ALTRINCHAM FC MATCH REPORTS
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YEOVIL TOWN (0) 1
ALTRINCHAM (0) 1
played on Tuesday, 12 October, 2021 at 7.45pm
Alty secured a great point amidst adversity in Somerset, losing their goalkeeper and a centre-half by the midway point of the first half and having to use an outfield player, who had not played at all for 18 games, in goal for 74 minutes plus added time.
They suffered the first blow as early as the 13th minute when goalkeeper Thompson went down with what appeared to be an ankle injury. With no keeper on the bench, substitute left-back Connor Hampson came on and went in goal (16 mins).
Hampson had missed the last nine games of last season and the first eight matches of this campaign through a hernia problem. He was an unused sub last Saturday, which was his first appearance in a squad this campaign, so 18 games had been missed by him, in all, in terms of getting onto the pitch.
Then things got even worse shortly afterwards as centre-back Toby Mullarkey also had to be subbed through injury, with midfielder Dean Furman being his replacement (23 mins). This meant that Jake Moult had to move to centre-back.
Despite the two injuries, Alty did well for the rest of the first half, and Hampson had relatively little to do before the break, which was reached goalless.
However, after the break, Hampson was unable to hold a low, long-range Glover freekick and Quigley had an easy finish to give the Glovers the lead (58 mins).
But Alty then enjoyed good possession and deservedly equalised through A-Jay Leitch-Smith, a former Yeovil player afdter Mooney had made space and his low cross had come off a defender's legs (65 mins).
Alty's patched-up team gave a good account of themselves as Yeovil applied some late pressure. The draw was reward for an impressive showing from Alty as they contended with their two early defensive injuries and played for most of the game with an outfield player in goal who had not even been on the pitch since April.
- 58 mins: Joe QUIGLEY (Yeovil Town 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 65 mins: A-Jay LEITCH-SMITH (Yeovil Town 1 ALTRINCHAM 1)
REFEREE: Mr Matthew Russell
ATTENDANCE: 1,640, inc. 31 from Altrincham
Altrincham, who were again without the ill Ryan Colclough, made two changes for this match. Up front, A-Jay Leitch-Smith replaced Marcus Dinanga whilst, at the back, Brad Jackson came in to the starting eleven as Shaun Densmore moved to the bench with Dinanga.
YEOVIL TOWN (Green shirts with white sleeves, white shorts and socks): 1. Grant Smith; 22. Daniel Moss,3. Jordan Barnett, 5. Max Hunt, 32. Josh Staunton, 8. Dale Gorman, 7. Matthew Worthington, 11. Tom Knowles, 23. Adi Yussuf, 10. Joe Quigley, 26. Ben Seymour. Subs: 14. Bradley, 19. Charlie Wakefield, 12. Max Evans, 21. Jack Robinson, 15. Sonny Blu Lo-Everton
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 24. Joel SENIOR, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 16. Brad JACKSON, 17. Ben PRINGLE, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Dan MOONEY, 15. Matty KOSYLO, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 27. A-Jay LEITCH-SMITH. Subs: 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3.Connor HAMPSON, 9. Marcus DINANGA 23. Tom PEERS, 28. Dean FURMAN
This game had been postponed owing to Covid in the Altrincham squad, so the Robins had faced a lengthy midweek trek to Somerset to play tonight.
Alty had won four of their previous five fixtures, whereas Yeovil were going through an indifferent spell and had been booed off in their match the previous Saturday.
Indeed, Alty were enjoying their best start to a season in the top level of non-League football since 1994, with a haul of 18 points from their nine completed fixtures this campaign.
The match kicked off some five minutes late on an excellent surface at Huish Park with a Yeovil shot over the bar in the first minute signalling a decent start from The Glovers. Their long throws and direct approach were soon in evidence and, when Kosylo lost the ball on the edge of his own box, Yussuf, the butt of the home crowd, forced a good save by Tony Thompson's left leg (3 mins).
However, after Pringle had blocked another shot, Alty got to the other end as good skill from Kosylo let Leitch-Smith get forward and his effort came off Hunt for the match's first corner (5 mins). At the other end Quigley fired over the bar (7 mins), his side being the third lowest scorers in the National League this season.
Next, an excellent Knowles shot was also off target but only narrowly so (8 mins) before Alty started to settle only for play to be halted when Thompson appeared to twist his ankle. After lengthy treatment he got to his feet but had to hobble off. With Phil Parkinson only having named a substitute keeper three times in each of the last two seasons (excluding the 2020 play-offs), Alty found themselves having to utilise an outfield player between the sticks.
It was a major surprise that the man chosen for this role was sitting on the bench and had not been on the pitch at all since April, nineteen matches ago. It was left-back Connor Hampson who donned the pink keeper's jersey, having been sidelined by a hernia injury during the previous six months!
Play had barely restarted when Jackson went down after being fouled but he was able to continue (17 mins). Hampson was soon in action making a good save Yussuf (18 mins). Kosylo was then fortunate to avoid a booking for a foul before lty successfully defended the resulting frekick from just outside their penalty area.
