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Vanarama National League match
played on Sunday, 1 January 2023 at 3.15pm


Altrincham took a twelfth minute lead when Halifax keeper Johnson allowed a poor shot from Osborne to go through him. Halifax improved in the second half and levelled after 69 minutes when Alli beat Byrne with a shot from an acute angle leftof goal. However, a superb freekick by Chris Conn-Clarke regained the lead in the 84th minute.

But the Shaymen levelled again when a corner from the left was headed home by substitute Osawe in the 86th minute. Alty seemed to have won it in the third added minute when Colclough's goalbound shot was touched into the net by the offside Dinanga and the linesman's flag deprived Alty of the goal.


REFEREE: Mr Matt Corlett

ATTENDANCE: 2,287 (349 in away section)


Alty made one change as Osborne replaced Jackson. FC Halifax Town brought in Jack Senior, Jesse Debrah, Jamie Cooke and Millenic Alli.


FC HALIFAX TOWN (All blue) 1. Sam Johnson, 2. Tylor Golden, 3. Jack Senior, 16. Jordan Keane (c), 22. Festus Arthur, 5. Jesse Debrah, 20. Harvey Gilmour, 19. Jamie Cooke, 21. Millenic Alli, 10. Matty Warburton, 9. Manny Dieseruvwe. Subs: 25. Jordan Slew, 35. Osyamen Osawe, 14. Jack Hunter, 18. Angelo Capello, 17. Rob Harker

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks): 1. Oliver Byrne, 5. Toby Mullarkey (c), 26. James Jones, 6. Lewis Baines, 2. Eddy Jones, 4. Isaac Marriott, 10. Elliot Osborne, 8. Josh Lundstram, 11. Ryan Colclough, 16. Chris Conn-Clarke, 35. Connor Jennings. Subs: 9. Jordan Hulme, 18. Ben Pringle, 30. Marcus Dinanga, 31. Dan Malone, 17. Brad Jackson,


This was the return fixture after Alty had beaten the Shaymen 2-1 on Boxing Day. The match was in doubt after pre-match rain had made the notorious pitch at The Shay very soft in places and it was after 2.30pm before the referee gave the go-ahead for supporters to be admitted and for the game to go ahead, albeit kicking off at 3.15pm.


The hosts kicked off and had the better of the opening stages which were generally scrappy. Neither side produced a serious effort on goal at this stage, with Jennings's rapid closing down of goalkeeper Johnson being a rare moment of excitement as he prompted a smart evasive move from Halifax's number one (8 mins).

But Alty began to settle as Conn-Clarke fed Osborne and a corner resulted, immediately followed by a second flag-kick which Eddy Jones sent into the home keeper's arms (10 mins).

However, there was soon danger at the other end as Conn-Clarke lost possession near half-way allowing Cooke to get into the Alty box. But a smart tackle from James Jones prevented the Halifax man getting in a shot (11 mins).

Play switched to the other end where Eddy Jones fed Colclough who passed the ball to Osborne. From 20 yards or more the midfielder hit a less than poweful shot at goal which Johnson should have saved comfortably. But the ball went through the keeper's hands and legs and continued over the line to put Altrincham ahead. Whether Johnson had just made an error or the state of pitch had deceived him, was unclear.

Next, a fine Conn-Clarke run led to a Colclough shot which Johnson stopped rather uncovincingly before grabbing the ball at the second attempt (14 mins). Alty's good spell continued as Colclough played Conn-Clarke into the box where his shot looped up into Johnson's arms (18 mins).

Play then switched into the Alty half as the Shaymen won a corner (20 mins). And the hosts soon won another corner off Mullarkey but only after a foul on Conn-Clarke by Arthur had earned the Halifax man a booking (22 mins).

Overall the game was fairly even and the next corner went to the visitors when Johnson needlessly touched a shot that was heading comfortably wide (30 mins).

Following this, a foul on Colclough earned Cooke a booking (32 mins).

As half-time approached, a twenty-yarder from Alli went narrowly wide though it was covered by Byrne (40 mins). At the other end Marriott hit a poor shot well wide before the ever reliable Baines halted another Halifax probe (44 mins).

Two added minutes included a Colclough freekick from which a Conn-Clarke cross was just a bit too high for Jennings.


Soon after the re-start, a one-two between Colclough and Eddy Jones ended with Colcough making an uncharacteristic hash of a very presentable opening inside the box (47 mins). Sections of the home support were already making audible grumbles as the Shaymen struggled to produce an end product to their possession.

Nevertheless, the hosts did win a corner (57 mins) but, at the hour mark, Alty were looking quite comfortable with their lead.

Osborne then struck a shot well over the bar before Halifax enjoyed a spell of possession during which Gilmour forced a block from Byrne in the Alty goal (66 mins). However, the hosts got level soon afterwards as Gilmour fed Alli on the left and, from an acute angle, his shot beat Byrne (69 mins).

Immediately after the goal, a double change saw Slew and Osawe replace Cooke and Dieseruvwe (70 mins). Next, a Warburton shot curled wide before, at the other end, a Conn-Clarke cross went unconverted across the Halifax goalmouth (75 mins).

Jackson and Dinanga now came on for Osborne and Jennings (76 mins).

Almost immediately a fine run by Conn-Clarke gave Dinanga a clear chance but he hit his shot into the keeper's legs to the annoyance of his provider.

Moments later it was another Conn-Clarke run which led to a Colclough shot which was blocked. The ball ran free for Dinanga to convert but he was offside.

Alty's good spell continued as a Marriott shot was blocked (81 mins).

Alty were then awarded a fortunate freekick when Colclough seemed to slip rather than be fouled. From just over twenty yards Conn-Clarke hit a superb freekick which cleared the heads of the players in the wall comfortably before dipping under the bar of a motionless Johnson. So Alty led 1-2 (84 mins).

Halifax now brought on Harker for Alli (85 mins). Then, Mullarkey conceded a corner from which Slew was allowed a free header just beyond the near post to make it 2-2, leaving Byrne complaining about being impeded on his goal-line (86 mins).

Four added minutes were announced and in the third of these, Altrincham thought they had won the game. From James Jones the ball came to Colclough whose shot across the keeper from right of centre was heading into the net when Dinanga arrived and tapped it over the line.

The linesman belatedly flagged, rightly or wrongly, for offside and the goal was ruled out (90+3 mins). Had the ball not been touched by Dinanga the goal would presumably have stood.