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Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 16 August 2022 at 7.45pm


Altrincham brought in new keeper Dermot Mee, on loan from Manchester United, for the injured Gould and the ineligible Byrne, whilst Jake Cooper and Marcus Dinanga also joined the starting eleven. Jordan Hulme and Liam Brockbank moved to the bench to accommodate the changes.

And after Alty had completely dominated the opening stages, young Mee sadly made a major error as he tried to dribble a ball that he presumably construed as a back-pass. It was a bizarre high, looping ball, played back from the halfway line on the Alty left by Baines, which put the keeper under pressure. Clifton dispossessed him and scored comfortably as Jones vainly attempted to get back to cover the goal line (13 mins).

The goal against the run of play also prompted a switch in momentum as the hosts now belatedly began to get forward and, correspondingly, mistakes crept into Altrincham's play. But Alty regained some composure without being able to trouble Gyollai before half time, though Jones should have done better when he scuffed an effort wide from a Conn-Clarke corner (34 mins).

Again Altrincham had plenty of possession in the second half but, apart from forcing a smart double-save from Gyollai (63 mins), Maidenhead were fairly comfortable as Alty brought on Hulme (67 mins) and Sami (76 mins) up front to try and get something from the match.

The home side slowed the game down as Alty laboured and then another defensive disaster by the visitors saw Jones at fault, allowing a header to go past him, which permitted McCoulsky to make it 2-0 (89 mins).

So Altrincham ended the game in the relegation places and with just one goal scored from 270 minutes of action.


REFEREE: Mr James Durkin



Altrincham brought in new keeper Dermot Mee, registered hours earlier on loan from Manchester United, with Gould injured and Byrne still awaiting international clearance.

Cooper and Dinanga also joined the starting eleven as Hulme and Brockbank moved to the bench.


MAIDENHEAD UNITED (Black and white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Dan Gyollai, 11. Dan Sparkes, 2. Zico Asare, 5. Col Kpekawa, 10. Kane Ferdinand, 14. Emile Acquah, 20. Koby Arthur, 19. Ryan Upward, 3. Sam Beckwith, 23. Adrian Clifton, 4. Will De Havilland. Subs: 6. Remy Clerima, 7. Sam Barratt, 9. Shawn McCoulsky, 24. Alan Massey, 27. Charlee Adams

ALTRINCHAM (All dark blue with yellow sash on shirt): Dermot Mee, 5. Toby Mullarkey (c), 26. James Jones, 6. Lewis Baines, 23. Jake Cooper, 10. Elliot Osborne, 8. Josh Lundstram, 16. Chris Conn-Clarke, 11. Ryan Colclough, 27. Aaron Bennett, 30. Marcus Dinanga. Subs: 3. Liam Brockbank, 9. Jordan Hulme, 18. Ben Pringle, 28. Alex Sami, Ryan Forde.


For their third match of the season Altrincham again faced opposition from the south-eastern region as the Robins travelled to Maidenhead United.

There were also several parallels with the Robins' last trip to Maidenhead. That was in March 2022, when the teams played out a goalless draw. Indeed, Maidenhead had never scored against Alty in their previous four meetings.

The similarities with the fixture last season started with Alty again having a goalkeeping problem in advance of the match.

For last season's game, Altrincham had to field stand-in veteran keeper Steven Drench, in the absence of regular custodian Tony Thompson who had been taken ill. And history repeated itself as Alty again fielded a keeper making his first appearance of the season but this time it was a teenage loanee making his debut.

Another similarity with the previous season's trip to Berkshire was that last season the Robins had fielded just four players in their starting eleven who had played for the club in the previous season. For this game only Mullarkey, Osborne and Colclough from last season's employees started this tme around.


Altrincham kicked off up the slope and started well, dominating the opening stages as regards possession with the hosts seemingly happy not to press their visitors in non-dangerous areas.

The Robins' best early move involved Colclough, Conn-Clark and Dinanga and ended with the striker forcing a fine save from former Alty trialist Gyollai but, in any case, a dubious flag for offside had been raised (9 mins).

Another promising move ended soon afterwards but then disaster struck. It was a bizarre high, looping ball, played back from the halfway line on the Alty left by Baines, which put the young keeper under pressure. Viewing it as a back-pass, Mee opted to try and dribble his way out of trouble. But the former Boreham Wood striker Clifton dispossessed the Alty keeper and scored into an empty net despite Jones's attempts to get back to block the effort. So, completely against the run of play, Altrincham found themselves a goal behind (13 mins).

That blow altered the momentum of the game as the hosts now began to enjoy some possession and started to show some positive intent. Soon, Sparkes skewed a shot well wide (17 mins) before Maidenhead won a twentieth-minute corner. As the hosts improved, mistakes were creeping into the visitors' game, manifested in a mix-up betweem Lundstram, Baines and Colclough.

With Alty having selected four centre-backs, of whom only Mullarkey had genuine credentials as a wing-back, the visitors were over reliant on Colclough for attacking impetus up the flanks. However, before the half-hour mark Alty began to get back into their flow to some extent.

A good move involving Bennett, Mullarkey and Lundstram came to naught before Colclough again went down cheaply and this time Mr Durkin duly booked him for simulation (31 mins). As was seen in the previous home game when the Alty winger appeared to be fouled inside the box, but was not awarded a penalty, his penchant for hitting the deck after minor contact can prove counter-productive (31 mins).

However, the former Scunthorpe man soon recovered his composure to win a corner (34 mins). This was well-taken by Conn-Clarke but Jones scuffed an excellent chance to convert it from about ten yards, slicing his effort wide.

The home side were showing disappointing signs of winding down the clock from very early in the game and Asari was duly booked for timewasting as he delayed a throw-in after just 38 minutes.

Alty survived a late scare before half time as Clifton got the better of Mullarkey but he shot wide (43 mins). So, half-time arrived with Alty a goal behind.


Maidenhead kicked off the second period but, as in the first half, it was Altrincham who enjoyed the early majority of possession.

But Jones had to act smartly to halt Arthur on the Maidenhead right before the same Maidenhead man threatened again and, from his cross, Mee had to do well to tip an Upward header over the bar for a corner.

Alty now brought on Pringle to replace Bennett in midfield (54 mins) and moved to back-three as Mullarkey got licence to play more of a wing-back role. Altrincham soon won a corner but the hosts were content to continue to try and slow the game down at every opportunity.

However, from a Mullarkey advance, Dinanga did well with his first touch and his shot forced a good save, with his feet, from Gyollai. A good effort from Colclough was then diverted onto the bar for another corner (60 mins).

Alty's pressure continued as Gyollai was now forced into a good double save (63 mins). The game then started to be disrupted by frequent substitutions as, firstly, ex-Histon man Clerima replaced Acquah for the hosts and, a minute later, Jordan Hulme came on for Conn-Clarke (67 mins). Hulme adopted a no.10 role behind Dinanga.

Next Maidenhead brought on McCoulsky for Clifton (70 mins) before Altrincham gave Sami a debut in place of Dinanga (76 mins).

Maidenhead continued to wind down the clock and were aided by winning a corner (82 mins). Next Adams replaced Arthur as Alty now looked a beaten team (85 mins). However, a Beckwith error gave the visitors a late corner but this came to nothing (86 mins). An electric run by Sami promised some consolation for Altrincham (90+3 mins) but they remained scoreless for the second successive game, having netted just once in 270 minutes so far this season. At the final whistle, following six added minutes, Altrincham found themselves in 22nd pace in the embryonic National League table.