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Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 14 February 2023 at 7.45pm


This visit of Bromley marked the third successive home league match for Altrincham and, for the third time in a row, a league match at the J. Davidson Stadium ended in defeat. In fact, it is now four league defeats in a row for the Robins, home and away and, with a predominance of away matches to come, it threatens to be a difficult run-in to the end of the season.

Bromley won the match with two goals inside five minutes, midway through the first half and both involved the visitors winning uncontested headers. The first arrived when referee Barlow awarded a debatable freekick against Tyrese Sinclair. Arthur's freekick from about 35 yards out was met by a free downward header from the giant defender Webster, which beat keeper Byrne (20 mins).

The second goal followed a corner on the right which Sowunmi nodded forward and the ball was ultimately swept into the net beyond the back post by Michael Cheek (24 mins).

The second half saw Altrincham get a quick goal back as Lundstram's low cross from the left was guided into the net by the Rochdale loanee, Sinclair's stooping header (50 mins). Altrincham went on to dominate proceedings, especially after the introduction of Ben Pringle from the bench, but they created relatively few openings and a well organised Bromley defence held out to take all three points.


REFEREE: Mr Michael Barlow

ATTENDANCE: 1,446 (59 away supporters)


Curiously, both sides made changes between issuing their team sheets and kick off. New striker Regan Linney was late arriving at the ground, reportedly due to heavy road traffic en route, so he was unable to make his full debut after his arrival from FC United of Manchester.

However, he was named on the bench as Elliot Osborne was promoted to the starting eleven. Likewise, after the warm-up, Bromley, who were on a poor run, brought James Vennings into the starting eleven, for a presumably injured Bingham, with substitute goalkeeper Long coming onto the bench. .


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

BROMLEY (All green) 13. Reece Charles-Cook, 21. James Vennings, 17. Byron Webster (c), 6. Omar Sowunmi, 35. Kellen Fisher, 23. Besart Topalloj, 20. Jude Arthurs, 18. Corey Whitely, 9. Michael Cheek, 11. Louis Dennis, 12. Charley Kendall. Subs: 2. Callum Reynolds, 10. Adam Marriott, 14. Mitchel Bergkamp, 19. Harry Forster, 1. Sam Long.


This match had been postponed on 31 January owing to a waterlogged pitch. Bromley's most recent fixtures had been four successive draws.

This was the third successive home league match for Altrincham and it followed three successive defeats in the Vanarama National League.

Before kick-off the players and spectators, who included more than two dozen relative and friends of the late John King, applauded for a minute in memory of the former Altrincham player and manager who had been such a major force in the club's heyday in the 1980s before managing the club on three separate occasions.

Also honoured was Jenny Heslop, the widow of George the former successful manager of the Altrincham FC youth team. Jenny had devoted many years to the hospitality side of the club, and for many years ran the club's bar when it was sited under the main stand.

Before the minute's applause, co-chairman paid eloquent tribute to John King over the stadium tannoy.


Bromley kicked off towards the Golf Road End and the sides shared early unsuccessful efforts at creating openings in their opponents' defences. When the Bromley captain unleashed an early long throw, thoughts immediately regerssed to the recent match at Moss Lane when Wrexham's Ben Tozer had hurled missiles at the Altrincham defenders.

Bromley's duo of Webster and Sowunmi must be the tallest pairing of any central defenders in the National League.

For the hosts, Osborne did create an early opening for Hulme but his shot was saved by Reece Charles-Cook and went for the game's first corner (6 mins). It was to be Altrincham's best chance of the first half. As for Bromley, they put together a decent move as Whitely and Dennis combined to feed Cheek but his header fell comfortably into the arms of Byrne in the home goal (8 mins).

A foul on Sinclair yielded a freekick, taken by Cashman. This allowed Hulme another shot of goal from his left-sided position, but the keeper saved it without too much of a problem (9 mins).

Play was now fairly even but with little danger of a goal at either end. In fact, Cashman's speculative long range shot from left of centre was as good as it got and that was not saying much as his effort flew yards wide (19 mins). And when he repeated the act moments later his effort was equally disappointing.

As Dennis made his way forward in the Alty half he was shoulder-charged by Sinclair with the referee judging it harshly to have been a foul. From the freekick, taken about 35 yards out left of centre by Arthurs, the ball was played towards the box where Webster rose unchallenged and headed the ball fairly gently towards goal.

However, the ball's trajectory carried it into the far corner of the net past a motionless Byrne to give the visitors the lead (20 mins).

