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Vanarama National League match
played at Broadhurst Park (FCUM)
on Saturday, 20 February, 2021 at 3pm
behind closed doors


Altrincham endured a disastrous first half, of their own making, in their match at Broadhurst Park against Boreham Wood. In just the second minute Ryan Colclough committed a foul and injured himself in the process. He resumed briefly after treatment but had to go off in the fifth minute with Tom Peers being his replacement.

Altrincham then gifted the visitors a seventh-minute goal as, near the Alty right corner, Peers poked the ball past team-mate Senior and this allowed Boreham Wood's Fyfield to get to the byline. His low cross from the left was easily converted by Kane Smith from close range.

After a fairly even but relatively uneventful period, Hampson got himself booked for a foul on Smith (25 mins). Three minutes later Hampson and Smith clashed again with the Alty left-back penalised and after, picking himself up after staying down injured, Hampson was shown a second yellow and then a red card (30 mins).

From the resulting freekick on the right, the ball came out to a Boreham Wood man whose miscued shot found Tshimanga unmarked near the back post. He flicked the ball into the net to make it 2-0 (30 mins).

Immediately the unlucky Byron Harrison was withdrawn as Phil Parkinson adjusted his ten-man formation with Andy White coming on to take up the left-back role (30 mins).

Alty re-grouped but created no threat to Ashmore's goal despite more than five added minutes being played at the end of a half in which Alty had conceded far more fouls than usual and had inflicted their own pain with a poorly conceded first goal and the sending off.

Trailing 0-2 at the interval, the second half began with the visitors scoring a third goal. A Boreham Wood corner from the right was headed clear by Hannigan but fell for Whiteley to fire home from the edge of the box (48 mins).

Altrincham finally got some impetus around the hour mark and were rewarded when Smith fed Kosylo, whose shot from right of goal made it 1-3 in the 59th minute.

Alty than had their best spell of the game with a Ceesay effort rolling narrowly wide across the goalmouth. But the Altrincham pressure was then broken up as Ashmore, not for the first time this season, sat down with a supposed injury. An off the ball trip on Alistair Smith then further halted Alty's momentum shortly afterwards.

However, Altrincham gave Boreham Wood a scare by scoring again when Senior and Peers combined for the latter to toe-end the ball past Ashmore (86 mins). But the worldly-wise Boreham Wood saw the game out to leave Alty facing a third successive defeat.


REFEREE: Mr Thomas Parsons
ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.

Altrincham made four changes. They were without leading scorer, Josh Hancock, who had picked up a back injury in training. White, Peers and Mullarkey were all moved to the bench as Hampson, Ceesay, Sutton and Harrison came into the starting line-up. Daniel Mooney remained sidelined through injury.

Boreham Wood named only four substitutes.


ALTRINCHAM (Red shorts with white chest panel, black shorts, white socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Ritchie SUTTON, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 24. Joel SENIOR, 29. Alistair SMITH, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 15. Matty KOSYLO, 34. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 11. Yusifu CEESAY, 28. Byron HARRISON. Subs: 2. Andy WHITE, 9. Joe PIGGOTT, 23. Tom PEERS, 20. Shaun DENSMORE, 25. Toby MULLARKEY.

BOREHAM WOOD (All mint green): 1. Nathan Ashmore, 19. Kane Smith, 12. Jamal Fyfield (c), 14. Kristian Pearce, 3. Femi Ilesamni, 11. Corey Whitely, 10. Kieran Murtagh, 8. Gus Mafuta, 22. Junior Morias, 9. Kabongo Tshimanga, 23. Tyrone Marsh. Subs: 17. Ryan Huddart, 2. Danny Woodards, 6. David Stephens, 18. Shaq Coulthirst


Once again Altrincham were playing a home game on the road, and for the second "home" game running it was at Broadhurst Park, the home of FC United of Manchester, due to concerns about the pitch at the J. Davidson Stadium.

This was only the second ever season in which Alty and Boreham Wood had been in the same division. In 2015-16 The Wood visited Moss Lane where Alty secured a narrow win.


On a blustery day in Moston, Altrincham kicked of but conceded a second-minute corner. Moments later, tracking back, Colclough fouled an opponent but damaged himself in the process. After treatment to his right knee, he resumed and Murtagh's freekick forced Thompson to tip the ball over the bar for another corner.

Colclough then sat down and had to be substituted by Tom Peers before the corner could be taken (5 mins). The corner was cleared but, near the Alty right corner flag, Peers poked the ball past, rather than to, Joel Senior. This left Fyfield clear and from the left byline his low cross found Kane Smith unmarked and he scored from close range (7 mins).

