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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 1 October 2022 at 3pm


Notts County moved up to second place in the National League with a comfortable win over an Altrincham side which could have made the game closer but for some poor finishing.

After Altrincham had started brightly, Notts hit the bar from a Castro freekick (6 mins) and then enjoyed more of the ball though Alty were still well in the game. But Alty then had a great chance to score as Mullarkey and Colclough put Dinanga in on goal. Unfortunately, his well-hit shot hit the crossbar (20 mins).

Shortly before the break Altrincham conceded two poor goals. The first came when Byrne made a decent save but palmed away a shot by Scott and Langstaff netted the rebound (42 mins). Notts added a second goal two minutes later when Eddy Jones was beaten for pace by Adebayo and Langstaff netted again (44 mins). So Alty trailed 2-0 at the interval.

But within two minutes of the re-start Alty scored as Colclough's cross from the left was turned home by Dinanga, for his first goal for Altrincham in more than twenty and a half hours of pitch-time. His last goal was also against Notts County, in September 2021.

However, County finished off Altrincham after 60 minutes when Langstaff headed an Adebayo cross goalwards, with Adam Chicksen bundling the ball home at the near post.


REFEREE: Mr Scott Jackson

ATTENDANCE: 6,458 (152 in away section)


Altrincham's starting eleven was unchanged. However, Jordan Hulme, back from injury, and Dan Malone, returning after international duty, joined the bench, with Matt Gould and Byron Harrison dropping out of the squad. Lewis Baines, Isaac Marriott, Egli Kaja, Zak Goodson and Matty Kosylo were again sidelined by injury. Midfield loanee Aaron Bennett was rested after his international exertions with Wales last week.

County made two changes, with Cedwyn Scott and Tobi Adebayo-Rowling replacing Jim O'Brien and Aaron Nemane.


NOTTS COUNTY (Black & white striped shirts, black shorts and socks) 1. Sam Slocombe; 4. Kyle Cameron, 5. Connell Rawlinson, 2. Richard Brindley; 23. Adam Chicksen, 21. Tobi Adebayo-Rowling 18. Matt Palmer, 20. Ruben Rodrigues, 10. Quevin De Castro; 19. Cedwyn Scott, 9. Macaulay Langstaff. Subs: 7. Kairo Mitchell, 6. Jim O'Brien, 8. Sam Austin, 14. Ed Francis, 11. Aaron Nemane

ALTRINCHAM (All dark blue with yellow sash on shirt, yellow socks): 1. Oliver Byrne, 22. Ross Barrows, 5. Toby Mullarkey (c), 23. Jake Cooper, 2. Eddy Jones, 10. Elliot Osborne, 8. Josh Lundstram, 16. Chris Conn-Clarke, 17. Brad Jackson, 11. Ryan Colclough, 30. Marcus Dinanga. Subs: 3. Liam Brockbank, 9. Jordan Hulme, 26. James Jones, 18. Ben Pringle, 31. Dan Malone


In the summer, Notts County had reportedly offered their then vacant managerial post to Phil Parkinson, who had apparently turned down the opportunity having just secured the club's move to full-time operations. It had been a sticky start to the current campaign for the Robins, who had only won their first match of the season at the tenth attempt, the previous week.


An unchanged Altrincham kicked off the match, seeking to build on their belated first win of the season, seven days earlier.

In a bright start for Altrincham, Lundstram got in an early shot and then Eddy Jones was flagged marginally offside in a promising move. Next, Dinanga turned well but, as he looked to get clear, his touch let him down and the ball went out for a throw (4 mins).

When Osborne was harshly penalised, the hosts were awarded a freekick from a central position, getting on for thirty yards from goal. West Brom loanee Castro took the kick and struck the crossbar and a home corner soon followed (6 mins).

The pacey Adebayo was keeping Eddy Jones busy but the loanee left-back from Stoke City now did well to halt him at the cost of a corner (14 mins). Altrincham were holding their own and, indeed, should have taken a twentieth-minute lead.

Their chance arose when Mullarkey advanced and fed Colclough. He did well to feed Dinanga who opted to shoot rather than adavnce further towards goal. He struck his shot well but could only hit the crossbar (20 mins).

Eddy Jones then picked up a card for a foul on the troublesome Adebayo (25 mins). Nevertheless, Altrincham continued to look as likely to score as their more fancied opponents. However, County did now win two successive corners, the first being gained off Barrows, as the game passed the half-hour mark (34 mins).

Osborne then survived appeals for a penalty after he made a firm challenge in the box (40 mins) but his side looked hopeful of reaching the break on level terms against a County side which had not shown the expected supeiority of team at the top end of the table against one from the bottom places.

However, two home goals in as many minutes gave the scoreline an imbalance that first-half play had not suggested. The opener came when Byrne made a full length save but failed to gather Scott's effort. The keeper could only push the ball out and it rebouded off the predatory Langstaff into the net (42 mins).

Then, up the right flank, Adebayo beat Eddy Jones for pace and, though his effort came back off the post, he laid off the rebound for Langstaff to net the ball and make it 2-0 (44 mins).


After Notts had got the second half started, it took Alty just two minutes to get themselves back into the match. The goal was made by the skill of Colclough on the left. From his cross Dinanga bundled the ball into the net. It was thet striker's first goal for Altrincham since he had also scored, coincidentally against Notts County, in September last year. Since then, twenty and a half hours of pitch-time had produced no goals for the striker (47 mins).

Soon after this, the booked Eddy Jones was replaced by Liam Brockbank at left-back (51 mins). Next, an Alty freekick, from a long distance and taken by Osborne, cleared the bar (54 mins).

The Magipes soon brought on Francis for Scott and Austin for Castro (55 mins).

Altrincham spurned a good chance to level the score when outstanding work by Colclough saw him feed Conn-Clarke, heading goalwards, only for him to spurn the shooting opportunity. It did not take long for County to underline the importance of that missed opportunity by adding a third goal.

Next, a cross from the right was headed goalwards by Langstaff from the outer reaches of the box and the ball dropped, just inside the post, with Chicksen making sure it went into the net whilst Jackson attempted to block it on the line (60 mins).

The hat-trick for Langstaff took his goal tally to fifteen already this season, following his summer move from Gateshead.

After Conn-Clarke had done well to track back, albeit at the cost of a corner, a second corner followed (65 mins).

Alty then made a double swap with Pringle and Hulme replacing Jackson and Dinanga (66 mins). Soon after this a Conn-Clarke cross just evaded Pringle before the hosts made another change with Chicksen giving was to Nemane (70 mins). Hulme soon got himslef booked for a challenge on goalkeeper Slocombe, his third yellow card in six appearances this season (72 mins).

Colclough continued to be Alty's stand-out player as he played in Conn-Clarke who, this time, did shoot but dragged his effort wide from a presentable opening (76 mins).

The game meandered through the closing stages with little of great note happening on the pitch.

After Hulme had got in a weak shot from a promising position, Barrows was penalised for a foul which led manager Parkinson to get a booking for his protests (88 mins). Altrincham created another opening in the closing stages only for Colclough to slice the ball well wide (89 mins).

Four added minutes did not alter things as Alty ended the afternoon in 23rd place, saved only from the bottom rung by FC Halifax's abject 0-4 defeat at The Shay.

Next up for the Robins is a Tuesday night trip to Gateshead.