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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 10 April, 2021 at 3pm
behind closed doors


In a poor first half, Alty almost took an early lead as Josh Hancock's shot was tipped onto the bar by Johnson (8 mins). Three minutes later Alty stood off Jack Earing, allowing him a couple of touches, before he fired a left-footed shot past Thompson from the edge of the box to give the Shaymen the lead (11 mins).

After that there was little to get the pulse racing before half-time, which was reached with Alty still a goal behind. Halifax seemed content with what they had and Altrincham lacked forward penetration.

Altrincham were a little better in the second half, enjoying a decent spell midway through, and shots from Ceesay and Colclough each forced Johnson to push the ball over the bar. However, overall, the Shaymen were comfortable with their lead and Altrincham could have no real complaints at the outcome, their eighth home defeat in the league.


REFEREE: Mr Adam Herczeg

ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.

Alistair Smith, Matty Kosylo, Dan Mooney, Fisayo Adarabioyo, Andy White, Ritchie Sutton, Shaun Densmore and Yoan Zouma all missed the last game and all were not involved in this match either.

Yusifu Ceesay and Regan Ogle came into the starting eleven whilst Connor Hampson and James Hardy moved out, the latter being named on the bench where goalkeeper Matt Gould made just his third appearance in a league matchday squad and has yet to get onto the pitch for Altrincham in the National League.

There was a rare phenomenon in this era of high-numbered shirts as Halifax's starting team comprised ten of their "first" eleven so far as squad numbers were concerned with the eleventh such numbered player being on the bench to complete the set.


ALTRINCHAM (Red shirts with white panel, black shorts, white socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 24. Joel SENIOR, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 19. Reagan OGLE, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 34. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Yusifu CEESAY, 9. Joe PIGGOTT. Subs: 21. Matthew GOULD, 17. Nyal BELL, 23. Tom PEERS, 30. Simon RICHMAN, 32. James HARDY,

FC HALIFAX TOWN (All blue): 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Jeff King, 4 Nathan Clarke (c), 5 Neill Byrne, 6 Tom Bradbury, 7 Jamie Allen, 8 Kieran Green, 9 Jake Hyde, 10 Jack Earing, 11 Danny Williams, 31 Niall Maher. Subs: 19. Luke Summerfield, 40 Chris Renshaw, 26 Martin Woods, 30 Kian Spence, 3 Jack Senior


This was the first of four successive home games for Altrincham who will complete the season with seven home fixtures out of nine games in total.


Altrincham kicked off towards the Carole Nash & Family End, on a pitch which, despite the best attentions of groundsmen Neil Brown and Bryan Ford, was showing signs of wear and tear, stemming from the winter's bad weather and the absence of a summer break in 2020 when remedial work could have been carried out.

After a quiet start, Alty almost snatched the lead with the game's first effort on target in the eighth minute. Colclough fed Ceesay who located Hancock and, from right of goal, the Alty man hit a firm shot on target which Johnson did well to tip onto the crossbar.

It was the second game running in which Alty had struck the crossbar in the opening stages, after Ryan Colclough's equally unfortunate effort at King's Lynn.

And, within three minutes, Hancock's bad luck was underlined as Halifax took the lead. Earing was located in space 20 yards, or so, out from goal and was allowed time to take a couple of touches, as Hannigan held off a challenge. The Halfax man then struck a fine left-footed effort into the net, to Thompson's left, to give his side a 1-0 lead (11 mins). It was to be arguably the only serious shot at the Alty goal throughout the game.

It was another six minutes before another shot of note as Colclough dribbled forward but his left-footed effort ran easily to Johnson (17 mins). At the other end a King effort was blocked and, next, Hyde won the game's first corner (24 mins).

As Alty laboured for the next ten minutes against an organised defence, Halifax won two more corners. There was no real pace to the game as Altrincham were prone to pass the ball around rather than make any meaningful advances towards the opposition box.

Half-time came as a mercy after 45 minutes largely devoid of inspiration from either side. It was not to get a great deal better...


A Toby Mullarkey shot gained Alty an early second-half corner (48 mins),which Colclough hit poorly, low and not very forcefully towards the first defender in front of the near post.

Whether it was truly the dreadful effort that it appeared or a deliberate attempt to emulate the similarly struck effort which had recently produced the most fortuitous of goals, against Maidenhead United, only Colclough will know.

After another spell of posession without penetration, Alty won another corner which, this time, was taken by Williams (52 mins).

Next Williams fed Hancock, who made space well, but hit an underpowered shot to the goalkeeper (57 mins). Around the hour mark Alty enjoyed their best spell of the game as Ceesay came to life on the left wing. The wingman forced a good save from Johnson, as his volley arrowed towards the top of the net before being diverted over the bar by the keeper's hand (63 mins).

Midway through the half Piggott, who had seen little of the ball, was replaced by Bell and Hardy came on for Hancock (66 mins).

Hardy immediately introduced some life into Altrincham. Halifax responded as Summerfield replaced King (69 mins).

Halifax's Williams was the game's first player to be booked for a foul on Senior (70 mins). Alty continued to dominate possession, and much of the game was now in the visitors' half, but the Halifax goal was barely threatened. The sum effect was that there was not much excitement for the spectators on the streaming service, as the commentators correctly observed.

However, late in the game, there was an excellent shot from the edge of the box by Colclough. His shot had to be well tipped over the bar by Johnson (86 mins). Another home corner soon followed but, again, to no avail (87 mins).

Four added minutes produced no real threat of an equaliser as the visitors comfortably held on to their slender lead. All in all it was not an afternoon to live long in the memory.