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WOKING (0) 0

Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 2 March, 2021 at 7pm
behind closed doors


Despite playing for the best part of an hour with ten men after Tom Hannigan was sent off, Altrincham fully deserved to end their bad run of five successive defeats with this win secured by an excellent goal netted by Matty Kosylo from a Tom Peers pass in the 69th minute. The goal was the culmination of a superb move of a dozen passes. In fact ten-man Altrincham had three or four excellent chances to score from second-half counter-attacks.

Woking only seriously threatened to score in the dying seconds of added time when it took two magnificent saves from Tony Thompson to keep out The Cards. But Altrincham thoroughly merited the victory which lifted them up to eighth (16th on points per game).

The win was all the more praiseworthy for being achieved by playing for virtually an hour with a back four which comprised players who were all 24 years-old or younger, and which included two loanees (Zouma and Ogle) making their debuts.


REFEREE: Mr Andrew Miller
ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.

Altrincham had made three loan signings on the eve of this game in which they were seeking to end a run of five successive defeats against a Woking side which was in good form and had just reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy.

All three of the new faces (Gibson, Ogle and Zouma) went straight into Altrincham's starting eleven and Ryan Colclough returned after injury. Dropping out of the squad was Ritchie Sutton with Connor Hampson, James Hardy and Byron Harrison all moving to the bench. Once again Josh Hancock and Dan Mooney were unfit whilst Altrincham's injuries had increased at the weekend with Shaun Densmore suffering a broken wrist.

Woking made three changes from the side which had beaten Torquay United in the FA Trophy the previous Saturday.


ALTRINCHAM (Red shirts with white chest panel, black shorts, white socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 24. Joel SENIOR, 35. Yoan ZOUMA, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 19. Reagan OGLE, 29. Alistair SMITH, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 15. Matty KOSYLO, 11. Yusifu CEESAY, 34. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 33. Montel GIBSON. Subs: 3. Connor HAMPSON, 23. Tom PEERS, 32. James HARDY, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 28. Byron HARRISON.

WOKING (Yellow and blue halved shirts, yellow shorts and socks ) 13. Craig Ross, 2. Jack Cook, 6.Moussa Diarra, 5. Ben Gerring, 8. Kane Ferdinand, 16. Kyran Lofthouse, 18. Ben Dempsey, 20.Malachi Napa, 21. Tommy Block, 23. Jayden Wareham, 26. Jamar Loza. Subs: 11. Matt Jarvis, 9. Jonte Smith 3. Josh Casey, 4. Charlie Cooper, 10. Max Kretzschmar.


After five successive defeats, Altrincham returned to Moss Lane having played their two previous home games at Broadhurst Park because of concerns about the pitch at the J Davidson Stadium.

Before the match there was a presentation by co-chairman Bill Waterson to Alty captain Jake Moult, who was making his 400th appearance for the club.


Inside the first minute a foul on Kosylo earned the hosts a freekick which Kosylo himself took, albeit disappointingly.

An otherwise uneventful opening few minutes were followed by a booking for Gerring's rugby tackle on Colclough near half way (6 mins). Neither keeper was troubled but, in the 12th minute, Loza made space on the edge of the box but the former Weymouth man shot narrowly wide.

Altrincham responded with a neat ten-pass move which was broken up by Diarra. Despite including three debutants Altrincham were settling well and, just after the streaming service had broken down midway through the half, Alty apparently had the ball in the net when Moult netted a Kosylo freekick but was deemed offside (23 mins).

Next, an apparently crude challenge by Cook on Colclough meant that he was the second of the visitors to be booked (26 mins). Moments later the same player committed another foul but stayed on the pitch.

Altrincham were now on top and earned three corners in a two-minute spell. Between the first and second of these, Colclough drew the first save of the night, by Craig Ross (30 mins).

Again invisible to all those watching the still malfunctioning streaming service, Gibson apparently played a poor ball which left Hannigan exposed as Wareham headed towards goal. Depending on whether you listened to the radio commentary or the picture-less TV commentary, Hannigan either fouled his man or Wareham slipped over after Hannigan's challenge. Mr Miller favoured the former interpretation and showed the Alty centre-back a red card, which was Alty's third in their last seven league fixtures (35 mins).

