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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 28 January 2023 at 3pm


A below-par performance from Altrincham, against a Boreham Wood side which arrived with just one league win in its last dozen outings, meant that the visitors departed with a deserved three points.

The continuing absence of centre-back Toby Mullarkey stoked pre-match rumours of his imminent departure from the club and, having lost Ryan Colclough to Chesterfield as well as having seen loanees Elliot Newby and Connor Jennings leave recently, the pre-match mood was flat. And it got worse as Alty failed to get going in the first half.

Both goals in this match stemmed from Boreham aerial balls. They fell behind in the 26th minute when a Bush long throw was sliced out by an Alty defender. The resulting corner was met by a clean and unchallenged header by Evans as goalkeeper Byrne failed to get anywhere near the ball. Byrne protested to the referee that he had been hampered but to no avail.

Three minutes later it could have been 0-2 from another corner as the ball was met by another header from Evans but it came back off the cross-bar.

Within three minutes of the second half it really was 0-2 and what a poor goal it was to concede! Bush's long throw from left was misheaded by Lundstram back to the corner-taker. Bush looped a cross towards the back post where Ilesanmi bundled it into the net.

Belatedly, around the hour mark Altrincham came to life and applied some sustained pressure with Conn-Clarke, Kaja and new loanee Welch-Hayes impressing.

But Boreham Wood defended well and then slowed the game down with some tactical stoppages. The Wood got forward thelmselves a few times in the closing stages as Alty sank to a second defeat in succession after eight games unbeaten in the National League.

The loss of key players and loanees has hit Altrincham hard and they and they neeed to get back on the front foot sooner rather than later if it is not to be a disappointing final half of the campaign.


REFEREE: Mr Garreth Rhodes



With the recent loss of three forwards (Newby, Colclough and Jennings) and the arrival of three loanees (Gyasi, Oyedele and Welch-Hayes), Altrincham went into the game in a state of transition.

Toby Mullarkey had missed the midwek game through injury, with rumours of interest from Grimsby Town in the air,and he was again absent today.

Alty's only change was a debut for Michael Gyasi in place of Marcus Dinanga, who dropped to the bench.

Boreham's Chris Bush and Erico Sousa returned to their starting eleven.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Oliver Byrne, 34. Miles Welch-Hayes, 26. James Jones, 6. Lewis Baines, 2. Eddy Jones, 4. Isaac Marriott, 8. Josh Lundstram, 16. Chris Conn-Clarke, 31. Michael Gyasi, 9. Jordan Hulme (c), 33. Egli Kaja. Subs: 21. Matt Gould, 18. Ben Pringle, 10. Elliot Osborne, 28. Maxi Oyedele, 30. Marcus Dinanga.

BOREHAM WOOD (All pale blue) 1. Nathan Ashmore; 26. David Agbontohoma, 5. Will Evans, 3. Femi Ilesanmi, 17. Jack Payne, 8. George Broadbent, 15. Dennon Lewis, 25, Chris Bush, 7. Josh Rees, 19. Erico Sousa, 9. Lee Ndlovu. Subs: 4. Mark Ricketts, 10. Tyrone Marsh, 11. Danny Newton, 12. Jamal Fyfield, 18. George Williams, 20. Zac Brunt.


Boreham Wood had exited the FA Cup after extra time at Accrington in midweek and arrived at the JDS with just one league win from their previous twelve fixtures.

Although Altrincham had lost narrowly at Chesterfield last time out, they had been unbeaten in their previous eight league games.


Boreham Wood kicked off towards the Golf Road end, on a soft surface at the J. Davidson Stadium. Despite their 120 minutes in midweek and the disappointment of a Cup exit, the visitors looked the more lively side from the off.

They won the game's first corner (7 mins) and the pace of Sousa up the right wing was a notable feature of the opening stages. At the back Evans was keeping a tight grip, literally at times, on Alty captain Jordan Hulme.

Conn-Clarke had a quiet start to the game but he did launch an ambitious shot at goal from forty yards which was well off-target (12 mins). The second corner of the afternoon also went to the visitors but Bush sidefooted this over the bar (14 mins).

Gyasi, operating on the left, was felled by Agbontohoma who became the first player to be cautioned (15 mins). The Wood then put together a good passing move which ended with Ndlovu's stooping header which went wide (16 mins). The resulting goalkick was kicked, low into touch by Byrne.

Boreham Wood continued on top as Rees hooked a shot at goal which Byrne got down low to save (18 mins).

ALty were misfiring and when Bush hurled in a long throw the ball was sliced out of play for an avoidable corner on the visitors' left. With Byrne not getting off the ground, Evans powered a free header into the net to give Boreham Wood a deserved lead (26 mins).

