ALTRINCHAM FC MATCH REPORTS


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ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
SUTTON UNITED (2) 4

Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 17 April, 2021 at 4.30pm
behind closed doors


SUMMARY:

Sutton dominated the first half from the start and deservedly led 2-0 at the interval.

The visitors went ahead in just the seventh minute, from a freekick conceded on the front edge of the box by Williams.

From a central position Milsom curled the freekick into Thompson's top-left corner.

With Sutton still dominating possession, Alty created no threat to the visitors' goal before conceding a second time in the 31st minute.

Oloafe fed Wilson from the left and from the edge of the box his low shot went through the legs of both Hannigan and Moult before beating Thompson.

Alty conceded a third before the hour mark as they failed to clear a freekick. Sho-Silva, unmarked, netted comfortably as John's cross from the right recycled the ball (56 mins).

The fourth goal for Sutton was wholly unavoidable. Thompson tried to kick the ball to Moult on the edge of the box. Instead it went to Wilson who hammered the ball back past Thompson (64 mins).

Alty failed to trouble the visitors' keeper throughout the game with tame efforts from Hancock, in the first half, and Ceesay, near the end, the only efforts on target.

Sutton rode out the last 25 minutes as comfortable winners, condemning Alty to their heaviest defeat of the season and their third successive game without a goal.


SCORERS:


REFEREE: Mr Andrew Kitchen


ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.
TEAM NEWS:

Alistair Smith, Matty Kosylo, Fisayo Adarabioyo, Andy White, Ritchie Sutton, Shaun Densmore, Yoan Zouma and Connor Hampson all missed the last game with, or following, injuries and none of those eight started today with only Smith and Mooney included in the matchday squad at all.


LINE-UP:

Altrincham were unchanged but Dan Mooney returned on the bench as did Alistair Smith, where James Hardy was an unexpected absentee.

Sutton were without the injured Bugiel but Sho-Silva started.

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: 7. Daniel MOONEY, 17. Nyal BELL, 23. Tom PEERS, 29. Alistair SMITH, 30. Simon RICHMAN

SUTTON UNITED (Amber with chocolate trim): 1. Dean Bouzanis, 2. Jonathan Barden, 5. Ben Goodliffe, 6. Louis John, 7. David Ajiboye, 10. Harry Beautyman, 15. Craig Eastmond (c), 17. Tobi Sho-Silva, 24. Robert Milsom, 25. Isaac Olaofe, 28. Donovan Wilson. Subs: 12. Coby Rowe, 14. Craig Dundas, 18. Adam Lovatt, 21. Callum Kealy, 26. Aaron Simpson.


BACKGROUND:

Originally the game was set to be a 3pm kick-off before the National League decreed that all matches should move to 12.30pm starts to avoid clashing with the funeral of Prince Philip. However, as Sutton had already made arrangements to travel for a 3pm kick off, it was the agreed that the match would be played from 4.30pm.

The fixture has had a convoluted history as, originally, this Saturday should have witnessed the away game between Sutton United and Alty at Gander Green Lane. However, concerns about bad weather and its effect on the Moss Lane pitch prompted the switching of the original home fixture on 9 January to Surrey, where the game ended 2-2.

A week ago Sutton had been top of the National League but started this game in second place after a haul of just six points from their last five games; the same as Altrincham's record. And also a week ago, Alty had been 13th but as all of their rivals had played at lunchtime, they started this game in seventeenth place, which also accurately reflected their PPG position.


REPORT:

After the sides had changed ends and observed a minute's silence to commemorate Prince Philip's funeral, which had been the reason for this fixture's retiming from 3pm, it was Sean Williams who kicked off for Altrincham.

However, it was the visitors who started on the front foot but Sho-Silva fired the game's first shot well off target (2 mins). As Sutton continued to set the pace, John shot wide (5 mins). The early pressure from the visitors then drew Williams into a foul on Milsom inside the "D" and just outside the penalty area. It was Milsom himself who stepped up to curl an excellent freekick into the top corner of Thompson's net, to the keeper's left, giving his side a seventh-minute lead.

