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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 4 September, 2021 at 3pm


Altrincham twice came from behind to secure a win through a penalty awarded five minutes from time against a Dover team which had played with spirit despite its twelve points' deduction.

The Whites opened the scoring after just seven minutes when Arthur scored from about 15 yards out with a low shot after Dover had advanced up the left. Altrincham levelled when Mooney swept the ball home from the edge of the box after Colclough and Senior had combined on the left (21 mins).

Cosgrave restored Dover's lead with a finely struck rising shot in the 57th minute but substitute A-Jay Leitch -Smith levelled again just six minutes after coming on (71 mins).

An entertaining second half ended soon after Ryan Colclough had been brought down by Collinge and Colclough got up to convert the winning penalty (86 mins).


REFEREE: Mr Scott Simpson
ATTENDANCE: 1,871 (65 in away end)

Josh Hancock and Joe Bunney dropped out with the latter fit for the bench, though the former was apparently not. Defender Fitzpatrick joined his injured or otherwise sidelined defensive team-mates Densmore, White, Hampson, Digie and Sutton outside the matchday squad.

So Senior switched to left back as Brad Jackson came into the team at right-back. Matty Kosylo also joined the starters in place of Hancock. Dean Furman was named on the bench after his recent signing.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks) : 1. Tony THOMPSON, 16. Bradley JACKSON, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 24. Joel SENIOR, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 14. Connor KIRBY, 7. Dan MOONEY, 11. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 15. Matty KOSYLO, 9. Marcus DINANGA. Subs: 17. Ben PRINGLE, 23. Tom PEERS, 27. A-Jay LEITCH-SMITH, 29. Joe BUNNEY, 28. Dean FURMAN.

DOVER ATHLETIC (All purple): 1. Josh Bexon, 3. Sam Wood (c), 4. TJ Bramble, 9. Ricky Miller, 10. Ben Williamson, 11. Aaron Cosgrave. 15. Seth Twumasi, 17. Travis Gregory, 18. Henry Woods, 22. Koby Arthur, 23. Danny Collinge. Subs: 7. Khale da Costa, 12. Alex Green, 8. James Caton, 20. Adam Parkes, 24. Harrison Byford


This third fixture of the season was Altrincham's first home match of the season and therefore the first match to be played on the new £180,000 playing surface installed over the close season.

Visitors Dover had lost all three of their matches this season and remained on minus-twelve points, a deduction stemming from their unilateral furloughing of players in 2020-21 and their cessation of playing activity. The Whites had reverted to part-time status this season.

Altrincham, with a game in hand on many clubs, lay 13th at kick-off, whereas Dover were 23rd (bottom).

The sides had last during 2020-21 in a match at Crabble. The match's record was officially expunged when Dover stoppped playing matches. Clashes between Altrincham and Dover Athletic have produced the following statistics for Altrincham, including that expunged 1-0 win.

It was more than five years since Dover Athletic had last visted Altrincham, having won that encounter 2-1 in April 2016.

Then, Altrincham were in the relegation places whilst Dover were seeking to consolidate a play-off position. How different were things today as Dover started the game with minus twwelve points to Altrincham's plus three points from their two previous fixtures this campaign.


With supporters still pouring into the ground for this first game in front of unlimited numbers since early 2020, Jake Moult kicked off with Altrincham playing towards the away end. But it was the visitors who took a seventh-minute lead as Cosgrave, on the Dover left, got the better of Jackson when the ball was fed forward to the Wimbledon loanee. In turn, he fed the ball to his right where Arthur scored with a low shot just as he was belatedly tackled by a defender.

Altrincham responded with a promising move of their own when Mullarkey advanced from defence and, via Kosylo, the ball reached Dinanga in the box but the striker hesitated and was tackled, so possession was lost (10 mins).

Alty were seeing the majority of the ball over the next few minutes but without getting in a shot until Kosylo did well and fed Colclough who dribbled towards goal but could only get in a weak effort that ran to the keeper (15 mins).

Dover were then harshly punished for a handball when the ball struck a defender from close range. Kosylo's freekick narrowly cleared the bar (16 mins).

After Altrincham had escaped from a defensive mix up in their own box by hacking the ball clear, they won their first corner but nothing came of it (18 mins). Next, Jackson got in a good cross from the left which Mullarkey headed downwards rather than at goal and the keeper gathered it safely (19 mins).

