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Vanarama National League match
played at FC United of Manchester's Broadhurst Park
on Tuesday, 9 February, 2021 at 7.45pm
behind closed doors


Altrincham started well and the Wrexham keeper, Dibble, was forced to make four good saves in the opening half-hour. The best chance had fallen to Byron Harrison but the Wrexham keeper won the one-on-one.

Despite Alty setting the pace, Wrexham had hit the post through a Thomas header after 20 minutes but the visitors went ahead against the overall tenor of the game in the 36th minute. A quick freekick by Harris set Hall-Johnson running up the right and his cross was put into the roof of the net by Thomas at the near post (36 mins). After the goal the Welshmen had the better of the remainder of the first half.

Alty got level in the 51st minute when Senior found Colclough who hit a fine 20-yard shot past the keeper, who got a hand to the ball and might have been expected to keep it out.

Altrincham continued to have a lot of the ball in the second half but struggled to create openings. They paid the price after Mullarkey tried to run forward up the middle, lost the ball, and a corner was conceded by desperate covering from Sutton who injured himself in the process.

The corner came off an Alty head at the near post and Thomas, unmarked at the back post, looped a header over Thompson into the far corner to restore his side's lead (68 mins).

Alty could not find a way back and slipped to a disappointing defeat which left them sixth in the table, twelfth on PPG. However, a twelfth-placed finish at this level would be the club's highest position for 25 years.


REFEREE: Mr Lewis Smith
ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.

In this game, transferred from Altrincham to the Broadhurst Park stadium of FC United of Manchester, the "home team" made three changes to their starting eleven; White for the injured Hampson, Sutton for the suspended Moult, Colcough for the injured Mooney. So Mullarkey was again deployed in midfield rather than in the back line.

Before this game, former Alty man Elliott Durrell had played the full 90 minutes in a league game for Wrexham just three times this season. Three of those appearances were in his first four National League matches. In four of the last six league matches he had only been named on the bench, as he was again, tonight.


ALTRINCHAM (Red shirts with white chest panel, black shorts, white socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON (c) , 2. Andy WHITE, 4. Ritchie SUTTON, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 24. Joel SENIOR, 29. Alistair SMITH, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 15. Matty KOSYLO, 34. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 28. Byron HARRISON. Subs: 9. Joe PIGGOTT, 20. Shaun DENSMORE, 11. Yusifu CEESAY, 23. Tom PEERS, 30. Simon RICHMAN.

WREXHAM (Green shirts and socks, white shorts): 21. Christian Dibble, 2. Reece Hall-Johnson, 3. James Reckford, 6. Jay Harris (c), 8. Luke Young, 13. Mark Carrington, 20. Dior Angus, 22. Fiacre Kelleher, 26. Tyler French, 29. Jordan Davies, 39. Kwame Thomas. Subs: 7. Elliot Durrell, 10. Devonte Redmond, 12. Dan Jarvis, 14. Paul Rutherford, 15. James Horsfield.


Altrincham welcomed Wrexham to the neutral venue of Broadhurst Park Stadium in Moston, the home of FC United of Manchester. The match had been switched to that venue after fears that the Moss Lane pitch would not be playable after the battering it had taken in recent weeks from rain and snow.

Alty had beaten the Welshmen at The Racecourse earlier this season, 1-0 and The Red Dragons were now lying sixteenth in the form guide over the last five games whilst Altrincham were second only to Hartlepool United in that table.

In the National League table, Wrexham went into the game lying ninth, four places and four points behind Altrincham.

Last time out the Welshmen had let slip a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Dagenham & Redbridge.

Wrexham have been in non-League since 2008. In the intervening twelve seasons, they have finished in the top five, of what is now the National League, four times but at the end of the incomplete season of 2019-20 they were in their lowest ever position, finishing nineteeth.

The overall record before tonight was:


Altrincham kicked off, through Alistair Smith, after Wrexham had elected to change ends. And, within 80 seconds, a fine 25-yard shot from Smith had forced Dibble into a decent save at the cost of a corner.

The corner was dreadful, with Kosylo underhitting it, low, to the first defender from right of goal. But, moments later, he did much better as he got into the box from a Smith feed but Wrexham saw off the danger as Alty enjoyed the better of the opening stages.

With light snow swirling around the stadium, Ryan Colclough was seeing plenty of the ball on the Alty left before Dibble was soon forced to make his second good save of the night when a fine long ball from Smith located Harrison. The veteran striker lost the ball but it came to White, whose well-struck effort was tipped over the bar for a corner by the Red Dragons' keeper (11 mins).

Moments later Harris was booked for a crude lunge on Kosylo as Wrexham struggled to get into the game and Alty's moves were coming predominantly up the left.

