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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 27 November, 2021 at 3pm


A lacklustre first half from Altrincham allowed Southend to take a two-goal interval lead and, later, to leave for home with their first away win of the season. Alty were improved by second half substitutions but a missed penalty meant they ended the game empty handed.

On a bitterly cold and breezy afternoon, Alty fell behind inside 45 seconds when a cross from the left allowed the visitors a shot by Walsh which deflected to Murphy who scored. Alty's response was undone by repeated cheap losses of possession

The second goal came from a poorly defended freekick. From the left Brunt played a low pass to Dalby who darted, unmarked, in front of the defence and scored with a shot across Thompson (34 mins).

At the interval, a much-needed double change was made by a strangely quiet Phil Parkinson, with Mooney and Moult replacing Pringle and Porter. Mooney made a great difference as he ran repeatedly at the defence.

Alty were gifted a way back into the game when they were awarded a penalty for handball but Colclough's spot kick was well saved by Arnold (64 mins).

However, a fine run and shot by Mooney did find the net (68 mins). Despite dominating possession in the second half Alty lacked the guile to break down an obdurate defence again and the visitors broke up the game with tactical "injuries" at regular intervals to ensure their lead remained intact.

Altrincham's cause was not helped by the severe restriction on spectator numbers imposed by Trafford Council which put a damper on the volume of the home support but that was no excuse for a below par performance


REFEREE: Mr Adam Herczeg

ATTENDANCE: 1,288 (inc. 256 from Southend. A cap on attendance of 1,400 spectators had been applied by Trafford MBC for Health and Safety reasons).


Pringle and Peers came in for Digie and Dinanga whilst absentees from the squad included Fitzpatrick, Dinanga, Furman and Jackson, as well as Densmore, White and Gould. For Kosylo it was a fiftieth appearance for Altrincham.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON (c), 24. Joel SENIOR, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 29. Daniel WHITEHEAD, 8. Adam PORTER, 17. Ben PRINGLE, 15. Matty KOSYLO, 11. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 23. Tom PEERS. Subs: 6. Jake MOULT, 7. Dan MOONEY, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 18. Kennedy DIGIE, 27. A-Jay LEITCH-SMITH.

SOUTHEND UNITED (Yellow shirts and socks, blue shorts) 1. Steve ARNOLD, 3. Nathan RALPH, 5. Shaun HOBSON, 9. Rhys MURPHY, 10. Sam DALBY, 14. Nathan FERGUSON, 17. Louis WALSH, 20. Will ATKINSON, 22. Kacper LOPATA, 24. Jason DEMETRIOUS (c), 33. Zak BRUNT. Subs: 2. Rob HOWARD, 8. James DUNNE, 16. Harry PHILLIPS, 18. Matt RUSH, 40. John WHITE.


This was Southend's first ever game against Altrincham. The Shrimpers arrived in the relegation places after a poor run of just one win in their last six league games. But Alty were in even worse form having secured just one league victory in their previous seven outings.

Alty's cause for this match was not helped by half of the ground (The Golf Road end and the Popular Side), once more, being out of bounds to supporters following a ruling on health and safety grounds by Trafford MBC. So the stadium was devoid of the noisy singing of the Golf Road end, though those who had tickets tried their best from the open air adjacent to the refreshment cabin at that end of the ground.


The visitors kicked off towards the Golf Road end and had to take the kick-off twice as, at the first attempt, two of their players had encroached on the Altrincham half prematurely. Their keenness to start was soon manifested in more telling form as they took thelead inside 45 seconds. A cross from the left was directed towards goal by a Southend player only for it to deflect to Murphy who finished competently to put the visitors ahead.

Alty's response was not impressive as they gave the ball away with depressing frequency. In one two-minute spell Pringle, Porter and Mullarkey all surrendered possession, and they were not the only culprits in the first half (9 mins). Things improved a little as, through Colclough's advance on the left, they won a corner (15 mins). This was taken short and Kosylo's resulting cross was overhit.

Alty were seeing the majority of the ball but doing little with it before a Senior run gained another corner off Lopata, on the right (21 mins). At the other end a Murphy shot was blocked before one of several fouls on Colclough earned Alty a freekick from the left. Colclough's freekick was fielded by goalkeeper Arnold (24 mins).

