Return to News Page


Vanarama National League match
played on Wednesday, 11 November, 2020 at 7.45pm
behind closed doors


After the sodden opening game at home against Weymouth, Altrincham's second match at Moss Lane was also played in difficult conditions; swirling wind and rain blighted the game. It was always going to be a struggle for Alty with eight players nursing injuries before they went into the game and only one of them, Dan Mooney, was able to start. And, sadly, he lasted fewer than five minutes befoe he pulled up with a recurrence of his hamstring problem and had to be replaced by Miller who, with no league starts to his name was nevertheless the second most experienced player on the Alty bench for this match!

Alty had the misfortune to be playing into the wind and rain in the first period and that was a factor as they fell behind after 18 minutes. Goalkeeper Thompson kicked the ball towards the right touchline but the wind lifted it slighly above Joel Senior's head. In trying to keep the ball in play, the young full-back could only knock it back into play where Osborne fed Sbarra, who netted comfortably from about 12 yards (18 mins).

And, within four minutes more of the game, it was 0-2 after another defensive error. This time a Hannigan clearance went to Osborne who was allowed time and space to place his shot into the corner of the net from 20 yards (22 mins).

Alty did begin to get into the Solihull half a little more regularly just before half-time but they trailed 0-2 at the break.

In the second half Altrincham kept going, with Peers working hard and Kosylo and Senior also having their moments. But Altrincham failed to land a serious shot on goal and their only real chance came when Peers got onto a long ball, dinked it past the keeper, only for a covering defender to clear the ball. Just four goals netted in seven league games is a sign of Altrincham's problems.

Defeat left Alty in the relegation zone ahead of Saturday's home match against Aldershot Town and, with Mooney's injury tonight, it has got no easier for Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel to field a winning side from injury-limited resources.


REFEREE: Mr Aaron Jackson, whose most recent previous visit to Moss Lane appears to have been as far back as a goalless Vanarama National League North match played on Saturday, 18 February 2017, against Harrogate Town.
ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.

Although Dan Mooney started the game, seven others did not recover from their injuries even to make the matchday suqad. They were Sean Williams, Toby Mullarkey, Simon Richman, Andy White, Fisayo Adarabioyo, Ritchie Sutton and Yusifu Ceesay.

So loanee Billy Sass-Davies made his first start and there were three more making a first appearance in a league squad this season in Rowan Roache, Lewis Salmon and Will Hall. Salmon and Hall were known to Alty fans with the former being on a dual registration arrangement with Stalybridge Celtic, and the latter had featured in pre-season as a trialist. Former Manchester United and Blackpool starlet, Roache had been a used sub in midfield in the Cheshire Senior Cup this season.

So, apart from the experienced Shaun Densmore, none of the other four players on the bench had ever started a league game for Altrincham. Once again there was no sub keeper on the bench with Matthew Gould only once being named in a league squad so far this season.


ALTRINCHAM (Red shirts with white chest panel, black shorts, white socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 24. Joel SENIOR, 28. Billy SASS-DAVIES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 19. Joe ROBBINS, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 15. Matty KOSYLO, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 7. Daniel MOONEY, 23. Tom PEERS. Subs: 27. Rowan ROACHE, 20. Shaun DENSMORE, 12. Curtis MILLER, 14. Will HALL, 16. Lewis SALMON

SOLIHULL MOORS (Yellow shirts and socks and blue shorts): 1. Ryan Boot, 2. Tyrone Williams, 28. Krystian Pearce, 24. Mitch Hancox, 3. Kyle Storer, 8. Stephen Gleeson; 10. Jamey Osborne, 17. Jordan Piggott, 23. Darren Carter 7. Joe Sbarra, 27. Kyle Hudlin. Subs: 13. Niall Clayton, 11. Jamie Ward, 15. Callum Maycock, 16. Ross McNally, 26. Justin Donawa.


After seven successive away games in all competitions, this was just the second home fixture for Altrincham in the National League.

And they went into the game in the relegation places, albeit with a game in hand on a number of clubs. On the contrary Solihull had been buoyed by an away win at Scunthorpe in the FA Cup last Saturday. However, a win in this match would lift Alty ten places to at least eleventh; a 5-0 win would take them to tenth!

Although the sides had met during three years at National North level, this was their first clash in the National League proper.

The league record against Solihull Moors before tonight's game was:


After a two-minute silence to mark Remembrance Day, ALtrincham kicked off on a damp and windy night at Moss Lane. They were obliged to play into the wind and rain in the first half and, not surprisngly, it was the visitors who enjoyed the bulk of early possession and territorial advantage. And then Alty suffered another blow as Daniel Mooney picked up the ball deep in the Moors' half and, as he accelerated, he pulled up holding his hamstring. So, in just the fifth minute, he had to be substituted, with Curtis Miller coming on in his place.