Not long afterwards Alty got themselves into a mess at the back when Byrne played the ballout to an opponent and conceded a cheap corner on the Bromley right. From this, Sowunmi rose, again without much of a challenge from Altrincham.

The ball headed towards goal but was chested off the line by a defender near Byrne's left upright and, from an acute angle, Michael Cheek rifled the ball home; it was far from the first goal scored by the experienced striker against Altrincham. So Altrincham had conceded twice in four minutes (24 mins).

The next ten minutes passed without much incident as Bromley continued to close down Alty smartly and neither keeper was seriously employed. But then, an incident occurred in the Bromley box as half-time was coming into sight. Hulme appeared to bring down a Bromley man as the Alty captain picked himself up off the ground.

The Bromley defender stayed down and a melee developed as his team-mates took exception to Hulme's actions. The referee then edged backwards from the penalty area to the touchline to consult his linesman.

The upshot was a yellow card for Hulme, his fifth of the season in the league but, fortunatley, the next trigger point is ten cautions before a suspension kicks in (40 mins). The Bromley manager was irate, presumably disappointed that it was not a red card.

Sinclair, who had not received much support from the referee earlier on the game, now slid in on an opponent and found himself booked (44 mins). The 0-2 scoreline and the lack of prospect of a come back led at this stage to the home crowd being silenced.

Three added minutes were proclaimed during which Alty won two corners, the first from a Cashman freekick and the second through Lundstram's efforts (45+4 mins). The keeper punched away the second corner towards Sinclair but his shot was blocked, as half-time arrived leaving Altrincham with a lot to do to avoid a fourth successive league defeat.


Altrincham kicked off towards the home end and, out of very little, they grabbed an early goal back. Lundstram had been set running up the left wing and he put in a routine low cross. However, Sinclair managed to stoop and direct a deft header into the net, near the front post, to make it 1-2 (50 mins). It was the first time that Altrincham had ever socred at Moss Lane against Bromley, at the fourth attemnpt, and after 320 minutes of endeavour!

However, Altrincham were not able to build on that goal as the visitors continued to stifle their attacks and generally slow the game down before the hour mark.

Sinclair had left the field limping at the interval and he now went down again prompting a substitution which, in fact, saw two changes of personnel. Sinclair gave way to the perennial Altrincham substitute, Ben Pringle, whilst Jordan Hulme was replaced by Regan Linney, making his first appearance for Alty at the J Davidson Stadium (61 mins).

from this point Altrincham began to get the upper hand as Pringle's class drove his team-mates forward and Linney showed glimpses of a goal threat. When Pringle fed Linney he got in a decent shot but Charles-Cook saved fairly comfortably (64 mins).

Next, Alty pressure yielded a corner, earned by Welch-Hayes on the right (68 mins), but Bromley held firm and made a change themselves with Reynolds replacing the injured captain Webster (69 mins). Before Bromley made a second switch of personnel, Pringle won his side another corner.

The second Bromley change involved Forster replacing Kendall (71 mins).

Bromley made a rare excursion to the other end, winning a corner through Arthurs (72 mins). Altrincham's final change saw the disappointing Coventry City loanee Cashman being replaced by Kaja (75 mins)>

An Osborne freekick did earn Alty another corner but again it came to nothing, with a Welch-Hayes header into the keeper's arms the eventual outcome.

As Altrincham dominated, two more corners came but neither created any real risk to the Bromley goal (86 mins).

However, a silly foul by Kaja helped Bromley to relieve the pressure (88 mins).

Just after the startling announcement of Cashman as Man of the Match, despite having been subbed half an hour earlier, four added minutes were dispensed by Mr Barlow. WIth Altrincham's energy looking to have been largely sapped.

So, Bromley comfortably got through to the final whistle. Shortly before the end, they brought on Denis Bergkanp's son, Mitchel for the briefest of cameos (90+3 mins).

So, this became a fourth successive league defeat for Altrincham who, after another home game on Saturday against high-flying Woking, face six of their next seven league games away from home.

The recent loss of so many attacking players (Colclough, Conn-Clarke, Jennings, Newby) as well as the loss of the excellent defensive qualities of vice-captain Toby Mullarkey, who moved on to Rochdale, not to mention the influx of eight loanees and one new signing in the past few weeks, all means that the Robins are certainly "in transition" to use a hackneyed euphemism.

The remaining third of the league season threatens to be testing.