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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 27 March, 2021 at 6.15pm
behind closed doors


Altrincham secured their first away win in six with this deserved victory on their first ever trip to Maidenhead.

In a goalless first half Alty came very close to scoring when a clever backheel by Hardy gave Hancock a chance, which was blocked, before the ball came out to the left where a well-struck shot from Colclough came back off the cross bar.

Maidenhead were a little improved in the second half but fell behind when Alty won three corners in succession. From the last of these Colclough took a poor corner, low, towards the near post.

Wells should have cleared it easily but executed an air shot and the ball curled past the flat-footed keeper and into the net at the near post (65 mins).

Maidenhead only really tested Thompson once when the Alty keeper held on to a 19-yard effort from Coley (81 mins).

Substitute Peers had two good openings in the closing minutes but was unable to capitalise on them as Altrincham moved back up to eleventh where they had been on Friday morning before they had lost the three points earned by beating Dover earlier in the season.


REFEREE: Mr Robert Whitton

ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.

Matty Kosylo, Montel Gibson, Dan Mooney, Fisayo Adarabioyo, Andy White and Shaun Densmore had all been labouring with injuries recently whilst SimonRichman had been added to the list last Tuesday. None of them was in the squad today but Connor Hampson returned at left-back after self-isolating. Yoan Zouma was also again an absentee for reasons that were unclear.

Maidenhead had James Comley and Rohan Ince, missing, as they were on international duty, and Dan Sparkes was out, injured. They could, apparently, have had the game postponed because of the international commitments but opted to play both to secure the TV money and because of their fixture backlog.


MAIDENHEAD UNITED (White shirts, black shorts): 1. Taye ASHBY-HAMMOND, 3. George WELLS, 24. Alan MASSEY (c), 5. Manny PARRY, 6. Remy CLERIMA, 19 Ryan UPWARD, 15. Seth TWUMASI, 18. Alfie EGAN, 7. Josh COLEY, 10. Danio ORSI, 9. Nathan BLISSETT. Subs: 23. Rhys LOVETT, 25. Sam BARRATT, 22. Josh KELLY, 12. Brad KEETCH, 16. Ryheem SHECKLEFORD

ALTRINCHAM (All yellow with blue and white sash on shirts): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 24. Joel SENIOR, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 29. Alistair SMITH, 32. James HARDY, 34. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 9. Joe PIGGOTT. Subs: 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 11. Yusifu CEESAY, 17. Nyal BELL, 19. Reagan OGLE, 23. Tom PEERS.


This was Altrincham's first-ever visit to Maidenhead. On Friday morning, Alty had been two places above Maidenhead though the latter had seven games in hand, so the Ravens were actually two places above Alty on PPG. Then the National League had expunged Dover's games during Friday, which meant that, in the actual table, Alty and Maidenhead swapped places, with the hosts now 11th and Alty 13th.

But because this was an evening kick off, earlier results on the day had sent Alty down to 14th. So without kicking a ball Altrincham had dropped from eleventh to fourteenth in 24 hours.


Altrincham kicked off on a pitch that looked in good condition as the team which had played the most fixtures in the National League, faced the one that had played the least. It was the latter, Maidenhead United, who gained the evening's first corner, in the fifth minute, which Massey headed well over the bar.

But Altrincham soon began to get the upper hand. Smith then played Hardy into the box but the winger was let down by a rare piece of miscontrol (7 mins). Moments later Colclough did well and cut in from the left but his shot was saved.

A foul on Moult left him needing treatment before the hosts won their second corner, which was overhit (11 mins). Alty soon replied with a corner of their own but Colclough hit this disappointingly low to the near post.

Alty soon threatened again as midfield anchor, Moult, of all people got up the right, past Wells. Unfortunately, his low cross was fielded by the keeper (15 mins).

A spell of intense pressure almost resulted in Alty taking the lead around the twenty-minute mark. First Senior fed Hardy whose smart backheel gave Hancock an opening but his effort was blocked at source. However, the ball came to Colclough and, from left of goal his well-hit effort came back off the crossbar.

Still Maidenhead could not clear and, via Smith, the ball was worked left to Hancock who laid it off for Hampson to fire over the bar from the edge of the box.

Alty were well on top now, with the hosts' best effort being Upward's twenty-five yarder which flew well over the bar (27 mins).

Maidenhead did come back into the game and won a corner, but this only led to an Altrincham freekick (35 mins).

A foul on Colclough by Twumasi gave the same Alty man a freekick from near the left byline but he wasted it with a poor, low effort into the near post's sidenetting (41 mins).

As the first-half reached its conclusion, Maidenhead won three successive corners, the last arising when Thompson failed to gather the ball. However, Alty also won a very late corner which, likewise, came to nothing.

So it remained goalless at the end of a half in which Altrincham had been the better side but in which neither keeper had been overworked.


The hosts kicked off and an early foul by Hannigan was followed by the Alty centre-back needing treatment to his right leg before he could resume (49 mins).

Goalkeeper Thompson had a mixed game and he now failed to gather a Massey header at the back post but he retrieved the ball at the second attempt (51 mins). When Hancock was felled soon afterwards, Wells became the first and last booking of the match by a referee who had a good game (52 mins).

Next, a good Alty passing move was followed by a disappointing shot, well wide, by Piggott (56 mins). Fouls by Smith and Hancock contributed to a scrappy few minutes before Barratt replaced debutant Egan for the hosts (61 mins).

Soon after the hour mark Alty won the first of what became three successive corners. The first, from the left by Colclough was followed by one from the right by Hardy before the third, which was again taken on the left. Colcolough had wasted both a corner and a freekick in the first half by hitting these dead balls too low and now he did the same again.

His low curling effort should easily have been cleared by Wells, stationed in front of the near post and under no pressure from an opponent, but he executed an air-kick, missing the ball completely.

Behind him, keeper Ashby-Hammond was equally at fault as he made no attempt to cover his near post and allowed the harmless corner to drift into the net for what was a quite dreadful goal to concede from a Maidenhead perspective (65 mins).

Barratt then put a freekick badly wide at the other end as the home team continued to disappoint their manager on the touchline (69 mins).

Play drifted on before Hancock tried his luck from 35 yards and made a hash of it, his shot going miles off target (73 mins). After this, Maidenhead went a bit closer at the other end as a Barratt curling cross from the right was allowed to go across the Alty goalmouth (76 mins).

Maidenhead then forced a spell of pinball in the Alty box which ended with a cross which Upward headed just wide, as the final ten minutes began. Thompson was then called upon to make a rare save as he held on well to Coley's 20 yarder (81 mins).

Altrincham now brought on two strikers in Bell and Peers, who replaced Piggott and Hardy respectively (84 mins). Two minutes later, Williams came on for Hancock to complete Alty's changes (86 mins). There was further break in play when Kelly replaced Twumasi for Maidenhead (87 mins).

An Orsi driven cross won the home side a corner but then Williams countered and fed Peers who, from 25 yards, hit a shot well over the bar (90+1 mins). Three minutes of added time brought another chance for Peers but, as he tried to pass the ball to his left to Bell, the ball was deflected to safety by a defender (90+3 mins).

But Alty got to the final whistle as they secured their first away win in six attempts and recorded their first league double of the season against an under-performing Maidenhead. The last time Altrinham had recorded a Conference-level double was in 2014-15 against Dartford; by coincidence that was exactly six years ago today!

The win restored Alty to eleventh place, where they had been on Friday before losing their three points earned from beating Dover.