Incredibly, further injury misery struck as centre-back Mullarkey went down and he, too, soon disappeared down the tunnel, injured, with experienced midfielder Dean Furman being his replacement (23 mins). That meant Jake Moult had to move to centre-back, to shore up Alty's depleted back-line.
Surprisingly the two injuries seemed to produce a better spell from Altrincham and a worse one from the hosts. Despite some dubious offside decisions from the officials, Alty enjoyed some good possession without seriously threatening to score.
Referee Russell then rather harshly booked Hancock for a foul (35 mins) and compounded that action by allowing the freekick to be taken from a more advantageous spot by Yeovil. But Gorman hit the effort wide of both the wall and the target., which was not very impressive with the goalkeeper being an outfield player (37 mins).
Yeovil were clearly aware of the marauding duo of Mooney and Senior on the Alty left but on the other flank Jackson and Kosylo enjoyed more space. After Furman had been penalised, a freekick from the Yeovil left was headed out for a corner by a defender (45 mins).
Five minutes of added time were to be played and, in the first of these, Mooney cut in and fired narrowly over the bar but the hosts were soon to gain two succcessive corners, after Hampson had done well to punch clear the first of these (45+3 mins).
The half ended with Senior getting in a cross from the byline which Staunton headed clear (45+5 mins). Altrincham had re-grouped well after their two injuries and they had protected Hampson well from Yeovil attacks.
Half-Time: YEOVIL TOWN 0
Yeovil started the second half strongly as Alty defended the home end and they won an early corner. Hampson, who had now changed his shorts to match his pink jersey, was well protected by his defence though he had to save a shot after 51 minutes.
Furman was proving a calming influence in midfield, whilst Alty looked a threat on the counter and soon Jackson's advance won Alty a corner (55 mins).
Next, a 35-yard freekick was conceded by Moult in the inside-left channel for Yeovil. Glover's kick was saved by Hampson but he was unable to hold the ball and it fell for Quigley to score from close range (58 mins).
Soon after this, the fiery Kosylo was fortunate to avoid a booking after grappling with an opponent as the hour mark approached (59 mins).
Far from Yeovil building on their lead, it was Altrincham who now enjoyed a good spell. Mooney won his side a corner (61 mins) and Altrincham's resilience got its reward when Jackson fed Mooney who, in turn, got round a defender and his low cross came off a defender's legs for Leitch-Smith to hook in, off-balance> The former Glover's effort from close rnage went through Smith's hand and into the net for an equaliser on his full debut. So it was 1-1 (65 mins).
Yeovil responded with a corner, leading to Hampson making a fine reaction save from a Staunton header (67 mins). With no thought of shuting up shop, Alty now brought on striker Peers for Kosylo (70 mins).
Yeovil were again having a good spell but, once more, they failed to make a corner tell.
Alty then threatened at the other end with Peers's shot having to be tipped over the bar for a corner by Smith (73 mins). Soon after this, Leitch-Smith forced another save from Smith with a deflected shot.
After an errant shot from Quigley, the Glovers introduced Wakefield for Knowles (76 mins). Up front, Alty now changed formation as Mooney swapped roles with Leitch-Smith.
In the closing stages Yeovil threatened again and it took an unconventional headed clearance by Hampson from a Barnett cross to concede a corner (79 mins). Soon the stand-in keeper was in action again, this time saving a header (80 mins).
But a fine run by Peers relieved the pressure and won his side a corner which led to Hancock forcing a save from Smith, followed by a good block from the dependable Staunton (81 mins). Alty appealed for hands but only managed to prompt the referee to book Senior for dissent.
Alty were still a threat on the counter but Pringle now found himself booked for a foul (84 mins). Alty survived another corner as the hosts maintained late pressure on the visitors.
Robinson replaced Worthingtom (89 mins) before a mis-clearance by Pringle gave the Glovers a corner (90+1 mins). The Yeovil pressure was relieved by Robinson's foul on Mooney as he threatened to get clear (90+2 mins).
It was actually Alty who then won the game's last corner, from a Mooney cross (90+3 mins), after which the final whistle signalled an excellent performance for Alty in taking a point from game in which they had suffered serious disruption through injuries.
After Yeovil's poor run, Radio Somerset seemed happy enough with a point but, in truth, against an inexperienced outfield goalkeeper returning from a long injury lay-off they should have done better. But Altrincham's team peformance was excellent in keeping the hosts at bay and posing their own recurrent threats at the other end.
Thompson and Mullarkey took the total to eight of Alty defenders who have experienced, or still are experiencing, injury absences since the summer or during the start of this campaign. The other six are Shaun Densmore (recovered), Kennedy Digie (still out), David Fitzpatrick (injured twice this season, still out), Connor Hampson (now recovered after six months' absence), Ritchie Sutton (injured but now out on loan) and Andy White (still sidelined).
In addition left-back Joe Bunney limped off last week before departing the club.
Full Time: YEOVIL TOWN 1