Immediately, Ceesay had to be "sacrificed" as Mullarkey came on to shore up the now depleted defence in which he was now the senior member at the age of 24, alongside two young loanee debutants in Ogle and Zouma, and 21 year-old Joel Senior. Fortunately the Woking freekick was wasted with a skied effort.

Just before the break Block became the third Woking man to be booked to conclude a half in which it was Altrincham who had seen no yellows but had picked up a costly red for Hannigan. As the game went into three added minutes a fierce shot from Gibson won a corner but the interval was reached with the game still goalless.


The streaming service was up and running for the second half which Woking started the better, winning two corners in the first eight minutes. But Altrincham's makeshift backline was defending well and Thompson was not tested in goal.

In fact it was Altrincham who went closer to scoring when Kosylo fed Colclough, whose deflected shot looped up and had to be tipped over the bar by Ross for a corner (56 mins). Following the corner, Gibson fired a shot intop the ground which likewise looped up before it was cleared for another corner (57 mins).

The visitors now made a double change as Jonte Smith came on for Block and top scorer Kretzschmar replaced Wareham on the hour mark.

Almost immediately Kretzschmar put in a crude challenge on Senior and should have been booked but was not. Woking were not making their extra man tell but they finally created a decent chance on 65 minutes when Jonte Smith was played in by Ferdinand but, from right of goal, he hit his shot well wide.

Altrincham themselves made a change, next, as Peers replaced Gibson who, apart from his role leading to Hannigan's dismissal, had put himself about promisingly (66 mins).

A couple of minutes later it was Peers who earned an assist as ten-man Alty took the lead. The goal came from a twelve-pass move which started on the right; the ball went left and then back to Zouma, who rejected the easy option of a back-pass, before the ball was worked back to Peers on the right. His pass set Kosylo in on goal and he calmly finished with a low shot to the keeper's right (69 mins).

Just after Kretzschmar had hit a 25-yarder well over the bar, Jarvis came on for Woking's Napa (73 mins). Then a Kosylo foul allowed Woking to take a quick freekick and Thompson did well to gather Lofthoise's resulting cross from the left (74 mins).

Woking picked up a fourth yellow card for a Dempsey foul (76 mins) before Peers excelled by getting to the left byline.

Despite being a man short Alty continued to look the more dangerous as, now, Senior exchanged passes with Kosylo before Alty's right-back fired in a low cross which only just evaded Peers in the goalmouth (79 mins). Two minutes later and Hampson came on to assist the defence as Colcough was withdrawn.

And Alty threatenmed again in the 85th minute as Kosylo set up a shot for Hampson, which Ross saved.

More good work from Senior led him to feed Peers for another Altrincham shot which seemed like it might have ben deflected for a corner, but a goalkick was awarded and Senior was booked for impeding its being taken. At the smae time the Woking keeper, Ross, seemed to be booked too )(87 mins).

And for the fourth time in the second half Alty had a clear chance to score in the 89th minute when a Ogle shot was deflected to Kosylo who miskicked from 18 yards .

Woking did win a 90th minute corner but, in the five added minutes which the referee conjured from somewhere, Kosylo was taken out by an opponent after passing the ball forward to the narauding Senior. Not only did the referee play an "advantage" which was not an advantage to Altrincham but he also failed to book the offender (90+2 mins).

Finally, Woking did create two good chances deep into added time. Firstly, a deflected effort produced a wonderful reaction save from Thompson, to his left, and though the ball was half cleared, it came back and this time the Alty keeper made an even better one-handed stop, going to his right (90+4 mins). These were the only occasions that the Cards seriously threatened to score throughout the evening.

The win not only halted Alty's five-game losing streak but lifted them up to eighth, albeit when PPG is applied they are actually sixteenth. All three loanees had good debuts and the team as a whole, much weakened by injury absences, showed great application throughtout and looked a far more incisive attacking force than their guests from Surrey.