Moments later it almost became 2-0 to Southend as they advanced on the right and, from a crossed ball, Murphy's header back across goal was inches wide of the back post (25 mins). Altrincham continued to see more of the ball but without worrying Arnold at all.

When Senior was penalised for a foul on the Southend left touchline, about 25 yards from the corner flag, there seemed little danger. But Brunt played the ball, low and short, towards the outer edge of the box. Dalby broke smartly forward towards the near post and was not tracked by his marker. With just Thompson to beat he drove a shot across the keeper into the far corner of the net to make it 2-0 to The Shrimpers (34 mins).

A stunned Altrincham did win two corners inside a minute (39 mins) but neither came to anything. Peers at the top of the Alty attack had been starved of the ball for most of the first half and Arnold had yet to be tested.

But in the very last minute of the first forty-five, Colclough hit a shot from 30 yards out on the left which Arnold stopped. Moments later Colclough surged towards the box and was brought down by Demetriou who picked up a merited booking (45 mins).

Colcough fired in a fierce freekick, which Arnold did well to punch clear, enabling the visitors to retain their two-goal advantage to the interval.

Alty needed to be shaken up at the interval.


The management did, indeed, shake things up for the second half as Jake Moult came on to replace Porter, and he took over the captaincy from Thompson. A second substitute for the second period was Dan Mooney, who replaced Ben Pringle (46 mins).

The changes prompted some greater impetus to the home team but Southend continued to close down Alty well. And they almost grabbed a third goal when last-man Hannigan had to battle hard to stop Dalby getting free inside the penalty area (51 mins).

Alty put together a decent passing move before Colclough had a shot blocked (54 mins). Then Hampson won the ball well but he saw his shot go just wide of the back post from the left. And when Senior advanced on the right to win a corner, things were looking up for the Robins (56 mins).

But next, a very poor sideways pass from Moult to Murphy allowed the number nine to get clear but he shot wide (58 mins). For Altrincham at this stage, there was no real threat of a goal and, when a chance did arise, Mooney blasted his shot miles over the bar from the right (59 mins). With the management strangely quiet in the technical area, Altrincham were struggling to get back into the game.

Whenever he saw the ball goalkeeper Arnold pumped the ball high and long in a contrast to Alty's passing game. As Alty laboured, out of nothing they were awarded a penalty for handball following a Mooney corner. Colcough hit the spot kick well but Arnold made a fine save diving to his right, conceding a corner (64 mins).

Soon Mooney surged into the box to win another corner but again nothing came from it (65 mins). However, at last, Altrincham scored. Kosylo did well to feed Senior whose pass to Mooney led to the winger surging forward from the right before hitting a fine, low shot across Arnold into the far corner of the net, frpm 20 yards or more, to make it 1-2 (68 mins).

Almost immediately, Alty brought on Hancock for Kosylo (70 mins). Alty now dominated possession and, soon, Peers fed Mooney whose blocked shot earned another corner kick (73 mins). Southend were now winding down the clock and after treatment for Walsh had stopped play he was replaced by Phillips (75 mins).

Mooney was head and shoulders above his team mates as Alty's most potent goal threat. But at the other end a needless trip by Senior gave Southend a freekick just outside the Alty box (82 mins).

As the clock ticked by, Alty struggled to test Arnold before the visitors made another change with Rush replacing Murphy (84 mins). Next, a foul on Hancock earned Lopata a booking (85 mins). Following the freekick, an Alty header was collected by the back-pedalling Arnold as Alty claimed he had stepped back over the goal-line but their appeals were to no avail (86 mins).

Mooney was deservedly named Man of the Match as five minutes of additional time were proclaimed (90 mins). In added time Senior fired a cross across the face of goal and then one of his crosses earned a corner followed by a second flag kick but Southend kept their goal intact.

With Southend understandably timewasting to the bitter end, Alty won a 95th minute corner but again this was unproductive. So the visitors recorded their first away win of the season leaving Alty to rue a record of just one win in eight matches in the league.

Nevertheless they remain a respectable twelfth in the National League ahead of a trip to Aldershot Town next Saturday.