Soon, Moors had the game's first corner and this led to a thirty-yard effort from Storer which comfortably cleared the bar. Despite deploying the six-feet nine-inches tall Kyle Hudlin, and fielding several other tall physical specimens, the Midlands side were far from a "route-one" outfit and their midfield passed the ball around comfortably.

Next a Sbarra volley earned a corner from a deflection, followed by a third corner as Altrincham were hemmed into their defensive territory (11 mins). However, Solihull then suffered an injury misfortune of their own when Hudlin and Sbarra collided and it was the bigger man who came off worse (14 mins). Alty sportingly put the ball out of play for the players to be treated, just as the Moors had done earlier when Mooney had been injured. With rain now falling, Hudlin did hobble back on to the pitch after treatment.

Alty then gifted the Moors an opening goal. Thompson's kick towards Senior on the right touchline was held up in the wind and the stretching right-back attempted to head it forward. Unfortunately, he only managed to keep it in play rather than protect possession and the ball dropped, inside, to Osborne. He fed Sbarra, who was not marked or closed down, and he drove the ball into the net from twelve yards or so (18 mins).

It was to be Senior's only gaffe in an otherwise good performance from the young defender, who is keeping Shaun Densmore out of the side.

Having gone ahead, Solihull now had to withdraw the crocked Hudlin and he was replaced by the Bermudan Donowa who had faced Alty before for Darlington in National League North (19 mins).

With Solihull very much in charge they doubled their lead thanks to another Altrincham defensive error. Hannigan attempted to clear the ball diagonally but only found Osborne, and the influential midfielder had the space and time to guide a low shot past Thompson's left hand into the bottom corner of the net to make it 0-2 (22 mins).

Donowa soon made his mark in the wrong way, with a crude challenge on Hancock who was far from pleased after he had received treatment (23 mins).

Thankfully, Alty did not cave in after their double-concession but began instead to get a toehold in the game as they battled the gusty wind and rain as well as their capable opponents.

Miller exhibited some good skill to get in a shot but his effort was well off target (33 mins). At the other end Thompson had to make a routine save from a Hancox header which came from an Osborne cross (34 mins). Soon Donawa won another corner for the Moors (40 mins) before Alty enjoyed their best spell of the game, so far, just before the interval.

First, a fine Kosylo cross ran across the goalmouth and was only half cleared, which led to a Miller effort that gained his side their first corner of the evening (43 mins). This rare corner was unforgivably wasted by a mix up between the taker Kosylo and the intended recipient of a short corner, Senior, as Sbarra read Kosylo's intentions and intercepted the ball.

Hannigan did earn Alty another corner in the 44th minute and they actually gained another flag-kick two minutes into added time only for the referee to deny them the chance to take it by blowing for half-time (45+2 mins).


Having faced awful weather in the first half, Solihull were blessed by a quieter and drier meteorological spell as they started the second period.

An early Moors' corner led to a Hancox shot but Thompson saved the former Macclesfield man's shot. Soon afterwards Hancox was booked (50 mins).

Osborne, who otherwise impressed, now missed a decent chance to make it 0-3 as he shot over the bar (53 mins). Alty made forlorn appeals for handball after a shot hit a defender but they won themselves a corner instead, which Sass-Davies headed well off target (59 mins).

An excellently timed Hampson challenge stopped Sbarra scoring (62 mins) before an Osborne run ended with him down in the box, but it was not a penalty (64 mins). Another Kosylo corner came to nothing (65 mins) before the visitors brought on Ward for the effective Sbarra (67 mins).

The referee now stopped play to book Hancock for an unclear misdemeanour (68 mins). Alty had looked like being overrun when they had fallen two-down inside 25 minutes but they were making more of a game of it in the second half, albeit without seriously threatening to score.

Solihull came close again through Osborne's fine cross, which Hancox headed over at the back post (71 mins). After this, Maycock replaced Osborne which must have been a relief to Alty as their chief tormentor left the field (73 mins).

Alty's best chance of the game arrived a minute later as a long ball forward was smartly poked past the advancing keeper, Boot, by Peers. But before Peers could steer the loose ball into the net, a covering defender cleared the ball. Kosylo then won another corner but again it led to nothing as the rain started again.

Carter earned himself a booking for a foul on Peers (80 mins), the Alty frontman having worked hard with little service in this game. From the freekick Sass-Davies headed across, rather than at, goal (82 mins).

Solihull effectively saw out the closing stages and also three added minutes, during which Peers got himself harshly booked for a barge on Boot (90+2 mins).

So Alty remained in the relegation zone and still seeking a first home goal. Indeed, a tally of just four goals from seven matches is a worrying statistic particularly with attacking players such as Mooney and Adarabioyo sidelined by injury.