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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 11 September, 2021 at 3pm


Player illness on the pitch, a broken leg, a red card and a controversial penalty deep into added time all conspired against Altrincham in this game.

After a goalless first half, in which Tony Thompson made a couple of fine saves, Alty nevertheless had some promising moments. However, the visitors had been disrupted when they lost Tom Hannigan to illness after just 20 minutes, with Joe Bunney replacing him.

In the second half, the game was marred by a bad injury to Connor Kirby. As the loanee midfielder from Harrogate attempted to block a Wealdstone shot he committed a foul and seemed to suffer a lower leg or ankle fracture in the process. The match was stopped for some ten minutes before he was stretchered off and yellow-carded in the process.

With the game still goalless, thirteen minutes of added time were announced. Eight minutes into added time Brad Jackson was red carded for a foul to worsen Alty's afternoon. Moments later the referee gave a controversial penalty for hands against Matty Kosylo. Elito converted the penalty to hand victory to the hosts (101 mins).


REFEREE: Mr Tom Bishop

Altrincham were unchanged, apart from on the bench where Josh Hancock replaced the injured A-Jay Leitch-Smith. However, their wave of defensive injuries again ruled out Densmore, White, Hampson, Digie and Fitzpatrick so Jackson was obliged to move from midfield to right-back which, in turn, meant that Senior again played at left-back rather than in his more comfortable right-side berth.


WEALDSTONE (Blue shirts, white shorts and socks): 1. George Wickens, 2. Jack Cook, 4. Ashley Charles, 6. Jerome Okimo (c), 9.Joshua Umerah, 10. Stephan Browne, 11. Dennon Lewis, 12. Andrew Eleftherou, 18. Alex Dyert, 24. Charlie Cooper, 34. Jack Cawley. Subs: 3. Daniel Wishart, 7. Craig Fasanmade, 16. Ira Jackson, 17. Nikola Tavares, 20. Medy Elito.

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red 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, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 29. Joe BUNNEY, 28. Dean FURMAN.


Last season, in November 2020, Wealdstone beat Altrincham 1-0 at Grosvenor Vale but Alty gained revenge with a 2-0 home win in the reverse fixture.

Both clubs regained their top-flight status in non-League in 2020; in Wealdstone's case it was for the first time in 32 years but, having guided them to promotion, in February 2021 the club surprisingly sacked manager Dean Brennan, with his former assistant Stuart Maynard taking over to lead them to a 19th placed finish.

Before their 2020 return to the top-flight, Wealdstone had enjoyed two spells at that level. Like Altrincham, they were founder members of the Football Alliance in 1979 but, after just two seasons, they were relegated in 1981, only to regain their status a year later in 1982.

This second spell in the Conference lasted for six years and in the 1984-85 they won the then-named Gola League, albeit with the fewest wins and most defeats of any champions up to that date. So, like Altrincham they are a club who have won the top level of non-League but have been denied promotion to the Football League.

Previous Altrincham league matches against Wealdstone resulted as follows:


Wealdstone started the game the brighter with their speedy winger Lewis prominent but the first shot of note did not arrive till Umerah's effort came off Mullarkey for a corner (9 mins).

Next, from Eleftherou's cross, Thompson made a fine left-handed save from Browne's header (10 mins). At the other end, Mooney got past his defender but his cross was cleared.

Jackson and Mooney then combined to give Colclough an opening but he sidefooted his shot to the on-loan keeper Wickens, from Fulham (13 mins).

Altrincham were now improving and, when Kosylo got into the box, it was disappointing that his final ball went behind Dinanga (15 mins). However, Hannigan then went down and was clearly unwell but he played on for a few minutes before giving way to Joe Bunney at centre-back (20 mins).

Dinanga then spurned a good chance after a Moult freekick (23 mins) before Kosylo fired over the bar as the visitors enjoyed a good spell (26 mins).

Following a Wealdstone corner, the hosts hit the post, albeit a freekick was awarded to Alty for climbing by a forward (27 mins).

After the half-hour mark had been reached, Umerarah shot wide (33 mins). Not long afterwards, Okimo, the Wealdstone captain became the match's first booking, for a foul on Dinanga after the striker had dispossessed him.

As half-time approached it took a fine save by Thompson to parry away a Wealdstone affort which came at the end of a threatening move (41 mins). A home corner soon followed before added time started.

In the second added minute before the break Alty created their best chance of the half. It was initiated by Kirby, before Dinanga fed Mooney, who fired over the bar. So the interval arrived with no score on the board.


In the second half Alty resumed where they had left off and an excellent move saw Mooney play in Dinanga but the striker's chip was saved (47 mins). Dinanga was soon played in again but this time he was given offside before Mullarkey, who again played well, had to put in an important bloick in his own penalty area (51 mins).

Next, Wealdstone wasted a good chance as Lewis's fine ball was headed off target by Umerah (54 mins). Then, as Okimo went to shoot at goal, he was challenged by Kirby with the Alty midfielder left in clear distress in the aftermath. It took some ten minutes of treatment on the pitch before the young Harrogate Town loanee was stretchered off with an apparent leg or ankle fracture (57 mins). To add to his troubles he was shown a yellow card as he was carried off to await an ambulance (66 mins).

Before play resumed, Ben Pringle came on to replace the injured Kirby (67 mins). Soon after the play had resumed a Mooney cross located Colclough but he stabbed his effort over the bar (69 mins).

After Mullarkey had again done well to see off a threat from Lewis, Dinanga was fouled by Charles, who was booked (74 mins).

On 76 minutes the hosts made a double change as Fasanmade and new signing Jackson replaced Umerah and Browne. Next Dinanga won a corner which came to nothing (77 mins). Following this, Matty Kosylo got himself booked but the hosts put the resulting freekick imto the Alty wall (80 mins).

An appeal now went out over the Wealdstone tannoy asking if any spectators had a large van in which to convery the stricken Kirby to hospital.

Dinanga then failed to convert a good chance as Pringle fed Colclough who got to the byline, past his marker, and fed the Alty striker (85 mins).

Alty looked the more threatening at this stage as now Pringle put in a fine shot which rose over the bar. But the hosts responded when Lewis forced a save from Thompson (87 mins).

Next, Peers replaced the misfiring Dinanga (88 mins) before Elito came on for Wealdstone's Dyer (90 mins).

Thirteen added minutes were decreed in which the hosts won an early corner (90+2 mins).

Peers then shot wide at the other end (90+5 mins) before Mooney ballooned an effort over the bar a minute later. Play had belatedly become very open as, first Kosylo saw his shot blocked before Lewis forced a good save from Thompson with Bunney clearing the follow-up off the line (90+7 mins).

Alty continued to threaten when Colclough located Mooney and his shot deflected for a corner (90+7 mins). After the corner, Wealdstone counter-attacked and Jackson was drawn into a poor challenge which the referee instantly adjudged to be a red-card offence (90+8 mins).

And just when it could not apparently get any worse, it did just that. Mr Bishop made another snap judgement and decreed that Kosylo had handled the ball and he awarded the hosts a dubious penalty (90+10 mins). Elito beat Thompson fromn the spot to decide the match in a wholly unsatisfactory manner (90+11 mins).

It was an afternoon when little went right for Altrincham in a game where a draw would have been the fairest outcome, albeit Thompson was the busier of two underworked goalkeepers.