ALTRINCHAM FC MATCH REPORTS
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ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
YEOVIL TOWN (1) 1
played on Sunday, 15 May 2022 at 3pm
There was to be no fairytale ending for the seven Altrincham stalwarts who played their final game for the club in this match. The seven had opted to leave rather than convert to full-time with the Robins next season.
The game was decided as early as the 16th minute when Alty lost possession some 35 yards out and, from right of goal, Knowles scored with a low shot. Altrincham dominated possession, especially in the second half, and had numerous shots at goal but the vast majority were well off target.
Nevertheless Alty finished fourteenth in the National League, a commendable position for a part-time side.
- 16 mins: Thomas KNOWLES (ALTRINCHAM 0 Yeovil Town 1)
REFEREE: Mr Peter Gibbons
ATTENDANCE: 2,123 (184 in away section)
For this last match of the season, and the first after the club had indicated that seven long-serving players were moving on, Altrincham again fielded a depleted side.
Indeed manager Phil Parkinson had indicated that he would be giving the departing players the chance to play for the last time for the club rather than necessarily picking his eleven most in-form players. And he was true to his word.
Three of the departing stalwarts (Densmore, Hannigan, Moult) had played in the previous game, at Bromley; they were joined by Andy White and Tony Thompson in today's starting eleven. The other two concerned, (Hampson and Hancock) were on the bench.
Yeovil suffered a blow on the eve of the match when Luton Town loanee Josh Neufville was recalled to his parent club. They too rang the changes with their starting eleven and named just four substitutes.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and white socks) 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Daniel MOONEY, 9. Marcus DINANGA, 11. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 14. Jake COOPER, 17. Ben PRINGLE, 20. Andy WHITE, 32. Isaac MARRIOTT. Subs: 21. Matthew GOULD, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 8. Elliot OSBORNE, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 23. Harry PERRITT
YEOVIL TOWN (All green): 12. Max Evans, 2. Mark Little, 3. Jordan Barnett, 9. Reuben Reid, 11. Tom Knowles, 13. Morgan Williams, 14. Alex Bradley, 15. Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, 19. Charlie Wakefield, 21. Jack Robinson, 24. Lawson D’Ath, Subs: 1. Grant Smith, 23. Adi Yussuf, 32, Josh Staunton, 35. Oliver Haste.
The National League had moved this final round of fixtures for the season to a Sunday afternoon slot thus avoiding a clash with the Cup Final. Alty lay fourteenth and Yeovil were thirteenth, a point ahead, at kick off.
Alty's haul of 55 points from 43 games, at kick off, represented the club's best points per game achievement in the National League since 1996.
Two days before the match the interim manager had left the Glovers following the news of the appointment of a new permanent manager, whose name was not revealed before this match.
The original managerial vacancy had unexpectedly occurred in March when popular boss Darren Sarll decamped to Woking amidst uncertainty regarding the future direction of the Somerset club. A good number of Glovers fans had made the 436-mile round trip on a Sunday to watch a final match of the campaign on which nothing depended. They brought with them a banner demanding the departure of the club's owner, Scott Priestnall, a measure of the off-field turmoil that has affected the Somerset club this season.
Before kick-off, one of those playing his last game for the club, Alty captain Jake Moult, was presented with a commemorative Altrincham shirt to mark his 450th appearance for the club.
Altrincham kicked off towards the commendably good away attendance of 184 supporters in the J. Davidson Stadium.
The opening five minutes saw each of the much-changed sides looking a little rusty. An overhit pass by Moult was followed by a mistake by the visitors. This was not punished as Mooney scuffed a shot from twenty yards to the visitors' keeper (5 mins). Alty had the majority of the ball but the first of what was to be many injury stoppages saw Moult land awkwardly but he was able to resume after treatment.
Alty then won the game's first corner (12 mins), following which Mooney shot well wide. Alty soon paid for their profligacy, which was to be a recurrent theme in this game, as the visitors took the lead. White lost possession, some 35 yards from goal, and the ball was worked to Knowles, well right of goal. Despite the acute angle his low shot found the back of the net (16 mins).
