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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 22 October 2022 at 3pm


Altrincham threw away two points in a game which they totally dominated in the first half against a Torquay side who were yet to win at Plainmoor in the league and who looked very poor throughout those 45 minutes. Indeed, Altrincham should have led 5-0 at the interval but failed to convert a plethora of chances before the break, notably missing a penalty and several other close-range offerings. But they only led 2-0 at half-time.

They then paid the price in the second half, conceding early on to encourage the hosts, and they could easily have lost the game to a much improved Torquay who opened up Altrincham with ease at times in the second period.

Altrincham took a sixth minute lead when Conn-Clarke fed Colclough, to his left, before advancing into the box to receive Colclough's low cross. The Fleetwood loanee steerd the ball towards the near post where stand-in Torquay keeper Lovett allowed it to squirm through his legs into the net.

Dinanga then should have doubled the lead but headed a Hulme cross onto the top of the crossbar (9 mins). Hulme then won a penalty after being felled by Marshall but Dinanga's penalty was poorly struck and the keeper saved comfortably (22 mins). Dinanga redeemed himself in the 29th minute when he tapped in a goal after Lovett had pushed out a Barrows shot to him, to make it 0-2 to the visitors. It was the sixth consecutive game in which he has scored a goal.

However, on the half-hour, Dinanga contrived to put the ball well over the bar from six yards as Alty totally dominated. Then a ball over the top saw Dinanga badly slice another effort miles off target. Those misses proved costly as Altrincham conceded almost immediately after the interval. They gave away an unnecessary corner from which Hall headed home (48 mins).

The balance of the game now shifted and predictably the hosts levelled and deservedly so. A fine run by Wigan loanee Smith was only half-halted before the ball was played low from the left for Hall to scuff a shot into the net to make it 2-2 (71 mins).

Torquay now took the lead when, with his first touch, substitute Lapslie scored from close range from a Moxey feed (81 mins). Another substitute soon intervened as Alty's Kaja took advantage of a defender slipping over to lay the ball inside from the right to Hulme. He took his time to calmly steer the ball inside the far post to make it 3-3 (86 mins).

Two minutes later Marshall was deservedly red-carded for manhandling Hulme and Torquay paid the price as Conn-Clarke's freekick was headed downwards into the net by Cooper to make it 3-4 (90 mins).

In the six added minutes that were decreed Smith should also have been red card for standing deliberatly on Hulme but the ten men scored a 97th minute equaliser when a Moxey long throw was not cleared and, via Moxey and a team mate, the ball came to Crowe who netted from 18 yards to give a final score of four goals apiece


REFEREE: Mr Jacob Miles



Following the disappointing defeat in the FA Cup last Tuesday at Gateshead, after which manager Parkinson had stated there would be consequences for some of his players, he made just two changes, one of which was enforced by injury.

Toby Mullarkey had suffered a badly cut instep at Gateshead so was missing tonight for this televised match. He was replaced by Jake Cooper who went on to have fine game. The other change saw Ryan Colclough play on the left in place of Brad Jackson, so Jordan Hulme was deployed on the right.

Torquay were without regular keeper Halstead who had an eye problem but who was named on a depleted bench of just four players. Dillon De Silva was suspended after seeing red in the FA Cup. Torquay named just four players on the bench.


TORQUAY UNITED (Yellow shirts and socks, blue shorts): 22. Rhys Lovett, 2. Dylan Crowe, 6. Ross Marshall, 16. Shaun Donnellan, 9. Aaron Jarvis, 8. Asa Hall (c), 14. Brett McGavin, 19. Will Goodwin, 21. Dean Moxey, 29. Chinwike Okoli, 36. Scott Smith. Subs: 1. Mark Halstead, 4. Tom Lapslie, 5. Ali Omar, 23. Ollie Tomlinson

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Oliver Byrne, 22. Ross Barrows, 23. Jake Cooper, 26. James Jones, 2. Eddy Jones, 10. Elliot Osborne, 8. Josh Lundstram, 11. Ryan Colclough, 16. Chris Conn-Clarke, 9. Jordan Hulme (c), 30. Marcus Dinanga. Subs: 21. Matt Gould, 17. Brad Jackson, 18. Ben Pringle, 31. Dan Malone, 33. Egli Kaja.


Altrincham travelled to face a struggling Torquay United who were bottom of the league and had yet to win a league match at Plainmoor. However, they had progressed in the FA Cup at home last time out.

The Robins needed to perform better today than they had done in being eliminated from the FA Cup in midweek at Gateshead.


Altrincham started well and Hulme, deployed on the right, soon impressed as he got into the box but his shot lacked the power to beat the keeper at the near post (4 mins).

However, Altrincham were soon to take an early lead. Conn-Clarke fed Colclough on the left and the Fleetwood loanee advanced into the box to divert Colclough's low cross smartly into the net at the near post, the ball squirming through goalkeeper Lovett's legs (6 mins).

