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BARNET (1) 2

Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 8 November 2022 at 7.45pm


Another disappointing performance from Altrincham left them with no points and no goals from their last three league matches and, (including added time) more than five hours have now passed since they last scored a goal in the National League. And tonight they faced the club which, at kick-off, had the worst defence in the league in terms of goals conceded.

Alty fell behind when Barrows seemed to slip as Beard got past him on the left byline and the Barnet man's low cross was converted at the back post by DeHavilland (17 minutes). Altrincham had plenty of the ball but their forward movements faltered amidst misplaced passes and poor control, combined with organised defence from the visitors.

Although Colclough and Conn-Clarke were willing to shoot at every opportunity, albeit mostly from long range, their efforts were either blocked or well off-target.

Barnet were having the better of a spell in the second half before a Hall freekick was firmly headed home at the back post by Collinge to make it 0-2 (78 mins). Despite six added minutes at the end of the game Altrincham struggled to test goalkeeper Walker as the atmosphere at Moss Lane became rather flat.


REFEREE: Mr Aaron Jackson

ATTENDANCE: 1,147 (36 in away section)


Manager Parkinson made four changes to the starting eleven as four players either made their debuts or returned to the side after lengthy injury absences. In came the duo of Isaac Marriott and defender Lewis Baines, both back from injury, whilst new loan signings Elliot Newby and Connor Jennings also started. Out of the starting eleven went Kaja, Hulme, Osborne and Cooper. There was no place in the squad for leading scorer Dinanga or loanee Malone.

For Barnet, Armstrong replaced Shields in the starting eleven.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Oliver Byrne, 22. Ross Barrows, 26. James Jones, 6. Lewis Baines, 2. Eddy Jones, 8. Josh Lundstram, 4. Isaac Marriott, 28. Elliot Newby, 11. Ryan Colclough (c), 16. Chris Conn-Clarke, 35.Connor Jennings. Subs: 9. Jordan Hulme, 10. Elliot Osborne, 23. Jake Cooper, 18. Ben Pringle, 33. Egli Kaja.

BARNET (Purple shirts and socks, white shorts) 1. Laurie Walker, 4. Danny Collinge, 5. Marvin Armstrong, 6. Jerome Okimo, 8. Dale Gorman, 9. Nicke Kabamba, 11. Idris Kanu, 14. Harry Pritchard, 21. Ben Wynter (c), 23. Sam Beard, 33. Ryan De Havilland. Subs: 31. Aymen Azaze, 7. Rob Hall, 16. Kian Flanagan, 32. Sean Shields, 28. Sam Woods


This was the second in three successive home games for Altrincham and, as on the previous Tuesday, the visitors hailed from north-west London.

Revisiting and updating the late Mike Garnett's data, covering all competitions, we were reminded that Altrincham's record against Barnet was extremely strongly weighted towards the home team.

In fact, before the 2014/15 clashes, Barnet had only won once in 13 visits to Moss Lane. In contrast, Alty had only won twice in 14 visits to Barnet's North West London home before 2020.

However, whilst home advantage has favoured Alty historically at Moss Lane, the last six league meetings (home and away) between the clubs had included just one Alty win, three defeats and two draws to leave the following statistics...

Last season the two National League fixtures between these clubs each ended in a 1-1 draw. Barnet went into this game with 38 goals already conceded, the worst defensive record in the National League.


After a damp day, the sprinklers were nevertheless in action before Altrincham kicked off towards the away end. And it was a disappointing start for the hosts as immediately from the kick-off the ball was played back to James Jones whose attempted clearance was charged down by an alert Barnet player. However, Altrincham recovered their equilibrioum to earn the match's first corner from a Conn-Clarke cross (3 mins).

But, as has been a common occurrence this season, the corner was poorly taken, this time by Colclough, though he has not been the only culprit.

Although Altrincham were soon seeing more of the ball than the visitors, unforced errors were to become a fature of their attempted build-up play. Nevertheless, they won another corner, after which Lundstram got in a fine cross which James Jones headed only narrowly over the bar at the back post (13 mins).

When a Barnet ball was played towards their left-wing corner flag, a retreating Barrows seemed favourite to deal with it. However, Beard displayed good pace to get to the ball first before the Alty right-back seemed to stumble. This allowed Beard to get free along the byline. His low cross across the face of goal was met by an unmarked De Havilland at the back post, who scored comfortably to give the Bees a seventeenth-minute lead.

The visitors seemed to signal a surprisngly early lack of ambition as a seventy-yard back pass to the keeper soon followed, accompanied by a repeated tardiness at throw-ins and dead balls. Nevertheless the visitors won the next corner (19 mins).

Altrincham had arguably their best chance of the match after 21 minutes when a fine ball from Colclough set Newby running at goal inside the box, right of goal. He advanced to within eight or nine yards of goal by which time keeper Walker had closed down the angle to block the returning loanee's effort.

