ALTRINCHAM FC MATCH REPORTS
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ALTRINCHAM (0) 1
ALDERSHOT TOWN (0) 0
played on Saturday, 26 March 2022 at 3pm
Altrincham under Phil Parkinson have not been known as a team grinding out 1-0 wins but two such victories in a week have shown a new grittiness to the team's performances.
Having recorded just two clean sheets in the first 27 league fixtures, they have now clocked up five shut-outs in their last six outings in the National League. And, quite remarkably, that run has been achieved with a back-five which, in most of those games, has included three young loanee defenders, all new to the club, and (for three of the matches) a veteran goalkeeper who had been called out of semi-retirement.
As a game, this win over Aldershot Town will not live long in the memory with neither goalkeeper particularly occupied and the late, deflected goal by Mooney which won the match by no means would be shortlisted as a contender for goal of the season.
A very unambitious Aldershot set the tone for much of the afternoon, only coming to a slighlty more animated life for a spell in the second half.
In terms of entertainment, the game had started optimistically as Alty missed an early chance when Perritt cleared the bar from barely six yards out, following a Mooney freekick from the left (2 mins).
But the remainder of the first half was devoid of any real excitement, with no chances at either end. So the match was goalless at the interval.
Alty started the second half a bit more brightly but when Mooney and then Colclough both went down and neither won a freekick, the referee started to become yellow-card happy and by full-time had booked five Altrincham players for reasons which, in some cases, were baffling.
Having shown little ambition throughout, Aldershot began to get forward a little more in the last quarter of the game but neither side had the guile to break the deadlock until a deflected shot by Mooney, off Lokko, found the net (87 mins).
- 87 mins: Dan MOONEY (ALTRINCHAM 1 Aldershot Town 0)
REFEREE: Mr Andrew Miller
ATTENDANCE: 2,341 (337 in away section)
Unsurprisingly, given their good recent form, Altrincham were unchanged both in terms of the starting eleven and also as regards the substitutes' bench. So Tom Hannigan and Jordan Hulme remained amongst those sidelined by injury.
Technically this was Tony Thompson's 199th start for the club but, if his involvement in the subsequently voided Dover match last season is taken into account, it was his 200th start today.
The Shots made three changes as Kinsella, Lokko and Glover replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jordan and Webb. They arrived in poor form following four defeats in succession.
Altrincham were again without Jordan Hulme (following concussion), Eddy Jones (with Wales U-21s) and Tom Hannigan (injured).
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts , black shorts and white socks): 1. Tony Thompson (c), 23. Harry Perritt, 25. Toby Mullarkey, 24. Kyle Ferguson, 20. Andy White, 8. Elliot Osborne, 32. Isaac Marriott, 7. Dan Mooney, 10. Josh Hancock, 15. Matty Kosylo, 11. Ryan Colclough. Subs: 6. Jake Moult, 17. Ben Pringle, 26. Kole Hall, 27. A-Jay Leitch-Smith, 14. Jake Cooper.
ALDERSHOT TOWN (All yellow): 24 Ethan Ross, 3. Lewis Kinsella (c), 5. Kevin Lokko, 6. Kodi Lyons-Foster, 7 Alfy Whittingham, 11 Harry Panayiotou, 14. Ryan Glover, 18 Mo Sylla, 22 Giles Phillips, 26 Alfie Saunders, 27 Tommy Willard. Subs: 1 Mitch Walker, 9. Mo Bettamer, 12. Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain, 16 Corey Jordan, 23. Jayden Harris.
For Altrincham's fourth home game in five fixtures, they started twelve points and six places ahead of their Hampshire visitors, having played two more games than The Shots.
The game was played on a warm, dry and bright afternoon.
The crowd was boosted by several factors. Not only was it it was national Non-League Day and Aldershot's dedicated "away day" match, but Alty were also offering reduced price admission incentives for this game.
After the pitch had been cleared of balloons released by the good turn-out of Aldershot fans, Aldershot Town got the game got under way, attacking the Golf Road end.
An early foul by Lyons-Foster allowed Mooney to play in a freekick from the left. Off a defender, the ball fell for Perritt but the young defender lifted the ball over the bar from six yards or so (2 mins).
From what was to become a number of long throws by Saunders, Aldershot won the match's first corner (6 mins).
However, the game was becoming scrappy before Lokko had to go off briefly to have a facial cut treated. He returned wearing the numberless blood-shirt (15 mins).
Alty did win two corners, which came to nothing (21 mins), before Marriott was booked for a foul (23 mins).
After several uneventful minutes Alty did put together a decent move which ended in White earning a corner (36 mins). Following this a deflected Colclough shot was saved and, as half-time approached, a Colclough freekick came off Ferguson to keeper Ross (40 mins).
Two long throws by Saunders produced a late corner for the visitors but nothing came of these (45+2 mins).
Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0
The start of the second half was a bit more lively than much of the first 45 minutes. Firstly, following a Kosylo advance, Mooney had a shot saved (47 mins).
Soo afterwards, Mooney felt that he had been fouled, but referee Miller booked him, presumably for dissent (48 mins). Moments later Colclough was upended and, again, no foul was seen by the referee, who then booked both Kosylo and Colclough, presumably again for dissent. So three yellow cards had been shown in barely a minute (49 mins).
An excellent passing move then led to a corner for Alty off Sylla (56 mins). Mooney's flag-kick was flicked on by Pettit but it could only be directed across goal (57 mins).
Three substitutions then broke up the flow of the game as Harris replaced the injured Panayiotou (61 mins) before Pringle came on for Marriott (62 mins). The game was drifting again before Leitch-Smith replaced Kosylo (68 mins).
Having show very little ambition thorughout the afternoon, the Shots now upped their game slightly but the nereast threat to a goal came from a Kinsella freekick which Thompson saved, to his right (76 mins).
More disruption followed as Glover was booked before Bettamer replaced the same player (79 mins). Four minutes later Alty brought on Moult for Osborne (83 mins).
After a Lyons-Foster miskick, Alty gained a corner, which came to nothing (84 mins). With the match drifting towards a goalless draw, Mooney cut in from the left and his shot hit Lokko, which wrong-footed Ross, as the ball diverted into the net.
There was time for Alty's Pringle to become his side's fifth booking (89 min).
In the five added miutes, Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Kinsella and his pace caused Altrincham some concern in the closing stages. It was a shot from him which was blocked and fell to Whittingham but he put a presentable chance over the bar to seal his side's defeat ((0+6 mins).
Full Time: ALTRINCHAM 1