Return to News Page


Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 13 September 2022 at 3pm


An 81st minute equaliser from Ryan Colclough against his former club gave Altrincham a point which they well deserved.

The match had been barely three minutes old when a floodlight failure along one side of the pitch halted the game for nearly eight minutes before it resumed. After a first-half of often frantic play, and a lack of composure from both sides, it was deep into the eight added minutes before the interval when Altrincham took the lead. Good play from Barrows and Conn-Clarke on the right saw the latter's shot blocked by the keeper but the ball fell for Elliot Osborne to net (45+5 mins).

The visitors rocked Altrincham with two goals in four minutes midway through the second half. First Butterfield netted after a Scunthorpe advance up the left by Apter had seen the ball come out to the former Barnsley man, who scored comfortably (65 mins).

The Iron were then awarded a rather fortuitous penalty, following a corner, when Osborne was adjudged to have barged over substitute Beestin on the front edge of the box. Nuttall converted the penalty convincingly (69 mins).

But Altrincham were to dominate the final fifteen minutes and got their deserved reward in the 81st minute when an advance up the right by substitute Kaja ended with the ball falling to Colclough to steer home an equalizer. The visitors were content to slow down the game, seemingly content with a draw, a result which left the two clubs where they started the evening, as the bottom two in the National League, and also left Alty still seeking a win after eight fixtures this season.


REFEREE: Mr Jacob Miles

ATTENDANCE: 1,368 (208 in away section)


After Phil Parkinson had made six changes to his starting eleven on Bank Holiday Monday, he had made another five alterations to his line-up for the next game at Solihull. However, tonight, Alty made just two changes for this game as goalkeeper Oliver Byrne made his competitive home debut, replacing loanee Dermot Mee in goal, and Stoke City loanee Dan Malone, making his club debut, replaced fellow loanee Aaron Bennett in midfield


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Oliver Byrne, 22. Ross Barrows, 5. Toby Mullarkey (c), 26. James Jones, 2. Eddy Jones, 10. Elliot Osborne, 8. Josh Lundstram, 31. Dan Malone, 16. Chris Conn-Clarke, 11. Ryan Colclough, 30. Marcus Dinanga. Subs: 3. Liam Brockbank, 17. Brad Jackson, 23. Jake Cooper, 33. Egli Kaja, 27. Aaron Bennett

SCUNTHORPE UNITED (All yellow) 1. Marcus Dewhurst, 2. Reagan Ogle, 4. Elliott Whitehouse, 6. Andrew Boyce (c), 9. Joe Nuttall, 15. George Taft, 19. Jacob Butterfield, 25. Rob Apter, 27. Isaac Fletcher, 28. Dan Gallimore, 29. Aiden Marsh. Subs: 3. Mason O'Malley, 7. Liam Feeney, 8. Alfie Beestin, 12. Jai Rowe, 16. Owen Foster (gk).


All football had been suspended over the previous weekend in deference to the mourning period for the late Queen Eliabeth II so it was ten days since either side had played competitively.

The sides met tonight as the bottom two in the National League, with Alty's four draws and three defeats placing them just above a Scunthorpe side which had lost its last six games after winning its opening fixture of the season. The Iron arrived with former Alty man Tony Daws in interim charge after the dismissal of manager Keith Hill.

Although this was the first-ever clash of these clubs in a league match, Altrincham had twice beaten Scunthorpe in FA Cup Round One replays at Moss Lane, albeit both victories were more than 40 years ago.

Scunthorpe went into this game not having won away from home since Boxing Day 2021 at Oldham Athletic and, before that, their previous away win had beens as far back as 2 March 2021!


After a minute's silence to honour the late Queen, Scunthorpe kicked off towards the Golf Road and, within 45 seconds, had gained the first corner of the evening. However, barely three minutes had elapsed in the match before all of the floodlights on the main stand side of the pitch went out; not for the first time in recent years.

However, after getting on for eight minutes' suspension of play, the action resumed and soon afterwards the former Alty man, Reagan Ogle, made a blistering run up the left but his cross only led to a home goalkick (12 mins).

In fact, the whole game was being played at a furious pace, arguably too fast for there to be any cultured play or well-constructed moves.

Following a foul by Mullarkey on Marsh, 35 yards from goal, Butterfield's freekick produced a second corner of the night for the visitors (16 mins).

At the other end, Altrincham had a decent shout for penalty when Eddy Jones appeared to be tripped but play was waved on (18 mins). Soon afterwards Jones himself perpetrated a foul and was lectured by Mr Miles (20 mins). Neither keeper had been troubled as the game reached the halfway point in the first half, albeit eight minutes had been lost to the floodlight issue.

Next, after Colcough had got up the left, he won a freekick. Osborne's curling freekick was met by a smart left-foot volley at the back post by Mullarkey which narrowly cleared the bar (22 mins).

An excellent overlap by Eddy Jones now led to Altrincham's first corner, in the 25th minute, but that was soon followed by the Iron's third flag-kick from a deflected effort by their new loanee signing, Apter, as play continued fiarly evenly (29 mins).

