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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 15 January 2022 at 3pm


Altrincham slumped to another defeat as the home side controlled the match.

After a nervy start from Grimsby they soon got on top and dominated the first half. A fine save by Thompson from a Pearson header just before the interval kept the scoresheet goalless at the break.

It took Grimsby barely a minute of the second half to take a deserved lead as McAtee fired home from 25 yards following a corner. The Mariners continued to dominate the game before Alty replaced Hulme with Leitch-Smith (64 mins) and Pringle replaced Mooney (71 mins). New loanee Kevin Berkoe also came on as a very late substitute.

The only surprise was it took Grimsby till the 83rd minute to secure the game with a second goal. Pressure on Pringle and Thompson forced a hurried clearance which Maguire-Drew drove back into the net from 25 yards.

It is now one league win for Altrincham in fifteen National League outings and in all competitions it is just two victories in twenty matches in a three-month period.


REFEREE: Mr Robert Whitton (Essex), who first refereed Altrincham in 2010 at Kettering. More recently he oversaw Alty's 2-1 win at Maidenhead in 2021.
ATTENDANCE: 4,573 (132 in away section)


Striker Jordan Hulme returned to the Altrincham starting eleven after injury, as centre-back Kennedy Digie moved to the bench where new signing Kevin Berkoe was also named.


GRIMSBY TOWN (Black and white striped shorts, black shorts, red socks): 21. Max Crocombe, 6. Luke Waterfall, 26. Andy Smith, 5. Shaun Pearson, 22. Danny Amos, 4. Ben Fox, 8. Giles Coke (c), 18. Erico Sousa, 25. Jordan Maguire-Drew, 10. John McAtee, 29. Ryan Taylor. Subs: 16. David Longe-King, 31. Evan Khouri, 30. Scott Burgess, 19. Max Wright, 20. Joel Grant.

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts and socks, blue shorts): 1 Tony Thompson, 19. Jamie Morgan, 25. Toby Mullarkey, 5. Tom Hannigan, 20. Andy White, 6. Jake Moult (c), 8. Elliot Osborne, 7. Dan Mooney, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Ryan Colclough, 29. Jordan Hulme. Subs: 17. Ben Pringle, 18. Kennedy Digie, 24. Kevin Berkoe, 27. A-Jay Leitch-Smith, 28. Dean Furman.


This match was fairly hastily rearranged after both clubs had been knocked out of the FA Trophy. After two heavy defeats to Stockport over the Christmas and New Year period, and a draw at Barnet, Alty were hoping to end their poor run of results.

Grimsby, too, had been in poor form recently, and started this match in tenth place, whilst Altrincham lay sixteenth at kick-off.


After "taking the knee", Jake Moult kicked off. In just the second minute a Colclough run fed Hulme who gained the first corner of the afternoon. But Mooney's corner kick was poor, being cleared by the first defender.

In fact, the hosts started in a nervy fashion and, twice in a minute, gave the ball away. On the second occasion it took smart action from Pearson to halt a threat from Hancock (7 mins). At the other end White cleared a cross but neither side was troubling the other's goalkeeper (12 mins).

Grimsby then won a corner for themselves as McAtee fed Taylor whose angled shot deflected out for the flag-kick. Some five minutes later the hosts won another corner, off White, after which Moult and Thompson collided and needed treatment (21 mins).

Grimsby now began to get a grip on the game that they would not relinquish. First, a fine ball from Sousa gave Fox a shot which narrowly cleared the bar (23 mins). Then Maguire-Drew won a corner off Osborne (25 mins). Soon afterwards a good home move forced a smart save from Thompson as he advanced to close down Taylor (27 mins).

Alty were losing the midfield battle as, next, Moult fouled the impressive McAtee (34 mins). For all their dominance, however, Grimsby showed relatively little direct threat to the Alty goal.

And, as half time approached, Altrincham did get forward themselves and, from Morgan, the ball went to Hancock who, in turn, set Colclough advancing but his low shot ran comfortably to the keeper (45 mins).

Despite two stoppages in the half for Alty injuries, only one added minute was announced. Nevertheless, it was enough time for the Mariners to win two corners.

From the first, a header from Pearson was directed at Thompson, who had to concede the second flag kick. And from that corner, another Pearson header was blocked on the line with the hosts appealing unconvincingly for a penalty (45+2 mins).

Altrincham had defied the odds of a one-sided first half to reach the interval on level terms


All of that first-half effort by Altrincham to retain first-half parity was undone in barely one minute after the interval. An early corner was won by the hosts, from which the ball came out to McAtee who hit an unstoppable shot from 25 yards into the net with Thompson possibly getting a hand to it (47 mins).

After a Maguire-Drew effort had run to Thompson, Alty did get upfield only for Mooney to fire well over the bar (50 mins)

As in the first half, however, Grimsby lacked a killer touch to convert their superiority into a goal threat as the game went past the hour mark with Alty still just one goal behind despite hardly being in the game for long stretches.

However, it did take a fine save from Thompson to save from McAtee in the 62nd minute.

Alty made a change with the largely starved Hulme withdrawn in favour of Leitch-Smith (64 mins). Next a Grimsby corner produced a header, which had to be cleared off the line by Morgan with Thompson taking a knock in the process.

Now Wright replaced Sousa for Grimsby (67 mins) and, four minutes later, Ben Pringle came on to replace Mooney (71 mins).

Play now was going through a scrappy period as, after a home corner had been seen off, Salford City loanee Berkoe made his debut replacing an exhausted Andy White (79 mins).

Grimsby belatedly confirmed the game's outcome when they finally scored a second goal (83 mins). It came as Pringle, facing his own goal, was closed down and played the ball back to his keeper.

Thompson had to clear hurriedly and the ball came out to Maguire-Drew. From some 25 yards he hit a fine shot into the net despite a team-mate arguably being in an offside position in the keeper's eye-line.

After the goal, McAtee was replaced by Burgess (84 mins) and then Maguire-Drew was subbed in favour of Khouri (88 mins).

There was no prospect of a late comeback from Altrincham and the four added minutes were most notable for an idiot running onto the pitch (90+2 mins).

This had been a very disappointing show from Altrincham who have now won just one of their last eighteen league games. The Robins are now increasingly looking over their shoulders rather than harbouring realistic upward aspirations.