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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 12 December, 2020 at 3pm
behind closed doors


In an entertaining first half, Altrincham took a 39th minute lead. A foul on Colclough, just outside the front corner of the box on the visitors' left, produced a freekick. Kosylo's dead-ball landed in the goalmouth where Croll and Hannigan went for it but the ball broke towards goal for Jake Moult to tap in from two yards out

Earlier both sides had had good chances. The first of note saw Kosylo drag a shot wide from 18 yards after he had been put clear (18 mins) and then Joel Senior had to clear off the Alty line following a home corner (27 mins). Hancock then should have headed in a superb Kosylo cross from the right but missed the target (33 mins).

The second half was poor and ruined by a bad injury to Ryan Colclough who had to be stretchered off after a poor challenge by Agogo which went unpunished. Alty were now third in the National League after five wins in six matches, pending an evening match elsewhere which could drop them to fourth.


REFEREE: Mr Matthew Dicicco, who had reffed Alty's recent FA Cup defeat at AFC Fylde.
ATTENDANCE: 773, limited home attendance permitted under anti-Covid regulations

Unavailable for Altrincham, through injury, were Andy Dales, Fisayo Adarabioyo, Byron Harrison, Sean Williams, Toby Mullarkey, Dan Mooney and Connor Hampson. But there was good news in the return of Simon Richman from his lay-off.

Familiar names in the opposition ranks were Mitch Brundle, who had faced Alty several times previously for Braintree Town, and Angelo Balanta, who had played against The Robins for Bristol Rovers. Missing for the Daggers was suspended striker Paul McCallum, otherwise they were unchanged, as was the Altrincham starting eleven.


DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE (Red & blue) 1. Elliot Justham, 20. Will Wright, 6. Kenny Clark (c), 5. Luke Croll, 3. Elliot Johnson, 4. Dean Rance, 8. Mitch Brundle, 22. Abumere Ogogo, 11. Myles Weston, 25. Scott Wilson, 17. Darren McQueen. Subs: 13. Josh Strizovic (gk), 7. Sam Deering, 24. Charlee Adams, 23. Jaden Thompson-Brissett, 10. Angelo Balanta,

ALTRINCHAM (All grey with red and white sash on shirts): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 4. Ritchie SUTTON, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 24. Joel SENIOR, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 29. Alistair SMITH, 15. Matty KOSYLO, 34. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Yusifu CEESAY. Subs: 16. Lewis SALMON, 20. Shaun DENSMORE, 21. Matthew GOULD, 23. Tom PEERS, 30. Simon RICHMAN.


Dagenham & Redbridge were permitted to admit home supporters in limited numbers to their stadium for the first time since the original Covid lockdown. So this was also the first time that paying spectators had seen Altrincham "live" this season, though no actual away supporters were allowed entry. This was ironic as Altrincham themselves remained unable to admit any spectators to their home games despite the Covid rate being more than three times higher in Dagenham than in Trafford.

This anomalous situation was because the "Tier" system of restrictions placed Altrincham, with the whole of Greater Manchester, in the most restrictive band (Tier 3) whilst Dagenham were in the more liberal Tier 2 like the rest of London!

It had been 13 years since Altrincham had last played at Victoria Road. In the intervening period The Daggers had been as high as two rungs up the footballing ladder in League One (briefly) whilst Alty had been as low as two rungs lower down the Pyramid in the Northern Premier League (equally briefly). But the teams met today with Altrincham in eighth place in the National League, with 18 points, and Dagenham in nineteenth with six fewer points but with two games in hand.

Altrincham had made the trip down to Essex on the eve of the match, only having to travel the short distance to Victoria Road from their Chigwell hotel on the afternoon of the match.


Dagenham kicked off and had the initiative in the early stages of the game. An early Daggers' freekick drew a save from Thompson and then a second home freekick produced the first corner of the afternoon for the home side (3 mins).