However, the visitors were to win another corner after 32 minutes when Apter's superb shot out of nothing, from 25 yards, was met by an equally impressive flying tip over the bar by Ollie Byrne.

For Alty, Barrows was playing well on the right, getting forward well and combining with Conn-Clarke as Alty now put on a little pressure with Dewhurst, who had initially seemed a little nervy, first fielding a Conn-Clarke low cross and then somthering the ball as Colclough threatened.

Indeed, Alty were now enjoying a better spell as Colclough won a corner (39 mins) which Osborne took before the Iron hacked the ball away off the line (40 mins). Fletcher was then booked for a foul on Conn-Clarke and, after another Scunthorpe corner had come and gone, the same player transgressed again but without more punishment other than the award of a freekick against him (43 mins).

Eight minutes of added time were displayed on the fourth official's board as Alty put together a multi-pass sequence but that move came to nothing. However, in the fifth added minute, Barrows again advanced on the right and fed Conn-Clarke, who drifted inside and cleverly made space for a shot with a step-over. Dewhurst beat the shot away to his left but Osborne was on hand to net the rebound smartly from an acute angle and give Alty an interval lead.

There was still time before the break for Altrincham to win a corner before the referee blew for half-time after 45 minutes of largely frantic football and relatively little composure from either side.


Having conceded goals immediately after the interval in their last three matches, Altrincham avoided that catastrophe this time. Indeed they might even have scored had Colclough produced a better ball at the end of his advance after he had won possession. But, disappointingly, his cross went to the visitors' keeper (47 mins).

And a Barrows cross soon afterwards likewise went to Dewhurst. Scunthorpe responded, as a 25-yarder from Butterfield was saved by Byrne at the second attempt, with the game continuing in a similar hurried fashion to much of the first half (50 mins).

Next, after Colcough had lost the ball to Apter, an Ogle cross earned a corner (53 mins), following which Whitehouse put the ball well wide from 20 yards (54 mins).

After a mundane further five minutes or so, the visitors made a double change with Beestin and Feeny replacing Fletcher and Marsh respectively (61 mins).

Scunthorpe extended their lead in the corner count in the 63rd minute. Shortly afterwards Dinanga fed Osborne whose fine shot forced an excellent save by Dewhurst.

Play immediately switched to the other end as Apter advanced towards the left by-line. His low ball into the box was converted by Butterfield's finish to make the score 1-1 and to record the Iron's first goal in four league matches (65 mins).

Alty replied with a superb 30-yard effort from Conn-Clarke, which narrowly cleared the bar (66 mins) before Scunthorpe threatened again with Beestin's low coss.

Next, Ogle won a corner on the left for Scunthorpe and, as the ball was cleared out of the box, Osborne barged over Beeestin at the front edge of the box. How intentional it was was debatable but it gave the referee justifiable grounds to award a spot-kick. Nuttall beat Byrne confidently from the spot to put his side ahead and send Altrincham to the bottom of the live National League table (69 mins).

Alty now brought on Kaja, who had been preparing to come on well before the penalty incident. The Albanian winger replaced Conn-Clarke (70 mins). Kaja was soon in evidence with a fine cross which no team-mate had been in place to convert (73 mins).

Soon, from a Barrows feed, Kaja struck a fine 25-yard effort which Dewhurst saved well (75 mins). Tony Daws now sent on O'Malley to shore up his beleagured defence with Apter being withdrawn (76 mins).

The hosts were now well on top and won two corners in as many minutes before a Colclough cross saw Osborne poke a shot just over the bar (79 mins). Finally, Altrincham's dominance at this stage gained its reward when Diananga fed Kaja who again impressed on the right, taking no fewer than five Iron men out of the game as he got to the byline, right of goal.

His cross to the back post was nodded down by Dinanga to Colclough who made it 2-2. He celebrated by running half the length of the pitch towards the Scunthorpe end, cupping his ears, in his apparent enjoyment at scoring against the club which had released him (81 mins).

The final stages of the game saw Altrincham completely on top and Scunthorpe seemingly happy with a point as they slowed the game down at each dead-ball situation.

In the first of four added minutes Altrincham brought on Jackson for Barrows but the visitors did get forward in the final seconds when a Scunthorpe shot led to optimistic but fruitless claims for handball against James Jones.

So, whilst each side had gained a point to reward their efforts, both clubs remained deep in relegation trouble.

The wholesale change of personnel over the summer as Altrincham transitioned from part- to full-time was always going to be disruptive. But, with the additional problems arising from the injuries to Marriott, Kosylo, Hulme and Baines in particular, as well as the international clearance fiasco surrounding Byrne, Altrincham have faced an uphill struggle to achieve stability.

Scunthorpe, too, face a long season after their drop down the leagues but their long-suffering 200+ fans who made the awkward midweek cross-country journey to Altrincham deserve an upturn in the club's fortunes to reward their dedication.