ALTRINCHAM FC MATCH REPORTS
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ALTRINCHAM (0) 1
STOCKPORT COUNTY (2) 4
played on Tuesday, 11 January 2022 at 7.45pm
Alty suffered a second heavy defeat in a fortnight by their neighbours as Stockport County ran rampant at the J. Davidson Stadium.
Just as on Boxing Day at Stockport in the reverse fixture, the Robins fell behind early on. Just after Hancock had seen a chance cleared off the line by Hogan, County went up the other end and scored through Sarcevic in only the sixth minute.
In the latter part of the second half Alty enjoyed some pressure but Hancock uncharacteristically wasted their best chance with a skied shot (36 mins). However, Collar was then allowed to advance from half way and plant a long-range shot past Thompson to make it 2-0 just before the interval (44 mins).
Alty started the second half dreadfully, almost netting an own goal and, minutes later, conceding a penalty when White upended Collar. Madden duly converted the penalty to make it 0-3 (50 mins).
And it got worse on 67 minutes when Croasdale was afforded a free header from a Southam-Hales cross to make it 0-4. In the fourth added minute Alty had some recompense as substitute A-Jay Leitch-Smith hammered in a fine consolation goal.
However, Alty have now won just twice in 18 games and only once in that run have they beaten a team of National League standard, the other win being against National North club Southport in the FA Cup.
- 6 mins: Antoni SARCEVIC (ALTRINCHAM 0 Stockport County 1)
- 44 mins: Will COLLAR (ALTRINCHAM 0 Stockport County 2)
- 50 mins: Paddy MADDEN (penalty) (ALTRINCHAM 0 Stockport County 3)
- 67 mins: Ryan CROASDALE (ALTRINCHAM 0 Stockport County 4)
- 90(+4) mins: A-Jay LEITCH-SMITH (ALTRINCHAM 1 Stockport County 4)
REFEREE: Mr Lewis Smith
ATTENDANCE: 3,900 (capped by Trafford Council, inc 1470 away supporters)
For this game, Altrincham brought in Kennedy Digie and Ryan Colclough to start, as Matty Kosylo was out injured and Jordan Hulme had moved to the bench, presumably as he was unfit too. With Digie and Hannigan paired at the back, Mullarkey operated in midfield.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Dan MOONEY, 8. Elliot OSBORNE, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 18. Kennedy DIGIE, 19. Jamie MORGAN, 20. Andy WHITE, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 11. Ryan COLCLOUGH. Subs: 17. Ben PRINGLE, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 27. A-Jay LEITCH-SMITH, 29. Jordan HULME, 28. Dean FURMAN
STOCKPORT COUNTY (All blue) : 1. Ben Hinchliffe, 4. Liam Hogan, 3. Mark Kitching, 5. Ash Palmer, 7. Macauley Southam-Hales, 9. Paddy Madden (c), 14. Will Collar, 17. Ryan Rydel, 18. Ryan Croasdale, 22. Scott Quigley, 23. Antoni Sarcevic. Subs: 2. Sam Minihan, 8. John Rooney, 11. Connor Jennings, 27. Ollie Crankshaw, Ryan Jackson
This match had been postponed from 3 January when Altrincham were suffering a number of Covid infections. Having been outplayed in a 5-1 defeat at Edgeley Park on Boxing Day, and then lost 0-2 at home to Wrexham, Alty had recovered some composure with a 1-1 draw at Barnet last time out.
For this match the stadium was operating under an attendance cap of 3,900 imposed by Trafford MBC for health and safety reasons.
Stockport arrived boasting a record of being unbeaten in nine games against Altrincham since a 3-0 defeat at Moss Lane in 2013.
After a Madden header had gone narrowly wide, it was Altrincham who went the closer to scoring in the opening stages when Mooney set up Hancock with the keeper stranded. However, the Alty forward's effort was cleared off the line by Hogan when a shot anywhere else would have found an unguarded net. But County immediately swept to the other end where Madden fed the burly Sarcevic who, unmarked, put County ahead from close range in the centre of the goalmouth (6 mins)
Just as in the Boxing Day match Sarcevic had scored an early opener to put Altrincham on the back foot.
