ALTRINCHAM FC MATCH REPORTS
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ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
WREXHAM (2) 2
played on Tuesday, 28 December, 2021 at 3pm
Although Wrexham gained a 2-0 interval lead, Altrincham had not played badly in the first half as they sought to recover from their Boxing Day humbling at Stockport.
The first Wrexham goal came after a brilliant Thompson save which gave a corner to the visitors. This was not cleared and, from Tozer's nod on, Hayden headed home (23 mins).
The second goal, after 38 minutes, was more avoidable as it stemmed from a loss of possession by Fitzpatrick. A cross came in and Ponticelli hit the junction of bar and post with a header, allowing Hossanah the chance to head the loose ball home, just inside the far post.
Digie almost scored with a header late in the first half but the visitors held their two-goal advantage till the break.
Kosylo went off at the break with Leitch-Smith coming on. After weathering some visitors' pressure Alty were the better side for much of the second half against an unadventurous Wrexham, but the Robins could not get anything out of the game as wayward shooting did not help their cause.
- 23 mins: Aaron HAYDEN (ALTRINCHAM 0 Wrexham 1)
- 38 mins: Bryce HOSSANAH (ALTRINCHAM 0 Wrexham 2)
REFEREE: Mr Tom Bishop
ATTENDANCE: 3,145 (inc. 1,166 in the away section). The crowd was probably adversely affected by some spectators opting to avoid large gatherings as the Omicron variant was rampant.
New midfielder Isaac Marriott made his full debut in place of defender Tom Hannigan, who was unavailable and so missed his first league start of the season.
Dan Mooney returned on the bench.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and white socks): 1. Tony Thompson, 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, 32. Isaac Marriott. Subs: 2. Shaun Densmore, 7. Dan Mooney, 27. A-Jay Leitch-Smith, 28. Dean Furman, 30. Steven Drench.
WREXHAM (Green shirts and socks, white shorts): Rob Lainton, Reece Hall-Johnson, Aaron Hayden, Ben Tozer, Harry Lennon, Bryce Hosannah, Luke Young (c), James Jones, Jordan Davies, Jordan Ponticelli, Paul Mullin. Subs: Christian Dibble, Cameron Green, Max Cleworth, Dior Angus, Kwame Thomas.
After a 5-1 mauling at Stockport 48 hours earlier, Alty faced a Wrexham side which had not played for a week as their own Boxing Day fixture had been postponed, due to their excessive number of positive Covid tests.
Despite plenty of rain in the morning, the pitch was in good condition as Jake Moult kicked off towards the packed away end.
Alty won a couple of early freekicks but it was the visitors who gained the first corner. Despite allowing Davies a free header, Altrincham's goal survived the flag-kick intact (6 mins). A swift counter-attack in which Marriott and Hancock were involved, led to a corner for Altrincham but this came to nothing (6 mins).
Another promising Alty move, involving a clever flick by Hancock and a Porter pass, got Colclough advancing but he made a hash of his intended pass to Kosylo (9 mins). However, a couple of minutes later Kosylo won his side another corner (11 mins). And when the lively looking Marriott was tripped Colclough lined up the resulting freekick from the front edge of the box.
Wrexham's wall stupidly refused to stand behind the referee's spray-marking and, quite rightly, Davies was booked. Colclough's freekick was excellent, up and over the wall, but Lainton made a fine tip over the bar at the cost of a corner, Alty's third of the game already (13 mins)
Next, after Hancock had conceded a foul, Colclough was tripped by Hall-Johnson.
If Lainton had done well to save Colclough's freekick earlier, his counterpart Thompson did even better to keep out a Hayden header from a Davies freekick, which the Alty keeper pushed over the bar for a corner.
Unfortunately, the corner was not cleared by Altrincham and the ball came to Young. From him, Tozer, towards the back post, headed the ball for an unmarked Hayden to head into the net for the match's first goal (23 mins).
Alty responded as Hancock clipped the ball forward for Kosylo but he was halted before Marriott shot over the bar (25 mins).
Senior did then land a shot on target but it was easy fare for keeper Lainton (26 mins). Soon after this, Hossanah felled Senior but Colclough's freekick came to nothing as Alty continued to hold their own against their expensively assembled full-time opposition.
Indeed, on the half-hour mark, Altrincham put together an excellent passing move before Davies tripped Kosylo. Senior took the freekick and it flew inches wide with Lainton beaten .
However, Marriott, who had been fouled earlier in the game, was now unable to continue and his full debut was ended prematurely by a 32nd minute substitution as Furman replaced him.
Despite playing well, Altrincham soon found themselves two goals down. Fitzpatrick gave the ball away and the resulting cross was headed against the post by Ponticelli. The loose ball came to Hosannah who, from an acute angle, looped a header across goal and into the far corner of the net (38 mins).
As half-time approached a Fitzpatrick shot earned his side a corner, following which Digie headed narrowly wide, though Wrexham claimed he had fouled a defender in the process (42 mins).
Half-time arrived with Wrexham perhaps flattered by a two-goal margin.
Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0
For the second half Leitch-Smith replaced Kosylo so Colclough moved to the right with Hancock on the left. After a poor clearance by Thompson, Hall-Johnson threatened but, having ridden a questionable challenge inside the box, Fitzpatrick managed to clear the ball (48 mins).
Play was now broken by two stoppages for treatemnt to Wrexham players. In the first case, Mullin recovered to play on but, when Davies appeared to fall awkwardly under a Moult aerial challenge, he was less fortunate and had to be replaced by Cleworth (54 mins).
Four Wrexham corners arrived in the next eight minutes or so. The third in this sequence forced a great save from Thompson, when he kept out a shot from the edge of the box.
From soon after the hour mark, it was Altrincham who dominated the game but off-target shooting did not help their cause. First Leitch-Smith fired over the bar (64 mins) before a Colclough shot was deflected for a home corner (66 mins).
A better chance arose for Furman on 71 minutes from a Porter cross but the experienced midfielder, who was having a good game, dragged his shot wide. Wrexham now used their wiles to break up play with several questionable injury stoppages.
Alty's next meaningful attack saw Colclough get past two opponents but his shot was deflected to Hancock, who gained a corner (74 mins). Another good run by Colclough, soon afterwards, ended with a shot which went narrowly wide (75 mins). Hossanah then made a meal of a Furman challege which got the Alty man booked before the "injured" Wrexham man unsurprisingly recovered (76 mins).
Alty continued on the front foot before Mooney came on for the final nine minutes of normal time, in place of Porter (81 mins).
Wrexham again broke up play as the minutes ticked by, before Alty won a late corner (88 mins). After this Lainton was booked for timewasting as Wrexham's unimpressive final half-hour meandered to an end. Deep into the decreed five added minutes, Hancock fired over the bar (90+3 mins) as Altrincham's spirited performance left them empty-handed against a strong Wrexham team which had been far from as impressive as Stockport had been on Boxing Day.
Full Time: ALTRINCHAM 0