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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 1 May, 2021 at 3pm
behind closed doors


Altrincham were well worth their point against a Notts County side whose promotion aspirations looked very optimistic on this showing. The visitors did enjoy plenty of possession but created very little with it.

Indeed it was Altrincham who wasted the two best chances of the second half, both in the final ten minutes, as Senior side-footed wide and then Peers missed the target from close range after a Colclough effort had been parried.

Altrincham had played well in the first half against a faltering Notts County but, for the second match running, having got ahead they conceded in first-half injury time, to leave the score 1-1 at half-time.

The Altrincham goal arrived in the 24th-minute lead when Alistair Smith drove home a low shot from outside the box. Although County enjoyed plenty of the ball, a combination of their own errors and solid defending meant the visitors produced minimal threat to the home goal.

But, in added time before the interval, County won a freekick when Ogle was judged to have blocked-off Brindley. From the freekick from 20 yards out, or so, and fairly central, Rodrigues's dead-ball beat Thompson to give the visitors parity at the break. The defensive wall appeared to have been badly positioned.


REFEREE: Mr Paul Marsden

ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.

After their home defeat by bottom-placed Barnet, it was a surprise that at kick-off Altrincham were unchanged as regards the starting eleven but Zouma replaced Richman on the bench. Hancock also returned, likewise on the bench, at the expense of an unfit Ceesay.

Matty Kosylo, Fisayo Adarabioyo, Andy White, Shaun Densmore, Tom Hannigan and Connor Hampson all missed the last game as well as this one, with Yusifu Ceesay added to the list of absentees today and injury presumably was the common factor in all seven absences.

Before the game, Notts County reported that "Ian Burchnall has handed starts to Richard Brindley, Jordan Barnett, Ruben Rodrigues and Enzio Boldewijn for this afternoon's trip to Altrincham.

Luke Steele retains his spot in goal, with wing backs Barnett and Brindley flanking an unchanged back three of Ben Turner, Mark Ellis and Connell Rawlinson.

Ahead of them, Rodrigues joins Michael Doyle and Jake Reeves in central midfield with Boldewijn partnering Kyle Wootton up top.

There's plenty of pace on the bench with Jimmy Knowles and Lewis Knight waiting in the wings along with Dion Kelly-Evans, Adam Chicksen and Regan Griffiths".


ALTRINCHAM (Red shirts with white panel, black shorts, white socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 4. Ritchie SUTTON, 24. Joel SENIOR, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 19. Reagan OGLE, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 29. Alistair SMITH, 34. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 36. Connor KIRBY, 7. Daniel MOONEY, 17. Nyal BELL. Subs: 10. Josh HANCOCK, 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 23. Tom PEERS, 35. Yoan ZOUMA, 32. James HARDY

NOTTS COUNTY (All pale blue): 31. Luke Steele; 2. Richard Brindley 5. Ben Turner, 3. Mark Ellis, 13. Connell Rawlinson; 7. Jordan Barnett, 8. Michael Doyle (c), 4. Jake Reeves, 20. Ruben Rodrigues; 9. Kyle Wootton, 11. Enzio Boldewijn. Subs: 23. Adam Chicksen, 16. Dion Kelly-Evans, 28. Regan Griffiths, 27. Lewis Knight, 18. Jimmy Knowles


A fourth successive home game brought Notts County to the JDS for the first time ever in a league match. However, the Magpies had won an FA Cup tie at Altrincham, however, back in 1972-73 season.

Both sides were in poor form, each without a win in five games. For Alty that sequence included four straight defeats ahead of this match.


Altrincham kicked off and the first shot came from Colclough, comfortably wide, in the second minute. Immediately, at the other end, Barnett also fired wide from a decent opening created up the left.

Indeed, the game started brightly and fairly evenly, albeit the visitors having more of the possession but letting themselves down by losing possession cheaply. Next, Colclough hit a shot cum cross which went across the goalmouth (8 mins).

As a back-pass was played towards him, Thompson slipped and conceded a needless corner. From this, the game's first corner, Thompson had to be alert to tip Wootton's effort over the bar for another flag-kick.

Thompson's counterpart, Steele, then had his own moment of alarm as he rushed out to clear a Colclough ball befoe it could reach Mooney. But his clearance went to Smith. From half-way, Smith hit an excellent lob which had Steele anxiously scurrying back as the ball dropped narrowly wide of his left upright (15 mins).

It was proving an open game and fairly end to end. The next excitement saw an error from Rawlinson, allowing Ogle and Smith to feed Mooney who elected not to shoot but did win a corner, Alty's first of the day. Mooney wasted this by hitting th ball into the sidenetting (23 mins).

Smith and Mooney then combined to better effect as they exchanged passes before Smith hit a fine, low shot, past the keeper's left hand into the bottom corner of the net to give Altrincham the lead (24 mins).

County responded with a corner which came to nothing. An error by Turner gave Bell a potential opening but he lost possession and was to have a disappointing afternoon (27 mins).

The next period of the game produced little threat of a goal before the sides traded a corner apiece (38 mins). After this a Colclough shot deflected to the keeper before Thompson collected an aerial ball at the other end, at the second attempt (41 mins).

Ogle now got the ball forward to Bell but the striker's miscontrol ended any hppe of a goal (42 mins). After a Reeves shot had been blocked by Mullarkey, Ogle was adjudged to have blocked off Brindley. The referee harshly booked the Alty defender and awarded a freekick 22 yards out, slightly right of centre.

And, just as had happened in the previous match, Alty conceded a goal in first-half added time. Rodrigues hit the freekick past the wall and into the net to Thompson's left with the suspicion being that the wall had been too centrally placed given that Rodrigues's shot was comfortably under the bar and inside the upright (45+1 mins).


Notts brought on Chicksen and Knight for the second half, replacing Barnett and Turner. Almost immediately Sutton apparently picked up a booking.

As in the first half it was the visitors who had more of the ball at this stage but there was little to set the pulse racing in the opening stages from either side.

Alty now brought on Peers up front to replace the misfiring Bell (57 mins). Shortly aftwewards, a Wootton shot obliged Thompson to make a save, pushing the ball away for a corner on the visitors' left (58 mins).

Play was pretty scrappy around the hour mark with it being difficult to distinguish between the play-off contenders and the 17th placed club.

Altrncham then wasted a good chance as Peers won the ball and exchanged passes with Smith before the latter disappointingly curled his shot well over the bar from the right (71 mins).

Two minutes later it was Moult's turn to fire over the bar (73 mins). Alty continued to threaten but whenas Peers was put in on goal, his first touch was too strong and the keeper blocked the ball. It ran to Colclough who disappointingly side-footed wide when he should have tested Steele, the experienced former Barnsley keeper (74 mins).

County made their final change with ex-BPA man Knowles replacing Rodrigues (74 mins).

Three minutes later Hancock replaced Mooney and went up top, as Peers moved to the right wing (78 mins).

Knowles then got himself booked for a foul on Hancock (81 mins). It was Altrincham who looked the more likely score as Senior shot wide after Hancock and Colclough had conspired to create the chance (83 mins).

And the half-chances kept coming for Altrincham as Knowles now lost the ball leading to Colclough's effort from 20 yards, which was blocked by Steele. From close in, left of goal, Peeers ballooned the loose ball high and wide (87 mins).

Three added minutes saw neither side break the deadlock. Altrincham had ended their four-game run without a point and had created the better chances but had failed to take them. Notts County's play-off aspirations seemed to have little real substance based on this tentative performance.