County continued to press after the goal with a Kitching cross soon earning the visitors a corner (8 mins). After that, an offside flag came to Altrincham's assistance to halt another incursion.
Nevertheless, County kept coming at Alty and, when Southan-Hales supplied Quigley after a quickly taken freekick in midfield for a Mullarkey foul, the Stockport forward should probably have done better than shoot narrowly wide (14 mins). It then took a good piece of work from Andy White to halt a Madden threat (17 mins).
But the former EFL forward was soon testing Thompson with a header goalwards.
After Alty had weathered a County freekick for a foul by Hancock (20 mins), Mooney got in a cross for Altrincham, which Palmer cleared (24 mins).
On the half-hour Quigley went down in the box under a Hannigan challenge but the Stockport appeals for a spot kick went unheeded though, arguably, they should not have been.
Belatedly, Altrincham were now seeing a bit more of the ball and, when Colclough got forward, he was clearly fouled by Palmer but advantage was played, which came to nothing (33 mins).
Following a freekick won by Morgan, Altrincham created a good chance when a ball over the top found Hancock but he made an uncharacteristic mess of his shot, skying his shot off target (36 mins).
And Alty threatened again soon afterwards when Colclough did well, leading to a chance for Mullarkey, but he was unable muster sufficient power to score (39 mins). However, Alty continued to go forward, through Morgan, before Colclough and Osborne combined to gain their side a corner (41 mins).
But, just as it seemed Altrincham were getting well back into the match, they conceded another counter-attacking goal.
Collar got a foirtunate rebound off Moult on halfway, but then was allowed to advance from half-way, as Moult chased and Hannigan stood off, and the former Brighton man unleashed an unstoppable shot past a motionless Thompson from nearly 25 yards to make it 0-2 (44 mins).
Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0
Stockport started the second half on the front foot and almost scored a third inside a minute of the second period. This occurred when Croasdale's ball was almost turned into his own net by Digie but Thompson made a fine save at the cost of a corner (46 mins).
The respite was short, however, as Digie gave the ball away cheaply and White was drawn into a foul inside the box. Madden duly converted the resulting penalty to make it 0-3 (50 mins).
After this, a Moult foul on Sarcevic allowed more pressure from the visitors and a Rydel shot had to be blocked smartly.
On 55 minutes Shaun Densmore replaced White, it being the former Alty captain's first league appearance in ten games. Morgan switched to left-back to accommodate Densmore on the right.
Hogan now picked up a booking for a foul on Hancock (59 mins) before Ben Pringle came on to replace Dan Mooney (61 mins).
County were still proving dangerous and it took an unconventional save with his feet for Thompson to keep out a Sarcevic shot, at the cost of another corner (64 mins).
Soon, County duly made it 0-4 when a curling long ball from deep on the right by Southam-Hales located an unmarked Croasdale who headed home (67 mins). Immediately, Leitch-Smith replaced Colclough (67 mins).
County continued to press as Collar won a corner (68 mins) after which Ryan Johnson came on for County's Kitching. County continued to have the upper hand before Crankshaw replaced Madden (80 mins).
Alty did rally in the closing stages as County took their foot of the gas with Pringle impressing.
County made a late change as Quigley gave way to Jennings on 86 minutes. Then, a foul by Southan-Hales on Morgan earned the County man a yellow card just before the end of normal time.
After three minutes of added time had been decreed, Hancock fed Leitch-Smith who showed his pedigree with a fine angled shot just inside the near post, from right of goa,l to give Alty a consolation goal (90+4 mins).
So Alty had now conceded nine times in two matches against County and, indeed, it was goal difference which lifted Stockport into the play-off places after this game, leaving Alty in sixteenth position. An away match at home specialists Grimsby Town on Saturday is not an enticing prospect for Alty in their current form.
Full Time: ALTRINCHAM 1