The unforced passing errors continued for Alty but they did gain another corner which, this time, was badly overhit by Colclough (24 mins). The home crowd was becoming tense as their side laboured to equalise, which they threatened to do after 27 minutes when some intricate passing got them into the box but, with no one prepared to pull the trigger, over elaboration culminated in Newby being closed down.

Newby was looking lively however, and he won another corner for his side but, from this, the stockport loanee over-ran the ball (29 mins). With the home crowd uncharacteristically subdued one of numerous long throws by Collinge put Alty under pressure.

Next, however, an Alty foul gave the visitors a freekick from 35 yards out. Exhorted by his voluble manager to shoot, Gorman hit the ball well, with it sailing past the Alty wall. Byrne stopped it but was unable to hold the ball which was scrambled away for a Barnet throw, which was to be another long one from Collinge (32 mins).

Alty's response was a speculative long-shot from Colclough which was hit well over the bar from the left (35 mins).

Marriott then initiated a move from which Colclough fed Eddy Jones for a cross across the face of goal which went unfinished (36 mins). Barnet were disappointingly slowing the game down at a this early stage before Collinge was booked for a foul (40 mins).

As half-time approached, Byrne hoofed a back pass out of the ground as Altrincham continued to produce a stuttering performance (44 mins). After a foul on Conn-Clarke, Beard was booked for the visitors but, despite their timewasting, Mr Jackson decreed a single minute of added time, which made no difference to the score.


Having largely kept his counsel on the touchline in the first half, Phil Parkinson was noticeably much more vocal at the start of the second half. Inside the first minute a promising home move ended with a 25 yarder from Conn-Clarke, from the right, which deflected over goalkeeper Walker and landed on the roof of the Golf Road net (46 mins). The resulting coner by Colclough went straight to Walker's hands.

This promising start to the half continued when a a ball into the box from Conn-Clarke was nodded over the bar by Jennings (49 mins). Soon afterwards Jennings hit an effort from 30 yards which Walker saved.

Barnet responded with an unproductive corner before a Conn-Clarke mis-pass halted an Alty move, and this was followed by another wild shot from Colclough miles over the bar (52 mins). But at least he and Conn-Clarke were prepared to have a go, as Barnet ensured that closer range chances were minimised.

Alty were again restricted to a shot from distance as a Barrows effort from outside the box but the shot was comfortably saved (56 mins). Colclough then won a corner, as Alty were putting in some effort but failing to unlock the previously porous Barnet defence.

Further forward, Kanu was tripped just outside the box and Gorman's freekick led to Colinge forcing a block from Byrne and a Bees' corner soon followed (59 mins).

Next, Hall replaced Armstrong, a reversal of a change to the game's starting line-up from their last league game (62 mins). However, it was Alty who soon won the game's next corner (63 mins). This was followed by two more corners in succession, the first won by a Newby shot which had been blocked by Walker.

A recurrent theme in recent Altrincham matches has been the delivery of low balls across the opposition box by Colclough, which have got unconverted, and there was now another instance of that phenomenon (66 mins).

Altrincham made their first change as Kaja came on for a dispirited looking Conn-Clarke (70 mins). The Albanian winger was immediately caught offside before Barnet won three successive corners (72 mins). Eddy Jones responded by winning a home cormer which Baines headed disappointingly wide at the back post (74 mins). Moments later Barrows sliced a cross-ball in his own box but, fortunately, it ran to the hands of Byrne.

Barnet now enjoyed a good spell during which Wynter wasted time with an inordinate delay taking a throw for which he was booked before being allowed to proceed (76 mins).

Alty now brought on Osborne for Marriott, who had shown some good touches and, physically, had done well to last 77 minutes after his lengthy injury lay-off since the summer (77 mins).

No sooner had this midfield change been made than Alty conceded a corner on the Barnet right. Hall, who had done well since coming on, delivered an excellent corner which was met by a bullet header at the back post by the incoming and unmarked Collinge. So it was 0-2 after two back-post goals had been conceded (78 mins).

A deflated Alty's response was a promising Colclough run which sadly ended in a mis-hit shot well over the bar. Newby kept going, however, and earned a corner which, again, was poor in its outcome. After it Colclough cut inside and hit yet another long-range shot which proved to be a comfortable save for the keeper (87 mins).

Eddy Jones now made what looked a good tackle on the halfway line but Mr Jackson instantly reached for a yellow card to the derision of the home supporters (88 mins).

In the last minute of normal time Woods replaced De Havilland before a surpringly long six minutes were announced, though Barnet boss Dean Brennan had little foundation for his objections given that his side had sought to wind down the game even before the interval. But, just as in the seven added minutes of the previous defeatby Wealdstone, Altrincham could not get a goal in that extension to the game.

Barnet brought on Flanagan for Kanu (90+6 mins) in a change aimed merely at breaking up a game in which Dean Brennan's side had an unassailable two-goal lead. Altrincham were left with a goal in five hours and with three successive defeats in advance of a televised visit from York City at the weekend.