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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 7 November, 2020 at 3pm
behind closed doors


Altrincham were unlucky to take nothing from this match. They started the game with four players out injured (Richman, Mooney, Mullarkey and Williams) and inside 25 minutes that tally had risen to six as both Sutton and Adarabioyo had to be substituted by Sass-Davies and Peers respectively.

Alty brought in Ceesay to start in Mooney's place and they had much the better of possession in the first 25 minutes before Wealdstone enjoyed the ascendancy. Alty failed to land a shot on target before the break whereas Thompson made a couple of decent saves in a generally lacklustre and goalless first forty-five minutes.

Against the run of second-half play, Wealdstone took a 65th minute lead with Emmanuel claiming the goal, which may have gone in off Hampson, after an initial Thompson save. Once again Alrincham produced some good approach play but lacked a cutting edge in the box.


REFEREE: Mr Elliot Swallow (Blackpool)
ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.

Injuries again ruled out Toby Mullarkey, Simon Richman and Sean Williams, whilst Dan Mooney was added to that list for today's game. On the bench, new loan signing Billy Sass-Davies came in as Yusifu Ceesay was promoted to the starting line-up.


WEALDSTONE (Navy blue and white shirts, white shorts, navy blue socks): 1. Harvey Isted, 2. Michee Efete, 17. Jacob Mendy-Mendy, 34. Jack Cawley, 6. Jerome Okimo (c), 7. Michael Phillips, 14. Daniel Parish, 18. Alex Dyer, 19. Moses Emmanuuel, 10. Daniel Green, 11. Dennon Lewis. Subs: 22. Grant Smith, 8 Connor Smith, 9. Ross Lafayette, 5. Connor Stevens, 13. Dan Wishart

ALTRINCHAM (Red shirts with white chest panel, black shorts, white socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 24. Joel SENIOR, 4. Ritchie SUTTON, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 19. Joe ROBBINS, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 11. Yusifu CEESAY, 15. Matty KOSYLO, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 26. Fisayo ADARABIOYO. Subs: 2. Andy WHITE, 20. Shaun DENSMORE, 12. Curtis MILLER, 23. Tom PEERS, 28. Billy SASS-DAVIES


This was Altrincham's seventh successive away game in all competitions and their fifth such fixture in the National League.

Wealdstone, like Altrincham, had been newly promoted back to the top flight this season but, in the London club's case, it has taken them more than thirty years to reagin that status.


After a Hancock shot had cleared the Wealdstone bar, Altrincham had an early scare when an underhit Hannigan back pass necessitated a smart kick clear by Thompson. But Altrincham soon settled and had much the better of the opening stages, dominating posssession but without creating any clear chances. However, Matty Kosylo was booked for a foul on Mendy (5 mins).

Indeed, much of the play was scrappy from both sides and the home side belied their recent reputation as prolific goalscorers, creating very little. Underlining their early malaise, Dyer became the first name in the referee's book for a foul on Kosylo, who looked Alty's liveliest player (11 mins).

The home side was winning the foul count when Hannigan became their next victim but more serious misfortune struck Alty in only the 17th minute when Sutton sat down, injured. After treatment he was replaced by new signing, Crewe loanee Billy Sass-Savies (19 mins).

A Wealdstone mix-up now yielded the game's first corner, for Altrincham, but nothing came of it and, not long afterwards, Altrincham suffered a further injury blow when Adarabioyo went down under a foul challenge which the referee did not punish. The new Alty striker had to go off, with Tom Peers replacing him (22 mins).

Despite this double misfortune, Altrincham were still the better team and won another corner (24 mins). Though this came to nothing, the next action saw a move involving Moult, Hancock and Hampson end with Peers being halted in the box (26 mins).

Alty then had to be alert after a mis-pass let in Parish but Thompson was smartly out to block his shot. A minute later, the hosts signalled an upturn in their form as a freekick led to an Emmanuel shot, which ran easily to Thompson (28 mins).

As the game passed the half hour, Alty had by now surrendered their initiative to the hosts. Indeed Thompson soon had to make a good save to beat out a Lewis shot (34 mins) and then an Emmanuel "goal" was ruled out for offside.

Altrincham responded with a good run from Ceesay which earned a freekick just outside the box. Hancock put this miles over the bar (39 mins).

Sass-Davies was impressing at the back for Alty but, after a needless foul by Hancock, a deflected long shot from Mendy gained the home side their first corner of the match in the 44th minute.

Four scrappy minutes of added time ended a goalless first half which would not live long in the memory but in which Altrincham had enjoyed the better of possession. However Altrincham had failed to trouble the home custodian, whilst Wealdstone had forced two decent saves from Thompson.


A Kosylo run was halted in the opening stages before a brace of impressive interceptions fron Sass-Davies, at the other end, preceded a blocked shot from Hancock (50 mins).

Ceesay now began to look influential on the left and it was his shot which won the next corner (54 mins). Sass-Davies headed this well wide as Altrincham again had the upper hand. Peers now saw a shot blocked before he fired a decent chance wide from a Kosylo feed (57 mins)).

An excellent Alty move soon set up Peers but his shot was saved (59 mins). Surprisingly, Ceesay was now withdrawn, the assumption being that he was injured. Miller was his replacement (59 mins). At the same time veteran striker Lafayette replaced Parish for the hotss.

Next, Wealdstone got away with a clear tug on Hancock on the edge of the box before Kosylo outpaced the defence on the right and laid a low ball across the face of goal but no one was on hand to convert it (65 mins).

Play immediately switched to the other end and, from left of goal, Thompson beat out a close range effort only for the loose ball to be bundled home by Emmanuel, possibly off Hampson, to give Wealdstone the lead with a scrappy goal which had arrived decidedly against the run of play (65 mins).

Smith now replaced Dyer for the hosts and the impetus switched as the hosts won their first corner of the half (73 mins).

Following this, an excellent Alty move started by Moult, via Hampson, came to Peers who looked odds on to score but somehow his effort was deflected wide (75 mins). As ALty pushed for a leveller, Hannigan got forward but lost the ball and committed a foul, which earned him a booking, in trying to retrieve the situation (76 mins).

Wealdstone settled back to absorb Alty pressure which included sending Sass-Davies up the field as Moult took over at centre-back. Efete did well to block a Senior effort (87 mins). The home player was "winded" and play was stopped to Alty's annoyance. Indeed Thompson got himself a booking for his protests (88 mins).

After the hosts had made their final change, five added minutes could not produce a goal for Altrincham. In that period Phil Parkinson received a lecture when Miller appeared to be fouled but was himself penalised by Mr Swallow.

So Alty emerged empty handed from a game in which, for substantial periods, they were the better side. But the absence of incision at the front end of the team means that possession and build-up play are not translating into testing opposition goalkeepers.

This season Altrincham are looking reasonably secure at the back and have reduced the amount of inter-passing across the pitch in favour of a slightly more direct approach but just four goals from six league games is a return which underlines where the main problem lies at present.