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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 9 January, 2021 at 3pm
behind closed doors


Third-placed Sutton started the game on top but Altrincham went ahead in the 16th minute, with Sutton claiming for the goal to be disallowed for an alleged foul on a defender by Alty's Ritchie Sutton.

It was Sutton's defensive partner Mullarkey who headed Alty ahead, the goal coming after a corner had been half cleared and then redirected into the Sutton box from the left.

However, the hosts hit back with two goals in a seven-minute spell. From Randall's deep cross from the left Ajiboye headed in at the back post in the 33rd minute.

Sutton went ahead in the 40th minute when a corner was not cleared and the ball seemed to come off an Alty player and fall for Olaofe to ram into the net, with Thompson booked in the aftermath for protesting that he had been held. The Alty keeper is now just one card away from suspension unless he can keep clear till the amnesty point in mid-season.

Altrincham dominated the second half against a very unadventurous Sutton side who paid the price by conceding an equalizer in the fourth and last added minute. The goal was superbly struck from 25 yards by Connor Hampson to make it a very much deserved 2-2.

Alty moved up to fifth but on PPG they would be mid-table with their six wins, six draws and six defeats.


REFEREE: Mr Robert Massey-Ellis
ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.

For Alty, Matty Kosylo returned from suspension and Toby Mullarkey replaced Tom Hannigan at the back in the starting eleven. There was no place for Shaun Densmore on the bench as Byron Harrison made his first appearance in a matchday squad, having been injured since he was signed on a short contract before Christmas.

For Sutton, Bugiel came into the starting eleven for the "U"s' first league game for a month.


SUTTON UNITED (Amber) 1 Dean Bouzanis, 2 Jon Barden, 15. Craig Eastmond (capt). 5 Ben Goodliffe, 7 David Ajiboye, 8. Kenny Davis, 9. Omar Bugiel, 10 Harry Beautyman, 11. Will Randall, 24. Rob Milsom, 25 Isaac Olaofe. Subs: 3. Ben Wyatt, 17 Tobi Sho-Silva, 21 Callum Kealy, 26 Aaron Simpson, 27. Rhys Browne.

ALTRINCHAM (Red shirts with white chest panel, black shorts, white socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Ritchie SUTTON, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 24. Joel SENIOR, 6. Jake MOULT (c) 29. Alistair SMITH, 15. Matty KOSYLO, 34. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Yusifu CEESAY. Subs: 2. Andy WHITE, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 7. Dan MOONEY, 28. Byron HARRISON 30. Simon RICHMAN


This match had been switched, some 48 hours before kick off, from Altrincham to Sutton on account of expected bad weather (frost and snow) at Altrincham. The game's completion marked Alty's eighteenth completed fixture of the league season, more than every other club in the division and as many as eight more matches than the likes of Dover Athletic.

This was only the second ever visit to Gander Green Lane for Alty. The pitch was now an artificial surface. The previous fixture between the two clubs at the venue had ended in a 3-0 defeat for Alty in 1999, in a season when both newly promoted clubs were to be relegated at the ned of the campaign on 1 May 2000.


Altrincham kicked off on the 3G surface, playing into a bright winter sun. They conceded two early fouls with both Hancock and Sutton being lectured together after the second of these (2 mins).

A effort by Olaofe was now blocked by Thompson, at the cost of a corner, as Sutton dominated the opening period.

At last Alty responed, as Kosylo beat a defender and got in a shot at goal which Bouzanis had to beat away (12 mins).

Thompson then punched clear after a freekick conceded by Sutton. At the other end Hancock now took advantage of a defensive error but fired wide but the referee pulled back play for a freekick, left of goal for the visitors.

A corner followed, which was half cleared but the ball was recycled into the goalmouth from the left. With Sutton United claiming a foul on a defender by Ritchie Sutton, the ball broke loose for Toby Mullarkey to head into the net off the inside of the post. So Aty had the lead against the early run of play (16 mins).

With the teams lined up to restart, Mr Massey-Ellis went to consult his assistant but eventually signalled for the goal to stand.

Next, Eastmond was booked for a foul on Ceesay, who was again being deployed as Alty's lone striker (19 mins). With Sutton having the better of things, Alty nevertheless had strong appeals for handball in the box waved away by Mr Massey-Ellis (26 mins).

Next, Alty mustered a weak shot at Bouzanis from Smith (29 mins) before a professional foul by Hampson on Ajiboye earned the left-back a booking (30 mins).

When Randall out in a cross from the left, Ajiboye was left unmarked at the back post to head the home side level (33 mins). At the other end, Smith made space well but dragged his shot well wide (36 mins).

For what was to be the first of two occasions in as many minutes, Bouzanis raced out of his goal, almost to the touchine, to clear; on the second occasion he needed two headers to get the ball away (39 mins).

Now Randall got into the Alty box and earned a corner, on the left. When this came into the goalmouth it seemed to bounce off an Alty defender and leave Olaofe a simple chance to hammer it into the net from six yards or so and make it 2-1 (40 mins).

As the interval loomed Smith lost the ball and Randall curled a fine shot just over the angle of upright and crossbar (45 mins). When, soon afterwards, the teams left the pitch for the interval, Phil Parkinson waited to speak to the referee, presumably complaining about a perceived foul on Thompson at the time of the second Sutton goal.


Altrbcham started the second half well, earning five corners in the opening eight minutes. A foul on Hancock then prompted another Sutton booking as the home side remained on the back foot (54 mins).

From Hampson's freekick the ball came out to Smith who hit a great volley which went out for a sixth corner off a defender. A Colclough shot ran comfortably to Bouzanis before Harrison came on for his debut to replace Ceesay on the hour mark. Harrison, a tall striker, had been sidelined by injury since joining Alty in December.

Sutton mad a rare excursion to the other end to earn their first corner of the second half after 66 minutes.

But Alty remained on top, with a Hancock shot being saved (68 mins), before a long ball set Colclough free running at Buzanis but his flicked effort was blocked by the home keeper (69 mins).

Now Mooney replaced Hancock (70 mins). As Alty continued to dominate possession Mooney's skied shot was the best they could muster in front of goal (77 mins).

Sutton made a double swap on 81 minutes as Sho-Silva and debutant Browne replaced Randall and Bugiel. Another Alty corner came and went before Mooney fired badly wide as time ticked away (83 mins).

Bouzanis soon blocked another Alty effort before a looping header from left of goal by Colclough dropped onto the roof of the net (87 mins).

Sutton seemed to be winding the clock down successfully as four added inutes were proclaimed.

An Alty corner came and went (90+3 mins) and, when that proved unproductive, it all seemed over for the visitors.

But, well into the fourth added minute, Hampson advanced and fired a superb left-foot shot past Bouzanis from a central position to give Altrincham the draw that their second half dominance certainly merited.

Sutton had produced very little in the second half and paid the price for their lack of ambition. The point lifted Alty up to fifth on a day when only three fixtures went ahead because of Covid and FA Cup clashes. But with six wins, six draws and six defeats, Alty's true position is in mid-table.

This had been a spirited performance fro Altrincham against one of the National League's strongest teams.