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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 31 October, 2020 at 3pm
behind closed doors


In awful, wet and windy conditions, Fisayo Adarabioyo put Alty ahead after a long ball forward by Senior set Mooney advancing on the right (11 mins). His low cross was touched by a defender in the centre of the goalmouth but ran loose for Adarabioyo to tap home. Alty dominated the opening 25 minutes but Dover then came more into the game, with Azeez hooking the ball narrowly wide at the back post from a right wing cross.

Weather conditions improved before the interval which Alty reached deservedly ahead. Altrincham held on to their lead reasonably comfortably in the second half to secure their first win of the season.


REFEREE: Mr Sukbir (Sunny) Gill (Bracknell, Berkshire)
ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.

Injuries last weekend to Toby Mullarkey and Simon Richman ruled out both players today, and Sean Williams remained sidelined by injury too. Fisayo Adarabioyo continued up top and new signing Joe Robbins also started. Phil Parkinson made five changes in all, as Matty Kosylo, Dan Mooney, Connor Hampson and Ritchie Sutton all came in to the starting eleven, along with Robbins. White, Ceesay and Peers missed out with the latter two moving to the bench.

Dover's starting eleven and subs' bench were unchanged from their last game.


DOVER ATHLETIC (White shirts, black shorts and socks): 24 Tom Smith, 2 Josh Passley, 22 Bayli Spencer-Adams, 20 Marvel Ekpiteta, 3 Sam Wood, 8 Kurtis Cumberbatch, 14 TJ Bramble, 11 Jack Munns, 10 Steven Rigg, 7 Louis Collins, 19 Ade Azeez. Subs: 1 Yusuf Mersin, 5 Paul Rooney, 9 Ahkeem Rose, 16 Marshall Wratten, 23 Omar Mussa.

ALTRINCHAM (All yellow with red and white sash on shirt and shorts): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 24. Joel SENIOR, 4. Ritchie SUTTON, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 19. Joe ROBBINS, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Daniel MOONEY, 15. Matty KOSYLO, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 26. Fisayo ADARABIOYO. Subs: 21. Matthew GOULD, 20. Shaun DENSMORE, 12. Curtis MILLER, 11. Yusifu CEESAY, 23. Tom PEERS.


This was Altrincham's fourth away trip in their fifth league fixture of the season and they started the game bottom of the league and without a win to date. Dover had also started the season badly but had improved in their last two performances and had secured six points from six games before kick off.


Altrincham kicked off in wet and windy conditions which were to get worse as the first half progressed. But, despite the heavy pitch, the visitors were soon playing their signature passing game and were to dominate possession in the opening stages.

Altrincham took the lead as the clock ticked over into the eleventh minute. Alty made progress on the right, with the ball being relayed forward by Senior to Mooney, who advanced up the wing. His low cross went into the goalmouth where a tumbling defender got a touch but this only set it up for Adarabioyo to net from close range. It was his first goal for the club (11 mins).

With rain now pouring down, following a Hampson advance, a Mooney shot was blocked (17 mins) and the same player soon got in another shot but this ran comfortably to the keeper (18 mins).

As well as Mooney, Joel Senior was also impressing on the right flank as Altrincham remained in control (25 mins).

Belatedly, Dover got into the game and a cross from the right came to Azeez, just beyond the back post. From there he might have done better than turn his effort into the side-netting (27 mins). Moments later Rigg got past his marker but Thompson was alert and made a good block (28 mins).

The rain now eased markedly as a Wood cross was headed well over the bar by a Dover team-mate. And, a little later, a 30 yard speculatve effort from Wood was punched clear by Thompson as the hosts enjoyed a better spell (34 mins).

Following a Dover corner won by Rigg, the same player had a header cleared off the line by an Alty defender (35 mins).

Play was then halted as both Hampson and Sutton were down injured, the latter hurt by a Collins overhead kick which earned the Dover man a booking (37 mins).

Both Altrincham players recovered though, up to half-time, Hampson was noticeably limping. Aftet Dover's decent spell around the half-hour mark, Altrincham reasserted themselves before the interval. Nevertheless the first of the four minutes of added time concluded with Dover earning two more corners.


Altrincham won an early second-half corner (47 mins) followed by an up-and-under which resulted in Hannigan and the Dover keeper colliding, and both players staying down afterwards. However, both recovered without treatment (48 mins).

Next, following a Dover freekick, The Whites also won a corner which led to two more flag-kicks, none of which came to anything (50 mins).

Play was fairly even as the game reached and passed the hour-mark, at which point an Alty move culminated in Mooney's unconverted ball cross the goalmouth.

On 62 minutes Dover made a double change as Rose replaced Collins and Mussa came on for Rigg. Altrincham now won a couple of freekicks, followed by a corner on the left. Following this, Hancock went down in the box but no penalty was the referee's decision (66 mins).

Rose soon got himself booked, for a foul on Moult, before Alty made a double swap and Dover made their own substitution. Ceesay and Peers replaced Mooney and Adarabioyo and Dover introduced Rooney for TJ Bramble (68 mins).

A poor kick by Thompson led to some danger as the ball reached Azeez but his shot, from left of goal, was very wildly hit, flying way past the far post (77 mins).

Only marginally better was a similar effort from Ceesay, at the other end, after he had made a promising run up the left wing, only to miss the target by some distance (80 mins).

A booking for Munns was Dover's third caution of the afternoon, this time for a foul on Kosylo (82 mins). Kosylo was then replaced by defender Shaun Densmore to complete Altrincham's substitutions (83 mins).

When Azeez met a cross from the right it took an excellent block from Thompson to prevent an equalizer (86 mins). But Alty responded with a low cross from the right which just evaded Tom Peers in the goalmouth (87 mins).

Alty now began to sit deep and invite pressure in the closing stages, with Thompson now having to punch clear (89 mins). After a Ceesay foul the freekick was headed goalwards but Thompson pushed it round the post for a corner (90 mins).

Altrincham saw out four added minutes to secure their first win of the season and move up to nineteenth. The hosts had had more pots at goal and Thompson was the busier of the two keepers but Altrincham had been relatively comfortable with their lead throughout the second half.

This was their fourth away game in their five games played in the league to date and, pending any hastily rearranged game next Saturday against another team already out of the FA Cup, their next planned league game is at home to Solihull Moors in ten days' time, which will be the first of three succcessive home fixtures.