Not long afterwards, a Boreham freekick, from 35 yards out, was nodded forward before being tipped over the bar impressively by Byrne, for a corner. From the corner another free header, from a bit further out in the box, came back off Byrne's crossbar (29 mins).

In what was widely expected to be his last loan appearance for Altrincham, Conn-Clarke was having an uncharacteristically quiet afternoon but he was not alone in being under par in the first half.

Next, it was Baines's turn to err as he conceded a needless corner.

As the game passed the half-hour mark, the flat performance by the home was giving the local support little to cheer about before Kaja got to the byline and tussled with Bush to earn his side's first corner after five corners had earlier been won by their opponents (36 mins). In trying to halt Kaja, Bush ended up colliding with the perimeter hoardings but soon recovered.

Baines redeemed himself with an important challenge on Sousa before Gyasi emabarked on a threatening run. When the winger went down on the edge of the box the referee judged it a fair challenge on him (40 mins).

However, Kaja went on to win a second corner as the game went into one added minute at the end of the half. But Conn-Clarke floated the corner straight into the arms of Nathan Ashmore.


Alty uncharacteristically emerged before their opponents for the second half. The half started poorly for them, however, as Byrne, under no pressure, kicked wildly into touch.

Boreham now won an early throw from the left, taken by Bush. Lundstram towards the near post, misheaded the ball back to Bush who moved inside before floating a cross towards the back post. With Byrne on his line the ball was bundled by Ilesanmi into the net past Eddy Jones on the goal-line (48 mins). It was a poor goal to concede.

Over the next few minutes Altrincham heads dropped as did many in the home crowd.

However, a few minutes later Conn-Clarke sparked an uplift in the home performance with an excellent run up the left touchline. The ball was half-cleared to Marriott whose shot was unconvincgly dealt with by Ashmore, at the cost of a home corner (53 mins).

At the other end, Byrne's unhappy afternoon with his distribution continued as he telegraphed his kick and the ball was intercepted (56 mins).

As the hour mark passed, Gyasi's run earned a freekick. But, before it could be taken, Hulme went down for facial treatment and gave way to Dinanga up front (61 mins).

Following the freekick, the ball came out to Conn-Clarke whose cross was headed over the bar by Welch-Hayes. Alty now laid siege to the visitors' goal as Kaja ran at the defence before being halted. Welch-Hayes was also getting forward imressively on the right.

Evans got himself booked as he used foul means to halt Gyasi (65 mins). Gyasi soon went down again, this time in the box, but the referee saw nothing amiss. Alty's pressure continued as Conn-Clarke launched a superb curling shot from 25 yards towards the top corner.

But Ashworth dived superbly to his left to tip the ball round the post for a corner (68 mins).

Mr Rhodes was also unresponsive when Gyasi was clearly being manhandled soon afterwards (69 mins).

With everyone back in defence for the visitors, pressure on Boreham Wood was relieved when Ndlovu sat down and the referee stopped play for his treatment, after which the striker hobbled off. At this point Pringle replaced Gyasi, Newton replaced Ndlovu and Marsh came on for Lewis (73 mins).

Lundstram, who was now the captain after Hulme's departure, was booked for hauling back Marsh (76 mins). These stoppages interrupted Altrincham's flow but not before Dinanga had hooked an effort wide but was given offside anyway (78 mns).

Alty continued to get forward and a well-struck 25 yarder from Pringle forced Ashmore to palm the ball away (85 mins)..

Bush then cheekily tried to lob Byrne from 30 yards after Byrne had come upfield to take a freekick (86 mins). Next, Eddy Jones got into the box only to be upended but once more the referee saw nothing wrong (88 mins).

Baines could not argue when he picked up a yellow card for a foul near half way (89 mins).

Altrincham had enjoyed twenty-odd minutes of attacking pressure without breaking through one of the tightest defences in the league but any hope of a comeback had effectively gone as the game went into its closing stages.

In the five added minutes Byrne again kicked into touch before Boreham got themselves forward. Marsh's shot/cross from the right byline by Broadbent almost embarrassed Byrne as he pushed the ball onto his left upright and was relieved to see that a follow=up shot by Newton from Boreham Wood could only earn a corner when a goal had seemed likely (90+2 mins).

Payne then got booked for reasons that were unclear (90+5 mins) and the final whistle sounded soon afterwards.

The enforced break up of an Altrincham team which had gone so long unbeaten leaves Phil Parkinson with a rebuilding job to ensure that what had become a very promising season does not degenerate into a significant drop down the table.