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Emirates FA Cup First Round replay match
played on Tuesday, 16 November, 2021 at 7.45pm


Altrincham threw away the best part of £100,000 in prize money and guaranteed TV fees, not to mention gate receipts from a plum Round Two tie with Charlton Athletic with a poor performance against Gateshead. It was a very strange night at the J. Davidson Stadium as Trafford Council had reduced an already restricted attendance cap to just 1,390 spectators amidst their Health & Safety concerns. The entire home end (Golf Road) and all of the Popular Side terraces were closed, so home fans used the away end and Main Stand side only.

The Heed were good value for their win against an Alty side which barely troubled the visitors' keeper, Chapman, throughout the night.

Ironically, however, it was a dreadful error from the Gateshead keeper which gifted Altrincham an equaliser after an abject opening half-hour from the hosts in which they had fallen behind and had barely strung together a meaningful series of passes. The visitors had deservedly taken a 22nd minute lead when former York City man Langstaff scored after a looping cross from the left had not been dealt with by the Alty defence.

But Alty were then gifted a way back into the game when Chapman was attempting to kick the ball clear but merely mis-kicked it to Tom Peers. He fed Josh Hancock who scored into the unguarded net to make it 1-1.

Gateshead restored their lead in the 56th minute when Ward scored a fine goal from a Jacob feed. Alty again laboured to trouble the Gateshead goal and after two exceptionally poor efforts from substitute Mooney, the winger finally got things right and grabbed a close range equaliser with eleven minutes remaining.

But the visitors seized their place in the Second Round in the first added minute at the end of the game. A misheader by Tom Hannigan, who had had an excellent game, saw the ball drop behind him to Langstaff who finished superbly with a rising shot into the top corner of the net past Thompson's left hand.

It was the sixth time Alty had been involved in a 3-2 or 2-3 game this season. They now travel to Weymouth this weekend hoping to end a run of seven games out pf eight without a win.


REFEREE: Mr Martin Woods

ATTENDANCE: 1,390 Capacity restrictions were in place demanded by Trafford MBC for Health and Safety reasons..


Tom Peers replaced Marcus Dinanga up front and there was a welcome first appearance this season, on the benchm for Andy White. Nine substitutes were named, arguably the largest number ever cited by Altrincham.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 24. Joel SENIOR, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 19. David FITZPATRICK, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 8. Adam PORTER, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 15. Matty KOSYLO, 11. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 9. Marcus DINANGA. Subs: 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Dan MOONEY, 9. Marcus DINANGA, 17. Ben PRINGLE, 18 Kennedy DIGIE, 20. Andy WHITE, 21. Matt GOULD, 29. Daniel WHITEHEAD, 32. Tom WALKER.

GATESHEAD (Claret and blue shirts, claret shirts and socks ): 1. Jacob Chapman, 2. Alex Nicholson, 14. Louis Storey, 6. Mike Williamson, 24. Matty Jacob, 12. Dan Ward, 20. Owen Bailey, 10. Greg Olley (c), 11. Adam Campbell, 19. Cedwyn Scott, 7. Macaulay Langstaff. Subs: 18. Ryan Wombwell, 15. Luke Williams, 17. Connor Pani, 3. Robbie Tinkler, 4. Jack Hunter.


Two late goals had rescued Altrincham from a 2-0 deficit in the original tie and they looked to capitalise on that good fortune to earn a plum Second Round tie at home to League One Charlton Athletic, former winners of the FA Cup (1947).

Once again Trafford MBC had imposed capcity restrictions on the J Davidson Stadium for Health & Safety reasons and they had been markedly reduced to 1,390 after the Council had raised concerns about the implementation of the earlier cut demanded last Saturday for the match against Boreham Wood.

Updated data from the late Mike Garnett's records reveal the balance of previous encounters with Gateshead.


Against the backdrop of both an empty Golf Road end and Popular Side, the visitors kicked off towards the equally unfamiliar side of an away end totally given over to home supporters. The sense of a bizarre event was reinforced inside the first two minutes when a ball, which had gone out of the ground, was launched back onto the pitch and hit a bemused Ryan Colclough on the head. So, the game had to be halted as there were two balls on the pitch!

The full-time, but lower-league, Gateshead started the better side with the valiant Tom Hannigan alone having to head or kick clear seven times inside the first eight minutes as the visitors took the game to the hosts.

Porter did however hit a decent shot at the other end but it rose narrowly over the bar (6 mins). Nevertheless it was Gateshead who forced the first meaningful save of the night when Alty allowed Langstaff the time to shoot from 18 yards but Thompson did well to stop the goalbound effort (11 mins).

Gateshead had had the better of the original tie and they were again in the ascendancy now as they played with a good tempo largely inside the Altrincham half.

