ALTRINCHAM FC MATCH REPORTS
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ALTRINCHAM (1) 2
WEALDSTONE (0) 0
played on Tuesday, 26 January, 2021 at 7.45pm
behind closed doors
On a heavy pitch which limited flowing football, Altrincham took a 40th minute lead. After a couple of dreadfully taken corners by Alty, Kosylo took a better one from the left and, with the keeper hesitant and the ball just clearing Conor Smith, it allowed Josh Hancock an unobstructed header, which he made count.
So Alty deservedly led 1-0 at half-time. Neither keeper had been seriously tested during the first half but Alty had had more of the attacking play.
In the second half both Colclough and Hancock hit the woodwork before Tom Peers committed a poor miss in front of goal. But immediately after that miss, Senior's low cross was turned in at the near post by the excellent Alistair Smith to make it 2-0 (80 mins). Alty moved up to fourth and, at last, had a positive goal difference!
Although there was plenty of endeavour from Wealdstone they had failed to trouble Tony Thompson in the Alty goal even once. For the hosts this had been a impressive performance on a difficult surface.
- 40 mins: Josh HANCOCK (ALTRINCHAM 1 Wealdstone 0)
- 80 mins: Alistair SMITH (ALTRINCHAM 2 Wealdstone 0)
REFEREE: Mr Steven Copeland ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.
On Saturday Altrincham had been without captain Jake Moult and winger Ryan Colclough but tonight Jake Moult returned and started whilst Ryan Colclough was on the bench. Moult replaced Ritchie Sutton who dropped to the bench, whilst Yusifu Ceesay was absent through tonsilitis.
ALTRINCHAM (Red shirts with white chest panel, black shorts, white socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON (c), 3. Connor HAMPSON, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 24. Joel SENIOR, 29. Alistair SMITH, 6. Jake MOULT, 15. Matty KOSYLO, 7. Dan MOONEY, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 28. Byron HARRISON. Subs: 2. Andy WHITE, 4. Ritchie SUTTON, 30. Simon RICHMAN, 34. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 23. Tom PEERS.
WEALDSTONE (Blue and white shirts, white shorts, blue socks): 1 S Moore (G/K), 2 M Efete, 6 J Okimo (c), J. Cawley, 7 M Phillips, 8 C Smith, 10 D Green , 11 D Lewis, 17 J Mendy, 18 A Dyer, 19 M Emmanuel. Subs: 25 J Askew (G/K), 12 C Hughes, 13 D Wishart, M. Kougun, M. Lench.
This was just the eighth league game at the JDS this Covid- and weather-affected season and it only went ahead after a teatime pitch inspection after steady rain during the day and melting snow in the preceding week.
Wealdstone and Altrincham had not met since being in the same division in 1987-88 season. Both clubs had been promoted to the National League this season.
The Robins were looking for revenge after suffering a narrow defeat in the reverse fixture earlier this season. The Home Counties club arrived after a poor run of form, having lost six and drawn two of their last nine league fixtures. Their only win in the League since mid-November had been a 2-1 victory at home to Weymouth.
In contrast, Altrincham had won four and drawn three of their last eight matches, their only defeat coming at FC Halifax Town. Tonight was just the second home league match for Altrincham in the last two months, the exception being the Boxing Day game against Stockport County.
On a heavy pitch and in misty drizzle, the match got under way.
Connor Hampson landed the first shot on target in the third minute, which was saved by Moore. But, as the teams came to terms with the heavy surface, the visitors began to settle and play became fairly even without either keeper being troubled.
The next serious threat at either end came when Alistair Smith played the ball forward to Hancock. Inside the box, Hancock's right-footed effort across the keeper, went narrowly wide of the far post (16 mins). Alty then won two corners, the first being a poor effort from Kosylo, which was both too low and failed to get past the first defender (18 mins).
ALtrincham continued to have the upper hand as, now, Moult chested the ball down inside the box but his instinctive volley just cleared the bar (20 mins).
A foul by Dyer on Mooney earned the Wealdstone man the first caution of the match (24 mins). Mooney and Kosylo on the Alty flanks were both looking lively whilst Harrison was working hard in a fairly thankless role up front.
Wealdstone then enjoyed a little more of the game before play went through a fairly mundane spell around the half-hour mark after which Alty won a corner which came to nothing (32 mins).
Five minutes before the scheduled end of the half Alty won another corner, on their left. Kosylo's ball seemed to be held up in the breeze and just cleared the head of Wealdstone's Smith. With keeper Moore not moving off his line Hancock was afforded a free header which he executed successfully to give Alty a 1-0 lead (40 mins).
Wealdstone responded with a shot from Green which was deflected before it could trouble Thompson (42 mins).
As Wealdstone finished the half well, a wild shot, again from Green, cleared the bar. At the other end a well-hit effort from Moult, from just outside the box, went wide. So, at the break, Alty held a deserved one-goal lead.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 |
The second half started with an early booking for Conor Smith (47 mins). Kosylo then cut inside promisingly from the left but underhit his shot straight to the keeper from a promising position (47 mins).
Kosylo then picked up a sixth yellow card of the season for clipping the heals of an opponent (50 mins).
Next, a Wealdstone corner was cleared as the Alty defence held firm (52 mins). But the visitors now enjoyed a good spell, albeit without creating an opening.
However, before the hour mark, Alty won themselves a corner but wasted the opportunity with Mooney's poor flag-kick.
Wealdstone then gained two successive corners before Alty brought on Colclough to replace Kosylo on the left wing (64 mins). The former Scunthorpe man soon made an impression, rifling a low shot firmly off the inside of the back post with the keeper beaten (66 mins).
But both keepers continued to be underemployed before Hughes replaced Phillips for the visitors (71 mins). Three minutes later Peers came on for Harrison in Alty's front man role.
Arguably the best move of the match by Altrincham culminated in Hancock forcing a full-length save from Moore and a corner followed (76 mins).
Next, a seemingly miscued up and under pass by Smith looked to be heading out for a goalkick, left of goal, but Colclough read the sticky picth well and was alert enough to get to the ball before it crossed the byline.
He laid the ball back from left of goal to Hancock. The no.10 arguably should have scored but his shot came off the top of the crossbar (77 mins).
In his frustration, Hancock then got himself booked for a needless foul, holding an opponent (79 mins). With Alty on top, they should have doubled their lead moments later when Colclough laid on a great chance for Peers. But, with the keeper grounded, the Alty sub underhit his shot, from five yards out, allowing Moore to recover and gather the ball.
There was not time to sulk as, immediately afterwards, Senior's low ball from right of goal seemed to be heading to the keeper at the near post before Alistair Smith darted in and turned it past the startled Moore and into the net at the base of his near post, making it 2-0 (80 mins).
Wealdstone responded by introducing Wishart instead of Dyer (82 mins). The impressive Alistair Smith now fired narrowly over from the edge of the box as the home side dominated.
Three minutes of added time saw Mooney penalised before he foolishly pick up the ball which prompted an unnecessary skirmish with an opponent, an episode entirely of Mooney's making and for which he should have been booked. Instead play resumed and Mooney was blatantly tripped by Green who was booked (90+2 mins).
With the volatile Mooney still seeing the red mist it was unclear whether he too was cautioned at this point.
But these final moments of foolishness could not detract from a fine second-half from Altrincham which earned them a deserved win, lifting them to fourth in the table and a commendable ninth if PPG were to be applied to the lopsided table.
Alty have no game for a fortnight as they were meant to pay defunct Macclesfield next and then Torquay, but the Gulls are involved in an FA Trophy tie instead.
|Full Time: ALTRINCHAM 2 |