Altrincham then switched the ball from right to left where Colclough fed the overlapping Senior and his cross was impressively swept into the net by a low shot from Mooney (21 mins). For Dover the experienced Miller was proving a handful but, when he got past Mullarkey, he could only shoot across the face of goal (22 mins).

The Altrincham probes were coming predominantly up their left via Colclough but when Mooney then advanced, on the right, his layoff to Kirby saw the Harrogate loanee midfielder lift his shot over the bar (28 mins).

The hosts should have scored in the 29th minute when Jackson got in a fine cross from the right which Dinanga was somehow unable to turn into the net from a couple of yards out, the ball coming off his foot to the goalkeeper.

Cosgrave became the game's first booking when he fouled Jackson near halfway (32 mins). Alty continued to see the majority of the ball but Dover were looking to get forward themselves when they did have possession. After Moult had lost the ball to Arthur, Kosylo's foul gave the Whites a freekick which produced a Dover corner (36 mins).

Alty defended the corner poorly allowing the visitors a clear goalbound header from Williamson which Thompson had to beat out (37 mins). At the other end Colclough got in a snap shot before the increasingly impressive Jackson exchanged a pass with Dinanga before winning his side a corner (41 mins).

Keeper Bexon missed the corner in the air but Alty were unable to capitalise. As half time approached, a low shot from Wiliamson went narrowly wide (44 mins) but, after one minute of added time, half-time found the teams locked at 1-1.


The second half only began after Dinanga had prematurely raced into the opposition half before the ball had been kicked to re-start the game! Altrincham were soon on the front foot, with Mooney seeing a shot blocked (47 mins). Then a promising move, involving Colclough, Senior and Kosylo, culminated in a wild shot from Mooney from 20 yards (48 mins). The referee then declined to give a penalty when Dinanga appeared to be hauled to the ground.

Not many people get the better of Jake Moult but the combative Ricky Miller did so as he robbed the Alty captain but nothing came of it (50 mins). Overall, Alty continued to dominate as Senior now got into the box but he ran into a defender as the referee rightly ignored appeals for a penalty (54 mins). Next, a thirty-yarder from Kosylo failed to trouble the keeper (56 mins).

Disaster then struck for Altrincham as Woods fed Cosgrave, who scored with an excellent rising shot from the edge of the box, to give Dover the lead once more (57 mins).

The referee rightly ignored Cosgrave when he sat down seeking a stoppage for no apparent reason; he got up again briefly before sitting down once more and being subbed by Caton (62 mins).

Senior then failed to make the most of an incursion into the box when he delayed a shot. Dinanga's unhappy afternoon continued as he headed well wide from a Jackson cross from the right, much to the provider's annoyance. Almost immediately Alty brought on Leitch-Smith to replace Kosylo (65 mins).

Three minutes later Moult was replaced in midfield by Pringle before Alty won a corner. Before this was taken, Peers replaced Dinanga up front for Altrincham (69 mins). Colclough's corner from the left came to nothing but reached Mullarkey beyond the back post; the ball was crossed back by Mooney from the right to the unmarked Leitch-Smith who opened his Alty account with a well-struck, low shot from about 12 yards to make it 2-2 (71 mins).

There was a farcical booking for Woods after he had made three blatant attempts to pull back Colclough (74 mins). Alty then almost threw away a goal, after 75 minutes, when a speculative punt, from at least 30 yards on the left, by Collinge was badly fumbled by Thompson and he was relieved to see the ball go out for a corner beyond the backpost rather than into his net.

At the other end, a wild shot from Colclough got a deflection, to win his side a corner, which Bexon failed to deal with. This led to a long-range punt from Senior which was not too far off target.

Now Miller gave way to Da Costa for the visitors (79 mins). The visitors had not settled for a draw and continued to pose a threat on the counter-attack. However, Bramble now got himself booked (82 mins). With Alty going for a winner, Kirby fed Colclough who was tripped inside the box and a clear penalty was signalled.

Colclough got up to score the spot-kick, his shot just beating Bexon's dive to his right. This gave Alty the lead for the first time in the afternoon (86 mins). Altrincham efficiently negotiated the closing stages, which included five added minutes, to record a second win of the season.

Dover had not been the whipping boys that a pointless start to the campaign and a minus-twelve points total might have suggested before kick-off but it had been a very entertaining game for the sizable crowd.

The result left ALtrincham joint eighth in the National League with a game in hand on five of the teams above them.