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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 4 February 2023 at 3pm


Altrincham had the better of a goalless first half but the visitors improved after the interval and took a 61st minute lead through Palmer.

The goal came after Tozer had taken an uncharacteristically short throw-in and Lee's resulting cross skimmed off Lundstram's head, onward to Palmer, who took a touch before he netted with a low shot.

Alty rarely threatened until Harrogate loanee right-back, Welch-Hayes, scored with a fine, low shot from the edge of the box (81 mins).

But Wrexham responded with a second goal soon afterwards, following a corner. Byrne beat out a Dalby effort but it fell for O'Connell to rifle home from close range (86 mins).


REFEREE: Mr Paul Marsden

ATTENDANCE: 4,865 (1,650 in away section).


Where to start? Alty had just nine outfield employees available before the signing, on the eve of this match, of Regan Linney from FCUM of the NPL. In the preceding fortnight or so no fewer than eight loanees had also been signed and the maxmum allowed, five were named in the squad. Three started (Welch-Hayes, Cashman and Sinclair, with Gyasi and Oyedele on the bench). Linney was also named on the bench.

This mass influx of new players was to address the loss of the club's six leading scorers in recent weeks as Newby, Conn-Clarke, Jennings, Colclough, Mullarkey and Dinanga had either returned to their parent clubs or had left Alty for pastures new.

Wrexham made three changes; centre-backs Tunicliffe and Hayden had been injured last time out and Forde had dropped out of the eleven. In their places came new centre-back signing from Charlton Athletic, O'Connell, as well as Cleworth and Hall-Johnson.


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, 10. Elliot Osborne, 11. Danny Cashman, 9. Jordan Hulme (c), 35. Tyrese Sinclair. Subs: 18. Ben Pringle, 28. Maxi Oyedele, 29. Regan Linney, 31. Michael Gyasi, 33. Egli Kaja

WREXHAM (Sky blue) 21. Mark Howard, 2. Reece Hall-Johnson, 3. Callum McFadzean, 4. Ben Tozer, 8. Luke Young (c), 15. Eoghan O'Connell, 22. Tom O'Connor, 32. Max Cleworth, 38. Elliot Lee, 10. Paul Mullin, 9. Ollie Palmer. Subs 1. Rob Lainton, 11. Liam McAlinden, 18. Sam Dalby, 19. Jacob Mendy 30. James Jones


Wrexham arrived unbeaten in fifteen League matches and were preparing for an FA Cup replay at Sheffield United for their next fixture.

This was the second of four home games for aLTRINCHAM in a sequence of five league matches at the J. Davidson Stadium.


In front of a full-house, at a damp J. Davidson Stadium, Altrincham kicked off defending the Golf Road end and almost imediately had to contend with ONE OF Tozer's trademark Howitzer throw-in. Alty just about scrambled it clear before A crude challenge by O'CoNnell saw him receive a well-deserved yellow card (3 mins).

Although Wrexham started the better, in the early stages they could only muster a routine pot at goal from 20 yards by Hall-Johnson, which Byrne easily collected (8 mins). Almost immediately, at the other end, welch-Hayes got in an excellent cross which located Hulme, who had got himself some space. Unfortunately, his header cleared the bar (9 mins).

Wrexham responded with Palmer earning a corner off James Jones (12 mins) but it was to be Altrincham who came desperately close to taking the lead in the 17th minute.

Ollie Byrne's punt upfield was missed by Tozer, about 35 yards from goal. This allowed Hulme to get onto the ball and, as Howarth raced out, Hulme superbly flicked the ball over the Wrexham keeper from outside the box only to see his lob come back off the face of the crossbar.

Wrexham's next shot, from 18 yards, cleared the bar soon afterwards, but Altrincham were now holding their own and Marriott now won possession but his shot was blocked by Tozer (23 mins). He and Lundstram were to acquit themselves well in midfield

Next, Jordan HUlme got himself booked for dissent when Tozer got away with a hand ball (23 mins). The visitors were not reticent in their physical challenges but when O'Connell upended James Jones he escaped further punishment.

At this stage, Alty's debutants, Sinclair and Cashman, were settling in promisingly whilst the defence seemed solid. In contrast, Wrexham now looked a shadow of the team heralded as promotion certainties. O'Connor's very wide shot was the best they could muster as the half-hour passed (33 mins). But when a Hall-Johnson low cross was not held by Byrne at the near post it took a scramble to clear the ball (35 mins).

By now, steady rain was falling as Hulme laid the ball off for a Marriott shot which Howarh saved without too much difficulty (35 mins). Soon afterwards, Hall-Johnson sat down for treatment and he had to be taken off with a groin injury on his first league start of the season. His replacement as McAlinden (38 mins).

Alty's debutant Cashman then hit a speculative shot which Howarth did not gather and the ball bounced off his body but was cleared (39 mins). As the interval approached Young became the second Wrexham man to be booked as the visitors were not afraid to adopt a robust approach at times. Three added minutes saw Cashman's attenpt from outside the box go well wide to leave the game goalless at the interval.


Animated, no doubt, by a managerial chat at the break Wrexham upped their game at the start of the second period. Soon, James Jones, who had a good game, had to be alert to see off Mullin (47 mins). Alty did respond but when Cashman played a fine ball to Sinclair, but the Rochdale loanee dragged his shot disappointingly across the face of goal.

The visitors were now beginning to apply sustained pressure, as Mullin struck a powerful shot across goal from the right (53 mins). Two Wrexham corners followed but Alty got to the hour mark on level terms.

Moments later, however, they fell behind. Tozer, who had brought his personal towel to dry the ball, this time took a short throw to Lee whose cross from the left skimmed off the head of Lundstram deeper into the box where Palmer took a touch before rifling a shot into the net (61 mins).

Alty showed some fight after this setback as Hulme's shot won a corner. This was followed by a second corner after Howard's unconvincing flap at the ball. But Wrexham replied with a good move which ended with Lee firing over the bar (67 mins).

Alty now introduced new signing Linney for Hulme, and Kaja for Sinclair (68 mins). Wrexham reacted by bringing on Mendy for McFadzean (75 mins).

After this Altrincham enjoyed a good spell and conjured an equaliser as Marriott fed the ball to his right. From outside the box, Welch-Hayes hit a superb low shot which went through a defender's legs into the net to the keeper's right to make it 1-1 (81 mins).

But Altrincham were unable to hold their lead. Wrexham won a corner on the left. From this, Dalby hit the post andByrne managed to beat out his close-range follow-up at the near post only for O'Connell to smash the ball through the crowded goalmouth as Baines desperately tried to keep it out of the net on the line (86 mins).

Wrexham brought on Dalby for McAlinden (87 mins). Despite six added minutes Altrincham did not look like retrieving a point but they had made Wrexham work hard for the points which was especially creditable given the large number of personnel changes at the club in recent weeks.

After three successive league defeats, Alty have a week off National League action as they travel to Bracknell Town in the FA Trophy next Saturday.