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Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 26 October, 2021 at 7.45pm


Altrincham had to make a large number of changes for Covid-related reasons. "Half the squad are unavailable" said Phil Parkinson before kick-off after he had had to bring in three loanees on matchday, two of whom started.

But through the first half, against the odds, the makeshift home side far outshone a Solihull side which, apart from two early long range pots over the bar, created nothing and were very much second best before the break.

Alty took a 15th minute lead when Walker and Hancock combined for Baggley to hit a fine rising shot past Boot to make it 1-0. They went on to have the better of the rest of the first half which ended 1-0.

But within a minute of the second half starting, Donawa equalised. The Moors then took a 72nd minute lead through substitute Sbarra after a one-two with Maycock.

And there was no way back for the Robins as Moors had much the better of the second half.


REFEREE: Mr Martin Woods

ATTENDANCE: 3,683 (123 in away end)


For their recent game at Eastleigh, Alty had just fifteen outfield players available through injuries. But their plight was far worse tonight as Covid hit the squad meaning that only double-jabbed players who had tested negative for Covid, and were not injured, were able to play.

So tonight, through injuries or Covid protocols, Alty were without eight players (Hampson, White, Thompson, Digie, Leitch-Smith, Dinanga, Mooney, Jackson) who had all also missed last Saturday's game, as well as four more absebtees (Mullarkey, Whitehead, Colclough, Kosylo), who had been in the squad at Eastleigh.

Into the squad came Tom Walker and Barry Baggley, signed earlier in the day on loan from Stockport County and Fleetwood Town respectively. A third emergency signing, defender Kwarme Osigwe (ex-Bolton Wanderers) was on the bench where Alty reserve Sean Higgins also made his debut in a first-team squad.

The visitors' manager, Neil Ardley, had also made numerous changes especially at the top end of his team as he sought a better goal return.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): 21. Matt GOULD, 24. Joel SENIOR, 19. David FITZPATRICK, 4. Ritchie SUTTON, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 16. Jake MOULT (c), 28. Dean FURMAN, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 23.Tom PEERS, 32. Tom WALKER, 31. Barry BAGGLEY. Subs: 17. Ben PRINGLE, 30. Steven DRENCH, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 33. Sean HIGGINS, 34. Kwarme OSIGWE

SOLIHULL MOORS (All yellow): 1. Ryan Boot, 2. Tyrone Williams, 5. Callum Howe, 4. Kyle Storer, 3. Jordan Cranston, 8. Callum Maycock, 25. Lois Maynard, 17. Justin Donawa, 9. Adam Rooney, 10. Jamey Osborne, 24. Danny Newton. Subs: 11. Ryan Barnett, 7. Joe Sbarra, 18. James Ball, 14. Harry Boyes, 19. Andrew Dallas.


For this televised match, Altrincham had offered reduced price admission which paid off with a very large attendance, thereby extending to twelve the run of four-figure gates which have witnessed Altrincham's league matches, home and away, this season.

The Moors had gone above Alty on Saturday after the defeat for the Robins at Eastleigh. The visitors had lost just one of their last seven games but their most recent ten league fixtures had included matches against the seven bottom teams in the National League.

In eight previous clashes, Altrincham had won three games, Solihull had won four and there had been one draw.

The Moors did the double over Alty in 2020-21, winning 4-0 at home and 2-0 at Moss Lane.


Altrincham kicked off but it was The Moors who first threatened as Osborne fired over the bar from long distance (5 mins), followed by Cranston likewise aiming too high from even further out, a minute later.

After the visitors had wasted a righ-wing freekick with a dreadful delivery by Cranston, they won themselves a corner, the first of three in succession (9 mins).

The last corner ended with a Maynard header well over the bar before play stopped for treatment to Hannigan who seemed to have collided with a team-mate (12 mins).

However, despite being on the back foot in the opening stages it was Altrincham who took the lead in the fifteenth minute.

Hancock exchanged passes with Walker before threading a superb reverse ball into the goalmouth for the arriving Baggley to hammer a rising shot past Boot.

Both Baggley and Walker were impressing on their debuts, on the left and right flanks respectively, as they slotted into playing with unfamiliar team-mates.

Altrincham now gained the upper hand and were to hold it till the interval.

Soon, Walker, Peers and Hancock combined for Peers to fire narrowly wide (19 mins). There were then brief separate stoppages for treatment to Hannigan for Alty and Osborne for Solihull before the half-hour mark.

Alty next won three corners in succession, the first arising from a full-length save by Boot, to his left, from a Hancock shot from 18 yards (31 mins).

Baggley overhit the third corner of the series to relieve the pressure on a lacklustre-looking Solihull, who were creating no threat at the other end.

Hancock, who was playing well, next hit a 25-yarder over the bar before the Moors belatedly got forward for Maycock, likewise, to shoot over the bar (40 mins). Solihull's Donawa did get to the byline as the interval approached but this only led to an overhead effort from Rooney which went well over the bar.

Four added minutes were decreed during which a Baggley shot ran to Boot (45+2 mins) before Maycock received a booking after bringing down Walker as the winger got past him to try and initiate a counter-attack (45+4 mins).

So Altrincham reached the break with a well deserved lead, engineered by their makeshift starting eleven.


Disaster struck inside the first minute of the second half as Alty lost possession trying to pass their way out of defence.

The ball was worked to Rooney who, with his back to goal, played a neat flick towards goal to Donawa, and the Bermudan international smacked a rising shot past the exposed Gould from ten yards.

It was a not dissimilar goal to Altrincham's in its construction.

Solihull were already showing far more guile than in the first half but they picked up a second yellow card when Osborne blatantly tripped Senior and then inexplicably argued the toss about it with the referee (54 mins).

Alty picked up after their poor start to the second half as Senior got to the byline, then Furman won the ball impressively leading to Walker gaining a corner from a Hancock feed (56 mins).

A couple of long throws from Donawa came and went before Hancock earned his side another corner (61 mins). After a bout of "handbags" involving Moult and Williams, the Moors made a double change as forwards Dallas and Sbarra, who had been dropped for this game, replaced Newton and Osborne (64 ins).

Altrincham were still making a game of it as, first, Peers won a corner and then Senior got to the byline and fired an effort across the face of goal (66 mins).

Alty did not have the luxury of a strong bench and it was the Moors' changes which tilted the outcome their way.

Shortly after a stoppage to treat Furman, Sbarra and Maycock's one-two got the former into the goalmouth where he slid the ball past the unprotected Gould to give the Moors the lead (72 mins).

Despite their weakened team Alty did not roll over and when Peers's shot took a strong deflection it took a good save from Boot to keep Alty out, at the cost of a corner (78 mins).

Now Pringle came on for Furman (78 mins). Alty went very close to equalising when a good passing move ended with Walker's deep cross from the left. Baggley, beyond the back post, got on the end of it and smartly struck it back across the keeper and inches wide of the near post with Boot beaten (85 mins).

At the other end, Gould had to tip over a Donawa effort (87 mins) before a youthful fool ran on the pitch from the Popular side to cause a stoppage which did not help the home side's momentum (90 mins).

Six added minutes were announced during which it took a fine stop by Boot to thwart Peers from a Moult pass (90+3 mins). But the Moors rode out the remaining time to leave Altrincham frustrated after putting up a good performance in the most adverse of circumstances.

For the second successive they had scored first but lost 2-1 and have now won only one of their last five league matches.

Next up is a long trip to Woking when hopefully one or two of their injured players, if not those isolating, may be fit to take part.