It soon became apparent that a Torquay side, yet to win at home in the league, was there for the taking. Alty should have doubled their lead on nine minutes, when Hulme again impressed. His cross to an unmarked Dinanga should have ben converted but the striker could only direct his header against the top of the cross bar.

Torquay belatedly came to life as loanee Smith set up fellow loanee Goodwin but his low shot was comfortably saved by Byrne (18 mins).

After Hulme had again impressed with more hard work, a fine twenty-yard drive by Colclough earned a corner (21 mins). Soon afterwards, an Elliott Osborne shot was comfortably saved before Marshall tripped Hulme as he cut into the box from the left.

A penalty was awarded but Dinanga hit it poorly and the keeper saved it comfortably to his left (23 mins).

Altrincham continued to dominate and they next won a corner, through Conn-Clarke. Osborne took the corner, short to Conn-Clarke, and the ball then came out to Barrows whose shot was saved but not held by Lovett. Dinanga was on hand to poke it home from close range to make it 2-0 (29 mins).

Torquay responded as Smith won a corner off Cooper which came out to Donnellan whose shot flew narrowly wide .

Altrincham then won two corners through Conn-Clarke and Colclough (35 mins).

After this, handball gave Colclough a freekick, from the edge of the D, which was saved but fumbled by Lovett. However, Dinanga could only put the loose ball comfortably over the bar from six yards (36 mins).

Two more Alty corners and a freekick came and went as Altrincham controlled the game but could not translate their dominance into another goal. The wasteful Dinanga was guilty of another miss when a long ball saw him get the better of a defender only to slice the ball well off target (43 mins).

There were some boos for the home side as they left the field at half-time but, though Altrincham had been comfortably the better team, there was the worry that their profligacy in front of goal might cost them in the second half.

And so it was to prove.


It took the Gulls less than three minutes to make Altrincham supporters nervy. The home side won a corner through Jarvis, after Byrne had been unable to gather the ball on the byline. Hall got a free header from the corner and it was now 1-2 (48 mins).

Altrincham did soon win a corner (51 mins) but the tide had changed and Torquay now got on top, winning two corners, the first from a Moxey long throw (55 mins). A measure of Altrincham's nervousness was that Byrne got himself booked for timewasting even before the hour-mark had been reached (59 mins). Torquay's improvement was accompanied by a robust approach which translated into four fouls in as many minutes by the Gulls before the referee finally produced a yellow, shown to Hall (64 mins).

Alty now won a corner, which came to nothing, followed by another freekick for a foul on Colclough (68 mins). But Torquay finally found an equaliser in the 71st minute when Smith made an impressive diagonal run from the right and, though he was finally halted, the ball found its way from the left to Hall who scored from a central position, from close range, making it 2-2.

The hosts were now looking capable of winning the game as a Goodwin effort went narrowly wide (73 mins).

Alty responded to the equaliser by bringing on Kaja, who had been preparing his entrance before it was scored (75 mins). The Albanian wide man soon made an impression, winning a corner on the right. Following this, a Colclough shot from the right was diverted across, rather than into, the goal by James Jones at the back post.

Torquay now brought on Lapslie for Hall, which seemed an odd move given the Gulls' captain's two goals in the match so far. He was clearly unhappy at being hauled off but, from the substitute's first touch, Lapslie made it 3-2 to Torquay. The goal came after Byrne had pushed away a cross-shot and the ball was played back in, low, from the left for Lapslie to net smartly from close range (81 mins).

Just five minutes later it was 3-3 when Kaja took advantage of a Torquay defender slipping over and, from the right, he laid the ball inside to Hulme. Hulme calmly controlled the ball and, as Okoli stood off him, he steered a drive into the far side of the net from 15 yards or so (86 mins).

Two minutes later Marshall took exception to a Hulme challenge and, as the Alty man attempted to get up off the ground, Marshall ridiculously clambered over him to earn a deserved red card (88 mins).

Gary Johnson shored up his now depleted defence by bringing on Oli for McGavin (89 mins). But the new man failed to mark Jake Cooper who met a Conn-Clarke freekick with a downaward header to make it 3-4 and seemingly win the match (90 mins).

Six added minutes were decreed, however. Following a freekick, Torquay gained a corner which came to naught (90+3 mins). Then Smith deliberately trod on the prostrate Hulme yet somehow escaped a card of any kind. Alty now brought on Jackson for Conn-Clarke (90+4 mins) as Alty sought to ride out the dying minutes of added time.

With time running out for Torquay, Alty scrambled the ball clear for a throw. Moxey took a long throw which came back to the veteran defender and then found its way to Crowe who, from 18 yards, curled a fine shot past Byrne to make it 4-4 (90+7 mins).

It felt like a defeat for Altrincham supporters after their side had dominated the first half but they had dropped their performance level badly after the break. They had wasted multiple first-half chances, including a penalty, and then failed to hold their late lead against ten men. In the end a draw was probably a fair outcome but it should have been a comfortable win for Altrincham based on the first-half pattern of the game.