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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 23 October, 2021 at 3pm


After a bright start, Altrincham were ultimately second best in Hampshire.

Altrincham took a sixth minute lead when Jake Moult hooked the ball into the roof of the net following a Kosylo corner, nodded on by Hannigan and, then, Peers.

After Alty had almost doubled their lead, Eastleigh got into the game and, after hitting the underside of the bar, they won a series of threatening corners midway through the half.

The Spitfires dominated the rest of the first half with the hosts' aerial threat causing repeated problems to Altrincham. But Alty retained their lead to the interval.

Alty started the second half poorly and, after a second consecutive corner, Hollands levelled the scores with a header (52 mins).

Just after Alty had brought on Sutton and moved Mullarkey to right-back in place of Densmore, Eastleigh went ahead from a well-struck freekick by Whelan (61 mins).

Altrincham were well below their best and, despite rallying a little in the closing stages, they could not retrieve the situation. They could have few complaints at the outcome.


REFEREE: Mr Aaron Jackson

In addition to injured keeper Tony Thompson, Altrincham were without Connor Hampson, David Fitzpatrick, A-Jay Leitch-Smith, Dan Mooney and Brad Jackson for this game but Ryan Colclough was back, albeit only on the bench. Shaun Densmore came in for his 400th start (but only if you include the void match at Dover last season).

Further forward, Marcus Dinanga and Tom Peers also started as did Toby Mullarkey, returning from a concussion lay-off, in place of Ritchie Sutton. So all the fit players were in the squad today.


EASTLEIGH (All blue with white sleeves): 1. Joe McDonnell, 4. Cavaghn Miley, 6. Andrew Boyce, 5. Tom Broadbent, 25. Christian Maghoma, 12. Jake Hesketh, 26. Vincent Harper, 20. Tom Whelan, 8. Harry Pritchard, 18. Ben House, 10. Tyrone Barnett. Subs: 11. Ryan Hill, 17. Danny Whitehall, 3. Michael Kelly, 19. Danny Hollands, 16. Joe Low.

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): 21. Matt GOULD, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 24. Joel SENIOR, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 17. Ben PRINGLE, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 15. Matty KOSYLO, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 23.Tom PEERS, 9. Marcus DINANGA. Subs: 4. Ritchie SUTTON, 11. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 28. Dean FURMAN. 29. Daniel WHITEHEAD, 30. Steven DRENCH


Altrincham went into the game lying seventh, whilst Eastleigh lay thirteenth, seven points worse off from the same number of games, ten.


In contrast to what was to develop, it was Altrincham who won two early corners in succession, both taken by Kosylo. From the second, from the left, Hannigan won a near-post header, which Peers headed on into the goalmouth, where Jake Moult hooked the ball, left-footed, into the upper part of the net to give his side a sixth-minute lead.

It could easily have been two-nil to the visitors soon afterwards when Peers fed Dinanga, whose shot was blocked, before Densmore was involved in a move which got Peers forward and his ball into the box only just evaded Kosylo, who complained that he was being held (8 mins).

At this stage it was looking ominous for Eastleigh but they came to life as Barnett threatened and a home corner was won (11 mins). But Alty, and Densmore especially, were finding space with regularity on the right against a less than impressive defence at this stage.

Eastleigh, however, were improving, and next Barnett fired over the bar (17 mins). But Alty responded as Kosylo fed Senior whose well struck shot just cleared the bar (19 mins).

The Spitfires almost equalised a little later when a mishit Whelan shot came back off the underside of the bar before being cleared.

After Alty's good start, the shift in the balance of power became clear as Eastleigh won three corners in as many minutes with Altrincham struggling to deal with their opponents' aerial threat (28 mins).

Altrincham were also uncharacteristically surrendering possession cheaply and were relieved when Whelan hit a freekick narrowly wide (32 mins). But Hancock replied with a good shot, which went narrowly wide (34 mins).

Two throws and two corners underlined Eastleigh's increasing dominance and the hosts went close again when Barnett's header across the box just evaded the incoming Hollands (40 mins).

However, Alty roused themselves for a late flourish, albeit without a serious threat being created, before half-time arrived with their lead just about intact. A measure of the first half was a corner count of seven to two in the Spitfires' favour.

Half-Time: EASTLEIGH 0

If Alty had started the first half with two quick corners, Eastleigh emphasised the shift in fortune as as they replicated that quickfire duo of flag-kicks. And indeed, like Alty, they scored from the second corner, won by Whelan, as Hollands brought his side level with a header (51 mins).

To try and stem the tide, Phil Parkinson brought on a third centre-back in Ritchie Sutton, with Toby Mullarkey shifting to the right and Shaun Densmore being withdrawn (57 mins).

Coincidentally or otherwise, soon after this change of position, Mullarkey made an error and Hannigan was drawn into a foul challenge to cover for the lapse (59 mins). Hannigan was booked and, to add to his woes, Whelan fired an excellent freekick from 25 yards t the right of Gould's dive and into the upper reaches of the net to give Eastleigh the lead (61 mins)

With the hosts on top, Alty brought on Colclough for Dinanga who, like a number of his team-mates, had an indifferent game (64 mins).

Alty were little threat to the home goal before the visitors made their third change with Pringle, who also had a disappointing game, giving way to Whitehead (70 mins).

Alty did now improve and won two corners but were unable to capitalise on them (71 mins).

Eastleigh responded with a double swap as Kelly and Whitehall replaced Hesketh and Barnett (75 mins). Altrincham belatedly rallied for the closing fifteen minutes as Eastleigh looked less than secure at the back.

The nearest to an equaliser arrived following an Altrincham corner, when there was a melee in the box, but the ref gave a freekick to Eastleigh (82 mins). Another corner arrived when Peers was having his shirt tugged inside the box but the referee opted for the corner not a penalty (87 mins).

Despite four added minutes, Altrincham could not find an equaizer and, overall, could not complain at the final result after an uncharacteristically lacklustre performance, not helped by a substantial injury list before kick-off.

Full Time: EASTLEIGH 2