson and his low cross was turned in at the near post by a stretching Parkhouse to give the hosts the lead (31 mins).

Pools continued to dominate but Alty got to the interval just a goal behind.

Alty suffered another injury blow midway through the second half when Simon Richman was fouled and had to be stretchered off. But Altrincham finished the game well and deservedly levelled the score after 85 minutes when Jake Moult's cross was headed firmly home at the back post by substitute centre-back Ritchie Sutton.

With seven added minutes being played, Alty then had a great chance to win the game after Joel Senior had burst into the box and been brought down. Matty Kosylo took the resulting penalty but Killip, clearly moving off his line before the kick, saved to his right (90+3 mins). So the game ended level with Altrincham's second-half performance in adversity bringing the deserved reward of a draw at one of the title favourites' ground.


REFEREE: Mr Andrew Miller
ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.

After just one appearance, Alty's recent signing Darren Potter was rumoured to have left the club as, for this match, they brought Simon Richman as well as Joel Senior, Andy White, Tom Hannigan and Fisayo Adarabioyo into the starting eleven. Shaun Williams remained sidelined by injury.

Full backs Densmore and Hampson, winger Kosylo and centre-back Sutton all reverted to the bench. Striker Fisayo Adarabioyo made his debut.

Pools also made five changes from their last game, a 6-0 win in an FA Cup tie at Ilkeston for which they had rested some players.


HARTLEPOOL UNITED (All blue): 1. Ben Killip, 2. Lewis Cass, 3. David Ferguson, 15. Ryan Johnson, 5. Timi Odusina, 6. Mark Shelton, 7. Ryan Donaldson (c), 8. Nicky Featherstone, 14. Gavin Holohan, 10.Luke Molyneux, 19. David Parkhouse. Subs: 9. Mason Bloomfield, 12. Joe Grey, 16. Claudio Ofuso, 21. Henrich Ravas, 23. Tom Crawford.

ALTRINCHAM (Red shirts with white chest panel, black shorts, white socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 24. Joel SENIOR, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 2. Andy WHITE, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 30. Simon RICHMAN, 23. Tom PEERS, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 26. Fisayo ADARABIOYO, 11. Yusifu CEESAY. Subs: 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Ritchie SUTTON, 7. Dan MOONEY, 15. Matty KOSYLO, 20. Shaun DENSMORE.


In this, their fourth league match of the season and fifth game in all competitions, Altrincham were looking for their first win. But, in unbeaten Hartlepool United they had tough opposition.

The only previous meeting between the sides had been in the 1970s when Alty emerged victorious, 2-0, in an FA Cup tie at Moss Lane.

Having just faced AFC Fylde in the FA Cup, Alty now faced the long-serving ex-Fylde manager Dave Challinor's current team.


Under the Hartlepool floodlights and on an excellent playing surface, Altrincham kicked off but soon found themselves under pressure as the hosts started brightly.

As early as the third minute Tony Thompson had to push a shot away and his side remained penned in their half in the opening stages. But, after weathering the storm for ten minutes, Alty begam to settle into the match, passing the ball around before winning two corners in a minute. The first was won by a deflected long-range effort from Mullarkey but neither this, nor another corner a minute later, came to anything, as was to be the case with deadballs throughout the match (13 mins).

Whereas home keeper Killip was not troubled at this stage, at the other end, Tony Thompson was soon in action again, saving well to his left, to concede a corner (16 mins). Further forward, Yusifu Ceesay was beginning to cause Hartlepool some concern on the Alty left and he won his side their third corner after 20 minutes. Hartlepool cleared the corner and counter-attacked, with Senior having to cover smartly (21 mins).

The ex-York man Ferguson was being policed by Peers as debutant Adarabioyo led the line for Altrincham but he was seeing very little of the ball.

Thompson was soon in action again, this time to smother a low cross (26 mins), before Molyneux was booked for a foul on Ceesay (27 mins). Moments later Mullarkey blocked his opponent to concede a freekick 30 yards from goal but he injured himself in the process. After treatment he was helped off, supported under both shoulders by Alty's physio staff. As his replacement, Ritchie Sutton came on moments before the frekick was taken but this was hit into the Altrincham defensive wall (30 mins).

