ALTRINCHAM FC MATCH REPORTS


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BARNET (0) 1
ALTRINCHAM (0) 1

Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 8 January 2022 at 3pm


SUMMARY:

The match remained goalless at half-time after Barnet had had the better of the early stages in a match of moderate quality. But, after seeing little of the ball in the opening stages, Altrincham grew into the game and Mooney forced a good save from goalkeeper Oxborough (38 mins) as the visitors finished the half on the front foot.

Just moments after Alty had subbed Mooney in favour of Colclough, Kosylo appeared to tweak his hamstring and Pringle came on in his place (59 mins). And just four minutes later the red-haired midfield substitute hit a superb left-foot curler from just outside the right front corner of the box, across Oxborough, to give Altrincham a 1-0 lead (63 mins). The goal came from a clever feed by Hulme from a long freekick by goalkeeper Thompson.

But Barnet conjured an extremely late equaliser in the 93rd minute when Brundle scored after Digie had blocked an initial attempt.


SCORERS:


REFEREE: Mr Greg Rollason
ATTENDANCE: 1,150 (90 away supporters)


TEAM NEWS:

Since their last game, ten days earlier, Alty had lost both full-backs, with Joel Senior joining EFL2 club Carlisle United and David Fitzpatrick having completed his short-term contract. Loanee midfielder Adam Porter had also returned to his employers at Stoke City meaning at least three changes would be necessary today.

There were debuts for new arrivals Jamie Morgan from Chester FC, Elliot Osborne, ex-Stevenage, and for a returning Jordan Hulme. Isaac Marriott, who had only made his full debut in the previous game but had been injured in the first half of that match, did not feature here.

Andy White made a welcome return to the starting line-up, after missing the last 39 League games through injury, whilst Dan Mooney was also back in the starting eleven but Ryan Colclough was named only on the bench after illness.


LINE-UPS:

BARNET (Orange shirts, black shorts and socks): 27. Aston OXBOROUGH, 2. Jordan THOMAS, 5.Jamie TURLEY (c), 6. Ben RICHARDS-EVERTON, 7. Rob HALL, 8. Mitch BRUNDLE, 14.Adam MARRIOTT, 19. Harry TAYLOR, 20. Serhat TASDEMIR, 23. Sam BEARD, 28. Sam WOODS. Subs: 24.Jake ASKEW, 9. Mason BLOOMFIELD, 15. Reiss GREENIDGE, 17. Sam GRANVILLE, 18. Wes FONGUCK.

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts and socks, blue shorts): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Dan MOONEY, 8. Elliot OSBORNE, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 15. Matty KOSYLO, 19. Jamie MORGAN, 20. Andy WHITE, 25. Toby MULKARKEY, 29. Jordan HULME. Subs: 11. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 17. Ben PRINGLE, 18. Kennedy DIGIE, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 27. A-Jay LEITCH-SMITH


BACKGROUND:

For this first game of 2022 after their New Year's Day match had been postponed by Covid in their camp, Altrincham faced Barnet following major surgery to their squad. No fewer than eighteen player movements had taken place in the previous three months with new arrivals and departures, both on loan and for good.

Barnet had made a poor start to the season having only escaped certain rleegation in 2021 because relegation had been suspended due to Covid effects on the lower tiers of the pyramid. But since Director of Football Dean Brennan had taken over they had been on the up and had now got ahead of 16th placed Altrincham by one position and one point from one fewer game.


REPORT:

Some three minutes late, Altrincham, in their yellow away kit despite the hosts being in their customary orange, kicked off through Jake Moult.

On a pitch softened by earlier rain, the opening stages were generally uninispiring although the hosts did have the better of proceedings. But whilst they may have seen plenty of the ball the Bees did not really threaten with it at this stage.

However, the Bees did win several freekicks but these were defended well. Thompson was finally called into action after Marriott fed Hall, whose shot was comfortably saved at the near post by the Alty keeper (12 mins).

Later, following a poor clearance by Thompson, it took a fine defensive header by Morgan to get the ball out for a Barnet corner, which Hulme came back to clear (16 mins).

Play continued unremarkably with the hosts shading proceedings without looking dangerous. But, around the midway mark, Altrincham improved and won two successive corners, the first arising from a Kosylo freekick towards the back post (22 mins).

From the second corner a Mullarkey shot was blocked on the line before Hancock fired the rebound disappointingly off-target (23 mins).

Rain now began to fall steadily as Barnet themselves won a corner but play continued afterwards unexceptionally with throw-ins, the odd freekick and off-sides about as exciting as it got.

The best moment for Altrincham, so far, came in the 38th minute when Osborne set Mooney forward and Oxborough had to make a good save at the cost of a corner to the visitors.

Altrincham continued on the front foot before Barnet threatened again just before half-time. As the game went into a minute of added time Oxborough dropped a cross but Alty were unable to take advantage before the interval arrived to conclude a goalless first half.


Half-Time: BARNET 0
ALTRINCHAM 0


The second half started in pouring rain but only after Barnet had rather surprisingly made two changes, though whether these were enforced was unclear. Thomas and Tasdemir were the players withdrawn as Fonguck and Bloomfield came on.

The first half-chance after the break saw a Kosylo run lead to Hancock firing a well-struck effort narrowly over the bar (51 mins).

Bloomfield then found the side-netting at the other end before Mooney lost the ball and Barnet gained a corner (56 mins). From the corner, Marriott's flicked header was tipped over the bar by a smart Thompson save, producing another home corner.

Alty then replaced Mooney, who has not completed ninety minutes of a league match since 12 October 2021, with Colclough coming on after recovering from a bout of illness (57 mins).

Almost immediately after player had restarted, Kosylo pulled up with what seemed to be a hamstring issue and he too had to go off, with Ben Pringle his replacement (59 mins).

From a Barnet freekick for a foul on Beard, the Bees now gained a freekick which, in turn, led to a corner (62 mins).

Following this, Thompson's long clearance was missed by a defender with Hulme getting in behind him, right of goal, and feeding Pringle. From the front corner of the box he curled a superb left-footed, low shot round the keeper and into the far corner of the net to give Altrincham a 1-0 lead (63 mins).

Next, a foul on Hancock by Richards-Everton earned the Barnet man a caution (68 mins). After this Colclough disappointingly dragged a shot wide (70 mins).

Five corners now arrived inside a ten-minute spell and four of these were for Altrincham whilst just one arrived for the hosts. The third Alty corner arose from a fine run by Morgan (82 mins).

Alty looked reasonabaly comfortable at this stage and they made a final change on 85 minutes when centre-back Digie repaced full-back debutant Morgan, who had acquitted himself well at what was a higher level of football for him.

In turn, Barnet also made a substitution with Greenidge replacing Woods (86 mins).

There was a very contentious moment in the last of the scheduled ninety minutes when Richards-Everton again transgressed and the referee took out his yellow card for the already booked player. However, he then remarkably put the card away and allowed the Barnet player to stay on the pitch.

Barnet pressed towards the Alty goal in the added time period and got their reward in the third added minute. A Marriott effort was blocked by Digie, before Brundle put the ball past Thompson to earn a very late draw.

Disappointing though the finale was for Altrincham, they could take encouragment from an improved performance and three promising debuts (or second debuts) from Osborne, Morgan and Hulme.

Hulme did more in ninety minutes than several of his "number nine" predecessors combined over the past two seasons. And the substitute appearance of Pringle was also impressive as Alty now prepare for a sterner test on Tuesday night against Stockport County.


Full Time: BARNET 1
ALTRINCHAM 1