Alty responded with a decent shot from Hampson, which Ashmore spilt, before recovering the ball. At the other end, Thompson pushed a 25-yarder from Mafuta round the post as rain was now falling.

Play continued fairly evenly with Murtagh fouling Alistair Smith before Sutton was penalised for a push on Tshimanga which prompted a theatrical fall from the forward.

Midway through the half Ceesay won Alty's first corner, following which Moult volleyed wildly over the bar (24 mins). Hampson then conceded the third freekick that Alty had given away within 35 yards of their own goal and the Alty left-back was booked (25 mins).

Just three minutes later Hampson again made a robust challenge on Kane Smith and the Alty man stayed down for treatment. As he got up he was shown a second yellow and the inevitable red to reduce Alty to ten men (29 mins).

To make matters worse, the freekick was half cleared only for a mishit Boreham Wood shot to fall for Tshimanga at the back post where he smartly sorted out his feet to flick the ball into the net from close range (30 mins).

Altrincham had been architects of their own misfortune; they had lost Colclough to a foul of his own doing, then had conceded a poor opening goal, before having Hampson sent off for two needless fouls in a three minute spell and conceding a second goal through poor marking.

And now Alty had to adapt their formation as the unfortunate striker, Byron Harrison was sacrificed for defensive cover as Andy White came on to play at left-back (30 mins).

Alty continued to concede needless freekicks,some thirty yards out, and a Boreham Wood corner soon followed (34 mins). Boreham's Kane Smith was then booked for a trip on Peers but things did not improve as Hannigan was soon to be booked, for unclear reasons, after he had been fouled (37 mins).

Alty continued to give away freekicks, with Ceesay the next culprit, but from a decent chance after the freekick, Boreham Wood skied a shot off target. When Alty got themselves a freekick thirty yards out for a foul on Peers, Kosylo took a very poor effort (45 mins).

Five added minutes left the score at the interval 0-2.


Two goals and one-man down was a grim sitauation for Altrincham and it soon got worse as they conceded a third goal in the 48th minute. A corner on their right was headed clear by Hannigan only for Whitely to steer the ball into the net from the edge of the penalty area.

Boreha Wood then won two corners, the second deriving from a Ceesay error and this led to an important block by Thompson (54 mins). An increasingly niggly game saw the referee call together the two captains before play resumed (57 mins).

From a corner won by Ceesay the far from impressive Ashmore missed the ball in the air but the ball was hacked half clear. It came to Alistair Smith who fed Kosylo to the right and his shot flew, via a deflection, into the net from wide right of goal to make it 1-3 (59 mins).

Ten-man Altrincham now enjoyed their best spell of the game and they almost pulled back another goal when Ceesay laid the ball across the face of goal to where Kosylo was not quite able to get a touch as the ball dribbled narrowly past the back post.

Sensing they were under the cosh Boreham Wood repeated their openly admitted trick of earlier in the season by getting goalkeeper Ashmore to manufacture an "injury" as he sat down for no apparent reason to stop play (67 mins).

Alty's momentum was then broken up again by an off the ball trip on Alistair Smith which necessitated a genuine injury stoppage. But the visitors' tactic had had its effect as Alty now failed to regain the momentum they had been showing.

The frustrated Kosylo was the next in Mr Parsons's notebook (71 mins) and, following the resulting freekick for his offence, Boreham Wood hit the bar (72 mins).

The sparky Alty winger was immediately subbed and Mullarkey replaced him (73 mins). The Wood had now taken the sting out of th game and, on 80 minutes, Coulthirst replaced Morias.

But, just as the cause looked hopeless, Altrincham scored a second goal. Peers and Senior interchanged passes up the right before the latter toe-ended the former's ball past Ashmore to make it 2-3 (86 mins).

So, finding themselves on the back foot once again, it was not surprising that Boreham Wood suffered another mysterious injury off the ball which halted play (88 mins).

A long throw from Senior earned Alty a 90th minute corner before five added minutes produced three bookings for Boreham Wood as they wound wound down the clock with a mixture of timewasting and keeping the ball in the corner flag area.

Even after the final whistle Alty's woes continued, as goalkeeper Thompson was booked for throwing a water bottle against a wall.

So Alty had lost their third game in a row and had dropped to ninth place. Though Boreham Wood's pragmatic approach would have won few admirers had the home fans been present to observe it, it was effective and Alty really had no one to blame for defeat but themselves due to their first-half errors and fouls. On the positive side they showed some second-half fight but had given themselves too much to do to redeem their earlier lapses.