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Vanarama National League match
played on Sunday, 26 December, 2021 at 3pm


In an utterly disastrous first half, Altrincham fell behind after just four minutes. A cross evaded Madden but the ball was played back by Southam-Hales for Sarcevic to net the opening goal.

It got worse when a poor pass from Porter towards Hannigan was seized on by Madden who made it 2-0 after just eleven minutes. The loanee midfielder was then booked for a poor challenge immediately after the restart (12 mins).

And it became 3-0 after 14 minutes when a Rydel cross was only half-cleared and Quigley scored.

County gifted Alty a potential way back with Croasdale's own goal as he diverted a Colclough cross from the left into this own net to make it 3-1 (32 mins). But, six minutes later, the margin was restored to three goals by County as Collar converted a Southam-Hales cross to make it 4-1 (38 mins).

Half-time arrived with Altrincham looking down and out. However, they somehow weathered much of the second half before a well-worked goal by Crankshaw made it 5-1 (82 mins).

There could be no complaints at the margin of the victory for Stockport.


REFEREE: Mr Scott Simpson
ATTENDANCE: 8,896 (714 in away section)


Compared with the last league match against Bromley, out of the Altrincham starting eleven went Hampson and Leitch-Smnith, whilst brought into it were defenders Digie and Fitzpatrick. Five Alty players had gone out on loan in the run-up to this fixture whilst Isaac Marriott had arrived from BPA and he was name don the bench.

Alty opted for a back five and again played with no recognised striker. There was no place for Mooney or Hampson in the squad for reasons that were unclear.


Both teams wore kits to fit the "No Home" initiative of the charity for the homeless, Shelter.

STOCKPORT COUNTY (White shirts, black shorts and socks): 1. Ben Hinchliffe, 3. Mark Kitching, 5. Ash Palmer, 7. Macauley Southam-Hales, 9. Paddy Madden (c), 14. Will Collar, 16. Jordan Keane, 17. Ryan Rydel, 18. Ryan Croasdale, 22. Scott Quigley, 23. Antoni Sarcevic. Subs: 2. Sam Minihan, 4. Liam Hogan, 8. John Rooney, 11. Connor Jennings, 27. Ollie Crankshaw.

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts and socks, blue shorts): 1. Tony Thompson, 5 Tom Hannigan, 6 Jake Moult (c), 8 Adam Porter, 10 Josh Hancock, 11 Ryan Colclough, 15 Matty Kosylo, 18. Kennedy Digie, 19. David Fitzpatrick, 24 Joel Senior, 25 Toby Mullarkey. Subs: 2. Shaun Densmore, 17. A-Jay Leitch-Smith, 28. Dean Furman, 30. Steven Drench, 32. Isaac Marriott.


Alty went into this game on a poor run, whereas County were in generally good form, under recently appointed manager Dave Challinor, despite a defeat last time out at Torquay. However, County were just two places above Alty in tenth place, albeit with five more points from one fewer game played.


After a minute's silence in memory of those associated with the two clubs who had died in the past year, the game got under way and Alty won an early freekick for a foul on Kosylo. However, Colcough's dead ball came to nothing.

Moments later Altrincham were a goal down. A cross from Kitching just evaded Madden but was allowed to go across the visitors' goal only for Southam-Hales to relay it back for Sarcevic to sweep it home, first time, and give County the lead (4 mins).

Apart from a Porter shot, well off-target, County now dominated the opening stages (10 mins) And it was Porter's poor pass, aimed for Hannigan, which allowed Madden to gain possession and make it 2-0 after 11 minutes.

The loanee midfielder's afternoon immediately got worse as he was justifiably booked for a poor challenge (12 mins).

And the side's collective afternoon likewise worsened as County then went into a three-goal lead, inside fourteen minutes, when a Rydel ball was only half-cleared and Quigley netted beating Thompson at his right-hand post.

It was now all Stockport and, between two home corners, a Sarcevic effort evaded Thompson but curled narrowly wide (19 mins).

It then took a great save from Thompson to keep out County at the cost of another corner (27 mins). But, five minutes later, Alty were gifted a goal when Colcough's ball from the left was turned into his own net by a stretching Croasdale to make it 3-1 (32 mins).

Another home corner, and further pressure, soon led to the restoration of the three-goal cushion for the hosts as a fine cross from Southam-Hales was converted by Collar to make it 4-1 (38 mins). A cricket score seemed a distinct possibility at this stage.

However, Maden now wasted a free header from a 42nd minute corner whilst, in a rare advance updfield, Hancock likewise failed to convert with a header straight at Hinchliffe (44 mins).

In a first-half strewn with Alty errors, the 45 minutes ended with Digie needlessly conceding another corner but Alty survived that to reach the interval three goals adrift; and it could have been worse.


Neither manager made a half-time change which was a surprise. Phil Parkinson had every reason to do so after an abject first-half from his starting eleven and counterpart Dave Challinor might have withdrawn some players with the game effectively won, to preserve their fitness for the remainder of the festive schedule.

However, County were soon on the front foot again, winning an early corner (47 mins) but Alty responded with a corner of their own, won off Croasdale (51 mins). Senior then earned another corner but this ended up being played back to Thompson rather than threatening the home goal.

County made their first change as Hogan replaced Rydel (53 mins). Senior, one of Alty's better players today, was then booked for a foul, his third yellow in three successive league games (54 mins).

Just after another home corner, Alty brought on debutant Marriott to replace Fitzpatrick (58 mins). It now needed another good block from Thompson to keep the score at 4-1 as Madden got into the box (59 mins).

Two more Stockport corners came but, in between these, it had taken a fine reaction save from Thompson to keep out County as he diverted the ball over his own bar (65 mins).

The hosts soon brought on Jennings and Crankshaw for Quigley and Madden (71 mins) before Croasdale wasted a good chance to score with a shot off-target (73 mins).

After the hosts' double change, Alty did likewise with Furman (33) and Leitch-Smith (31) adding their experience to the Alty cause in place of Moult and Porter (76 mins).

However, Alty's off-key afternoon continued as Thompson kicked the ball into touch for the fourth time in the match, after which Sarcevic fired over the bar (81 mins).

Stockport finally got their fifth goal when Crankshaw finished off a neat passing move (82 mins).

The hosts continued to press but Alty rode out the final minutes, and a mercifully short two added minutes, to record an impressive 5-1 win.

For Altrincham it was a very poor afternoon and a match in which they were never competitive.

With two wins from sixteen games in all competitions and a paucity of strikers, it promises to be a trying festive period in which the might of Wrexham and a return match with Stockport are the remaining fixtures in the coming week.

At the final whistle there were some signs of discontent from the travelling fans as the promise of early season has well and truly evaporated.