Initially, Alty responeded well as Marriott fed Colclough whose low shot hit a defender and went out of play, beyond the far post, for a corner (18 mins). The corner came to nothing. In fact, it took cnetre-back Cooper to produce Alty's nearest shot to a goal, so far, when he steered a low effort narrowly wide after an Altrincham free-kick routine had faltered (22 mins).
Both Marriott and Pringle were doing well in midfield but, as the game progressed, the same could not be said of the wastefulness further forward. The half hour was reached with Yeovil keeper Evans barely troubled. Not that Yeovil were much more threatening as, apart from their goal, Thompson was mostly unperturbed at this stage.
The stoppages for knocks, prompting impromptu touchline drinks breaks, continued with Wakefield the next victim but this time it was more serious injury and the Yeovil man was replaced by Yussuf (37 mins)>
Alty did win another corner (39 mins) and, shortly after this, Colclough got to the byline and went down under a challenge but the referee was unimpressed (40 mins).
As half-time approached a vintage long ball from Densmore set Dinanga on goal but he ended up conceding a freekick inside the visitors' box (43 mins). Just before three added minutes started, D'Ath was booked for bringing down Colclough (45 mins).
In the third added minute, Dinanga, who had got little change our of the visitors' defence, almost scored with a back header as he and keeper Evans went for an aerial ball but it went narrowly wide of the far post (45+3 mins)..
Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0
Alty won the first corner of the second half (48 mins) and were to go on to dominate possession. However, they were to be let down, time and again, with shooting which ranged from off-target to very much off-target. However, Yeovil did create an early half-chance themselves as Lo-Everton and a team-mate combined, prompting Thompson to rush out to smother the ball (51 mins).
At the oher end Colclougb won a corner as his shot from the left was beaten away by Evans for a corner (52 mins). A promising Alty move then produced another corner won by White. Following this, a White cross was headed goalwards by Cooper but Evans saved it (56 mins).
After a pot-shot from Colclough had gone well wide, Hancock replaced Dinanga (57 mins). Alty continued to dominate possession and, just before the hour mark, Evans failed to hold the ball as he came out to smother it and this led to well hit Mooney shot, which yet again went wide.
Hampson became the seventh Alty player to make his swansong in the is match as he replaced White (61 mins). Two more shots from the left by Colclough produced, first, a save by Evans and then a very wide affort. However, a foul on Hancock soon yielded a Pringle freekick which gained aother corner.
It was the industruious Pringle's turn to miss the target next as he fired over the bar from a Hancock feed (65 mins). The second half was becoming, largely, one-way traffic, let down by poor shooting.
Alty suffered a blow as Colclough pulled up holding his hamstring though it seemed to be more of a tweak than a dramatic pull. Nevertheless he was subbed and Osborne replaced him (69 mins). A late challenge by Hampson earned him a booking (70 mins) before Alty's profligacy in forward areas continued as a wild Mooney shot flew high and wide (73 mins).
But soon afterwards a superb run by Mooney, which really deseved a goal, was well blocked by Evans as the winger shot at goal (78 mins). There was then a curious incident as Hannigan and a Yeovil man pursued a ball on the Alty by-line and the Yeovil man ended up going over the crowd barrier in front of the snack bar but, thankfully, he was not hurt
Mooney continued to be the most likely to break the deadlock but another good run was now halted by a tackle on the edge of the box and, moments later, he got free into the box but, yet again, missed the target (81 mins).
Next, Marriott had a shot blocked. However, Alty almost paid for their failure to hit the target as Yussuf got free; he fed Reid to his left but the former Plymouth Argyle frward was halted by a tackle (84 mins).
After another Alty corner had again failed to trouble the visitors' defence, Staunton replaced Bradley (86 mins). In the four added minutes Haste replaced Reid (90+1 mins) as the Glovers saw out the closing stages without any real alarms.
This was a match that Altrincham should have won but poor decision making led to too mnay speculative shots and the accuracy of the shots ranged from indifferent to woeful. The defeat left Alty infourteenth place after amatch that wioll be remembered as the swansong of seven crowd favourites rather than an exciting spectacle. Of the seven Hannigan was arguably the most impressive on the day but all will be remembered for their past exploits for Altrincham rather than today's match
Full Time: ALTRINCHAM 0