Altrincham were unable to settle into their passing game as Gateshead's harrying and the Robins' poor ball-retention undid their plans. Rain was falling as the visitors gained the night's first corner around the 20 minute mark.

Without a roof above them on a damp night the home supporters in their restrcted numbers were unable to make their normal noise as the match wore on with Alty mainly on the back foot. And The Heed got their reward with a goal in the 22nd minute as Alty failed to deal with a looping cross from the left and former York City man Langstaff had time to score from the centre of the box.

Gateshead again threatened on the left soon afterwards, winning another corner (25 mins). However, Bailey was fortunate to escape a booking when he tripped Kosylo as he and fellow wingman Colclough tried to instil some urgency into their team (26 mins).

The resultant freekick came out to Porter whose left-footed shot was struck very well over the bar with keeper Chapman yet to be troubled. But then disaster struck the young Gateshead keeper as, with the ball at his feet, he took a heavy touch and played the ball to Peers. He coolly played it to his right, where Hancock had the simple task of scoring into the empty net to restore a parity which his side did not merit (30 mins).

The goal belatedly sparked an improvement in Alty. As they called for a penalty as Hancock was upended, referee Woods only awarded them their first corner of the night after 32 minutes.

Colclough was looking the home side's most potent forward threat but, when the next corner arrived, it was Gateshead's (39 mins). And they also won another flag-kick before the interval as Altrincham signally failed to test Chapman. When Kosylo was hauled down, Ward was booked (44 mins) before half time arrived with Gateshead, no doubt, disappointed only to be on level terms.


The second half started with an enforced error from Fitzpatrick, not his first and he was by no means the only culprit in that respect. However, Senior got forward soon afterwards to win a home corner (50 mins).

With rain still falling, Dan Mooney, who had missed the last five games through injury, replaced Hancock (54 mins). Immmediately he was involved in a face-off with Jacob as they chased a ball out of play and the referee had words with them afterwards (55 mins).

Jacob was soon involved more positively as he threaded the ball through to Ward whose excellent curling shot from the edge of the box beat Thompson's dive, to his left, entering the net just inside the post at the unpopulated Golf Road end (56 mins).

Going behind again at least stirred some response as Colclough did well on the left and fed Kosylo near the penalty spot. He took aim but fired over the bar to waste Altrincham's best chance of the evening so far (58 mins).

Another high shot, this time from 25 yards by Ferguson, also cleared the target comfortably.

Altrincham now brought on Whitehead and Dinanga for Porter and Peers (63 mins)

However, the immediate effect of the changes was a Gateshead corner but Altrincham did then construct a good move, with Colclough again instrumental in it. He drifted threateningly across the front of the box, only to be brought down towards the front right corner of the penalty area.

The freekick from the edge of the box was taken by Mooney who launched the ball into orbit and well-off target, to the groans of the Alty faithful (66 mins)

Whitehead then executed a superb dinked through ball to Mooney but he was unable to capitalise from well inside the box. Alty were seeing more of the ball than in the first half but were doing little with it and continued to give away possession cheaply.

But, at the end of a rare multi-pass move, Mooney then hit another ball into the sky almost as badly as his earlier freekick.

Next, Pringle replaced Kosylo (78 mins). Almost immediately Altrincham somehow got themselves level as Mooney finally got his act together and from the right byline, he got the ball into the net (79 mins).

Gateshead's response was a double change with Williams and Hunter displacing Campbell and Ward (84 mins).

As the minutes ticked down Altrincham were unable to get the ball off Gateshead and a last-minute shot earned the visitors a corner on the right (90 mins). Hannigan came forward to head clear but, for once, the normally dependable centre-back, mis-headed and that left Langstaff and the ball behind him.

Unmarked and facing goal, Langstaff hit a superb, unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net to Thompson's left to cue a huge pitchside celebration by the Gateshead players and their management (90+1 mins).

Despite playing more than five added minutes, during which Tinkler replaced Langstaff (90+4 mins), there was no way back for Altrincham and the Heed ran out deserved winners.

So, more than £82,000 in prize money and guaranteed TV fees for a Round Two match against League One Charlton Athletic had been lost over ninety minutes. That was in addition to the potential gate-money from a projected bumper crowd (restrictions permitting) had a home tie against the Londoners materialised.

The closure of half the ground for this game had put a damper on the atmosphere from the start and, by the end, the evening was completely flat for those Alty fans who had witnessed it.

Seven winless games out of wight fixtures in all competitions is a run that needs to be halted if a slide down the National League is to be averted. In that context, three of Altrincham's six league wins this season have been at home against clubs currently in the bottom five; reality has dawned.