Alty began to settle after five minutes, winning a freekick and then getting a cross into the goalmouth from Ceesay, as light rain began to fall (8 mins). The Robins' improvement continued as they gained a fourteenth-minute corner. By this stage play could be said to have been fairly evverall.

Altrincham created a great chance to open the scoring when Kosylo was put free, running towards goal. As the keeper advanced Kosylo stroked a low effort wide of the left post (18 mins). At the back Hannigan was impressing before Alty again threatened at the other end. Ceesay and Colclough combined for the former to see his shot blocked.

But it was Dagenham who won the next corner as Weston's cross came off Moult. Brundle headed the corner miles over the bar (22 mins).

In the next five minutes the hosts gained two more corners. The latter was almost productive, as Senior was obliged to clear the ball off the goal-line (28 mins). Clarke then made hopeful, but vain, appeals for a penalty when he went down far too easily under Sutton's challenge in the Alty box (29 mins).

When Senior blocked the advance of Wilson onthe Daggers' left, the young defender was booked by the referee (30 mins). The home side's good spell was almost brought to a sudden end when Kosylo, the main source of Alty's attacking threat throughout the game, hared up the right wing and put in a superb curling cross. Unfortunately Hancock could only head the ball wide (33 mins).

However, some five minutes later, Altrincham did take the lead. A foul on Colclough just outside the front corner of the Dagenham box, on the visitors' left, earned them a freekick. Kosylo's freekick dropped into the goalmouth where Hanigan and Croll went for the ball. It broke free, towards goal, where Moult had the simple task of scoring from barely a couple of yards (39 mins).

Altrincham finished the half on top as Colclough gained another freekick in almost the same place from which Alty's goal had emanated but, this time, Kosylo badly overhit the dead-ball (44 mins).


At the break Balanta replaced Wright for Dagenham, whilst a suspected broken toe meant that Ritchie Sutton had to give way to midfielder Simon Richman. This prompted an Alty restructure with Moult dropping into the back four.

As in the first half, the home side started on the front foot but when Hancock was brought down, Rance went into the referee's notebook (48 mins).

Next, Kosylo and Hancock combined to allow Colclough a low shot, which was saved comfortably (50 mins). Altrincham had a close shave in the 55th minute when Balanta turned well on the edge of the box and his shot beat Thompson but came back off the keeper's right-hand post.

As the game reached the hour mark it was lacking in the creativity that had been seen before the interval but then it was marred further by a seemingly bad injury to Colclough (60 mins). Near halfway on the Alty left, Colclough was flattened by a reckless challenge from Agogo which, amazingly, Mr Richardson did not see as a foul. Colclough was left on the ground and, after several minutes' treatment, he had to be stretchered off with his legs seemingly strapped together (64 mins).

Thnakfully the post-match diagnosis was a badly sprained ankle rather than a fracture. But, just a day after being announced as a long-term signing, the former Scunthorpe winger was added to Alty's already extensive injury list. Insult was added to injury when Kosylo was booked for dissent after protesting over the challenge on his team-mate (61 mins)

The stricken Colclough was replaced by Peers but Ceesay remained the focal point of the attack (65 mins).

From now on, the game rarely rose above the mundane as Dagenham enjoyed plenty of forward momentum but without mustering a serious threat on Thompson's goal.

Agogo finally picked up a yellow card after 81 minutes as Altrincham absorbed the hosts' probing.

The best chance of the final half hour fell to Altrincham as good play got Kosylo into the box but, from left of goal, he miscued his effort into the side-netting (90 mins). A Dagenham long ball then drew Moult into a foul on Wilson for which the Alty captain received his fifth league booking of the season and, therefore, a suspension. And Thompson got himself booked at the same time, presumably for verbal dissent (90 mins).

Five added minutes were negotiated during which Densmore came on for Ceesay (90+2 mins). Dagenham did win a very late corner but this came to nothing (90+5 mins). The outcome was Altrincham's fourth 1-0 away win this season; indeed they have yet to score more than a single goal on away turf in eight National League fixtures.