Altrincham remained on the back foot, not aided by a failure to retain the ball when, periodically, they did gain possession. Alty's first significant incursion into the Sutton half ended with an overhit ball from Moult (12 mins).

When a Hancock effort dribbled to the visitors' keeper, it was disappointing but, in retrospect, it was even more so as it was to be his side's only effort on goal for the next eighty minutes (14 mins).

Things did not improve as Hannigan was booked for upending an opponent (16 mins). The visitors' attacking efforts were predominantly up the left as they continued to dominate (25 mins).

The "U"s soon got the reward they deserved with a second goal. On the left, Oloafe fed the ball inside to Wilson, who had joined Sutton following the cessation of fixtures for his club Bath City. Wilson drove the ball, low, through the legs of Hannigan and, behind him, of Moult, and past an unsighted Thompson into the net (31 mins).

Despite their dominance and two-goal lead, it was not until the 35th minute that Sutton gained their first corner. John got up to it well but headed the ball well over the bar.

Alty soon won a slightly fortuitous corner themselves, but Williams overhit this from the left at the Golf Road end (39 mins).

It was a measure of the visitors' dominance that Altrincham will have considered themselves fortunate only to be trailing by two goals at half-time.


Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0
SUTTON UNITED 2

No changes were made by Alty for the second half, though Mullarkey emerged with a numberless "blood shirt", having taken a blow in the last action of the first half.

Alty did start the second half a little better than they had begun the first, but they fell further behind in the 56th minute. A foul on Oloafe some 45 yards out was not cleared and, from right of goal, John hooked the ball back into the goalmouth where it found the unmarked Sho-Silva. The much-travelled Sutton man hooked the ball into the net to make it 3-0.

Sutton now replaced Goodliffe by Rowe (58 mins) and, after this, Eastmond got in a firm shot which Thompson beat away at the near post (59 mins).

Bouzanis remained a spectator at the other end as his Alty counterpart now gifted Sutton a fourth goal. It arrived after Thompson had taken a goalkick along the ground, up the middle of the box, aiming for Moult.

However, it was Wilson who got the ball and proceeded to drive it firmly into the unguarded net to make it four-nil to the side from Surrey (64 mins).

Immediately, Mooney, returning from injury, came on to replace Hancock who had seen little of the ball (64 mins). With Ceesay now on the left, Alty gained a corner which came to nothing (66 mins).

Alty enjoyed a better couple of minutes before they made another change as Bell, yet to make a start but making his sixth appearance from the bench this season, replaced Piggott whose goalless run now extends to the better part of ten hours of playing time (68 mins).

With Sutton's foot off the pedal, Altrincham were seeing more of the ball but making minimal impression on the visitors' defence before Richman replaced Hannigan, the Alty centre-back having earlier spoken to his manager, presumably to indicate an injury (73 mins).

Kealy and the forty year-old Dundas now replaced Wilson and Ajiboye (76 mins). Thompson then failed to keep a Williams back pass in play to concede a corner (78 mins).

Belatedly, Ceesay was beginning to get forward on the left but he was getting little change out of a resolute Sutton defence. On the other flank, Alty won a late corner (87 mins) before the game drifted through three added minutes to its inevitable conclusion. During this added time, a Ceesay effort did run harmlessly to the Stton goalkeeper as only Alty's second effort on target.

So, Alty had suffered a third successive defeat, a third goalless game and their biggest defeat of the season to an impressive sutton United. An extensive injury list certainly had not helped but, in truth, they were well beaten by a much better side. Having, this afternoon, met the team with the best PPG record this season, Alty next face the bottom club, Barnet, looking to get back to winning ways.


Full Time: ALTRINCHAM 0
SUTTON UNITED 4