Altrincham then should have taken the lead as the excellent Smith played in Harrison for a one-on-one with Dibble. The big striker was unable to beat the advancing keeper as he made his third good save of the game in only the 17th minute.

However, the away team now showed some life and, after a brave Hannigan header had cleared one danger, a Hall-Johnson cross from the right was headed against the back post by Thomas before Senior had to block a Rekord follow-up (20 mins).

Nevertheless, Altrincham soon threatened at the other end, as Colclough was halted, but the ball came out to Kosylo. From twenty yards out, he struck the ball impressively but, sadly, his aim was not true and the ball flew a foot or so wide of the post (21 mins).

Hancock then had an opening but scuffed his shot well wide as Altrincham again spurned their chances to score (25 mins).

Despite being very much second best so far, Angus now turned well and fired in a shot which went narrowly wide (27 mins) before Wrexham's belated wake-up continued as Rekord's thirty-yarder was well caught by Thompson (30 mins).

But it was Dibble who was next in action, making his fourth good save as Colclough finished off an excellent move with a shot which the Wrexham keeper pushed round the post at full stretch, for a corner (31 mins).

This corner was again woefully taken by Kosylo. In a repeat of his first flag-kick of the evening, the corner was hit, low and weakl, to the first defender. But, following the corne,r a fine cross from Smith gave Hannigan a decent chance but to the centre-back's own disappointment, he headed over the bar.

Alty could have been three or more goals ahead by now, but for the keeper's four good saves and their own profligacy, and they paid the price as Wrexham snatched the lead against the run of play. Alty conceded a freekick on their left near half-way, which was taken quickly to Hall-Johnson, who advanced up the Wrexham right.

His low cross was turned into the upper reaches of the net at the near post by Thomas to put his team ahead (36 mins).

The goal prompted Wrexham to have the better of the remainder of the half and Alty's half got worse as a lunge by Mullarkey saw him booked (41 mins). From the freekick, 30 yards out, left of goal, Young struck the base of Thompson's right post, though the keeper did seem to have it covered (42 mins).

So, Altrincham trailed at the interval after a half in which they had failed to translate their upper hand into a goal.


The second half started with Senior's ball into the box and a blatant push on Harrison as he went for the ball but the linesman belatedly flagged for offside (47 mins).

With Alty, as at the start pf the first half, dominating possession, they finally got their reward. Senior fed Colclough, who had drifted in from the left, and the former Scunthorpe man fired a good shot at goal. Dibble got his hands to it but failed to stop the ball hitting the net for the equaliser (51 mins).

As in the first half, Alty were having the better of things but, on their intermittent forays, Wrexham looked dangerous and now a visitors' corner was allowed to drop and traverse Thompson's goalmouth (57 mins). Later, after a White shot at the keeper, a curling Rekord freekick from the right drifted narrowly wide of the back post (63 mins).

Mullarkey then attempted to advance up the middle from his own half but lost the ball (67 mins). It took excellent covering from Sutton to halt Thomas as he headed towards goal, at the cost of a corner and an injury to the centre-back which then requred protracted treatment before he could resume.

The corner, from the left, was met by an Alty head at the near post which only served to send the ball beyond the back post, from where Thomas looped a header over the crowded goalmouth and into the net at Thompson's right-hand post. So, for the second time in the match, Alty had conceded against the run of play (68 mins).

Two years to the day after making a loan debut for Alty at Broadhurst Park, Joe Piggott now came on for his second debut for the club, replacing Harrison who had not got much change out of the solid Wrexham back-line (74 mins). Next a Kosylo shot was pushed round the post by Dibble for a corner, at which point Ceeesay replaced the injured Sutton as Alty looked for an equaliser (76 mins).

A wayward shot over the bar from Hancock (80 mins) was followed by a Colclough miscue, with his weaker right foot, from a promising chance (82 mins). Altrincham's waywardness continued as Ceesay now sliced a very poor shot wide when team-mates were on hand for a pass.

At the other end Hall-Johnson was played into the Alty box but blasted his shot over the bar (87 mins). Next, an offside Piggott had a shot saved (88 mins) before Wrexham won themselves a corner as they wound down time successfully.

In the last of the four added minutes, Kosylo won a corner but Wrexham saw the game through to gain revenge for Alty's win at The Racecourse earlier in the season.

So, two years to the day since Alty had played in a game at Broadhurst Park which had ended in a 1-2 away win, another 1-2 result had been achieved tonight but, this time, Altrincham were the losers. They dropped to sixth in the table, twelfth on PPG, a very respectable position for a newly promoted and part-time side in the National League.