Whether the change of personnel affected Alty's concentration was not clear but Hartlepool, immediately after this, took the lead. The ball was worked across from right to left to Ferguson. He put in a low ball to where Parkhouse, stretching, toe-ended the ball into the net (31 mins).

Next, a home corner saw Thompson having to push the ball away from a Molyneux effort (34 mins). Several minutes of Hartlepool's enjoying the ascendancy were ended as a foul on Ceesay led to Altrincham gaining another corner (39 mins). Not long after this, Ceesay was fouled again, this time by Odusina, for which the Pools player earned a booking.

As half time approached Thompson made his fourth save of note as he held a Molyneux effort (44 mins). Two minutes of added time witnessed Thompson kick poorly clear and the Alty keeper had to scramble back, sharpish, to stop a resulting effort (45+2 mins).

So Hartlepool led deservedly at the interval, after a first half in which Alty had failed to trouble Killip in the home goal but in which they had been grateful to Thompson for several decent stops.


Alty made no personnel change at the break but, positionally, the second half started with Adrabioyo on the right and Peers now at the top of the attack.

Altrincham started quite well and, four minutes into the half, Killip had to race out of his area to head clear as Ceesay chased the ball.

After Parkhouse had scuffed an effort well wide, Pools won a corner which came to nothing (53 mins). The home side remained on the front foot until the already booked Odusina clattered Ceesay but escaped with only a verbal warning from Mr Miller to the annoyance of the cluster of Altrincham players who made representations to the referee (59 mins).

On the hour mark Mooney replaced Hancock, who had had a quiet game, and the hosts brought on Ofuso.

Soon after Adarabioyo's cross had run to Killip, Richman was caught by Parkhouse as they went for the ball near halfway. Richman went down and it was clear he was badly hurt but the referee allowed play to continue before Senior brought a halt to the action with a lunge which earned him a booking (63 mins).

As Richman was treated for some time, the referee now decided to book Parkhouse, despite having not stopped play at the time of his foul. Richman was then stretchered off with what appeared to be an ankle injury.

With no midfielder on the bench, Kosylo came on as an attacking substitute for Richman (66 mins).

Two minutes later, striker Milan Butterfield came on for Hartlepool but it was Altrincham who now took the initiative with Senior getting to the byline to win a corner (69 mins). Peers now went to the right wing as Adarabioyo returned to the striker role.

Having failed to send off the already booked Odusina earlier, when he had transgressed again, Mr Miller now declined likewise to show a red to the home keeper, Killip, as he came way out of his area to deal with a long ball but got it all wrong. Not only did he handle the ball, yards outside the box, but he also bundled over Adarabioyo, an offence which alone should have earned him a red card as the last man (74 mins). All he saw was yellow.

From the resulting freekick, some 25 yards out Mooney hit a quite dreadful freekick miles over the bar (75 mins). As Alty enjoyed a good spell they soon earned another freekick, just outside the box, as Senior was felled. This time Peers took an equally dreadful freekick to Mooney's which, like his team-mate's effort, sailed miles over the bar.

The part-timers, despite having only played two days earlier at Fylde, continued in the ascendancy and won two corners against their full-time opponents who were offering little at this stage. After the second of these corners, the ball was worked to Moult whose cross from the right was met by a powerful downward header from Sutton which levelled the score at 1-1 (85 mins).

Seven added minutes were decreed, half of which accrued with the treatment needed by Richman. In the third added minute Senior played the ball into the box from the right; it came back out towards him but, as he raced to get it inside the box, he was upended by Ofuso and a penalty was awarded. No home players protested at the decision.

Sadly Kosylo failed to convert this though he was not helped by Killip being allowed to move off his line well before the ball was struck (90+3 mins). So Altrincham had to settle for a point after mounting an impressive assault on the home goal in the final period of the game after the injury to Richman. They remain bototm of the table but have games in hand on most clubs and have only played one of their four league fixtures to date at home. However, another long away trip beckons, as Dover are their hosts on Saturday.