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BARNET (2) 2

Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 21 February 2023 at 7. 45pm


Having not beaten a side all season who had faced them whilst occupying a top-ten position, before last Saturday's 3-1 win over third-placed Woking, Alty repeated the act with another victory by a two-goal margin at fifth-placed Barnet.

But the evening did not start well as, after a fairly uneventful opening, Barnet took a fourteenth minute lead when Altrincham were again undone by an aerial ball. It came from Okimo's cross from the left which Harry Smith headed home comfortably.

Earlier the Bees had had a goal disallowed for offside but when Altrincham levelled, after twenty-two minutes, the hosts had grounds for complaint that offside was not decreed at the other end.

A long ball upfield found Hulme in acres of space and seemingly offside. As he advanced the keeper came out and clipped him, with Hulme losing his footing. But the Alty captain got up and steered the ball into the empty net as a retreating defender closed down on him.

Mr Dale consulted his linesman but the goal stood.

However, Barnet soon restored their lead when a corner from the right was nodded on by Pritchard. Alty failed to clear De Havilland's corner at the near post and Kabamba bundled it into the net (26 mins). So it was 2-1 at the break.

But Alty stunned the Bees with three second-half goals. First Oyedele levelled, shortly after a Linney shot had been headed off the line (54 mins). A defensive mix up then saw Hulme steal the ball and feed Linney who drove home a shot from right of goal (68 mins).

And, from a Linney pass from the right, substitute Sinclair made it 2-4 with a well-taken goal in the 77th minute.

Alty withstood plenty of late Barnet probing but emerged with a fine three points.


REFEREE: Mr Alan Dale

ATTENDANCE: 1,175 (83 away fans)


Altrincham started with Manchester United loanee Maxi Oyedele as fellow loanee Danny Cashman moved to the bench.

But another loanee, the recently returned Aaron Bennett from Preston NE, was not in the squad, nor was perennially used substitute Ben Pringle, as Armando Junior Quitirna came in on the bench for the first time in a league squad.

Five loanees in all were named in the Altrincham squad.

Barnet gave Senior a full debut.


BARNET (Orange shirts, black shorts and socks): 1. Laurie Walker, 3. Finley Potter, 4. Daniele Collinge, 6. Jerome Okimo, 8. Dale Gorman (c), 9. Nicke Kabamba, 11. Idris Kanu, 14. Harry Pritchard, 25. Courtney Senior, 30. Harry Smith, 33. Ryan De Havilland. Subs: 7. Robert Hall, 20. David Moyo, 23. Sam Beard, 28. Sam Woods, 5. Marvin Armstrong.

ALTRINCHAM (Dark blue shirts with yellow sash, dark blue shorts and yellow socks): 1. Oliver Byrne, 34. Miles Welch-Hayes, 26. James Jones, 6. Lewis Baines, 2. Eddy Jones, 4. Isaac Marriott, 8. Josh Lundstram, 9. Jordan Hulme (c), 10. Elliot Osborne, 28. Maxi Oyedele, 29. Regan Linney. Subs: 11. Danny Cashman, 16. Armando Junior Quitirna, 21. Matt Gould, 33. Egli Kaja, 35. Tyrese Sinclair


Altrincham had halted a run of three successive defeats by beating third-placed Woking last time out but faced an equally tough task here at fifth-placed Barnet. However, the Bees long run of good results had been ended recently by two successive defeats.


Isaac Marriott kicked off the game and the opening minutes were fairly uneventful until an offside De Havilland had the ball in the net for the hosts before his effort was rightly chalked off (8 mins).

Other than that, neither side looked particularly threatening with Pritchard's wildly skied shot from 25 yards as good as it got at this stage (11 mins).

But then the hosts took the lead when Alty's repeated failure to deal with aerial balls in recent weeks cost them dearly once again.

This time it was a cross from the left by Okimo, following a ball up the left from Pritchard, which fell for the giant Harry Smith to head home from about six yards in the centre of the box (14 mins).

Barnet then applied some pressure and Eddy Jones found himself booked for a foul on Senior (19 mins).

However, Altrincham soon equalised when a fine through ball from the Alty half set an offside-looking Hulme clear, up the middle.

Keeper Walker rushed out of his goal and seemed to clip Hulme, who went down left of goa,l but with the ball behind the now stranded keeper, the Alty captain calmly got to his feet and netted with the outside of his right foot, just before a retreating defender could close him down (22 mins).

Parity did not last long, however.

Barnet won a corner on their right and the inswinging ball was flicked on from right of the near post by the head of Pritchard and it got past a combination of an Altrincham defender on the near post and goalkeeper Byrne before being bundled into net by Kabamba (26 mins).

Barnet now had their tails up and won two more corners, with James Jones having to head off the line after the first of these kicks. Next, a long throw led to Byrne having to make a good diving save from De Havilland.

Alty had now changed shape, with Lundstram moving to a right wing-back position in a 3-5-2 set-up as manager Phil Parkinson described it after the match.

As a result Alty got onto the game a bit more and Hulme won them a corner(38 mins).

However, Altrincham were grateful to their goalkeeper, Byrne, for a fine save from Gorman as the 45 minutes drew to a close, Byrne conceding a corner as he helped the ball over the bar (45+2 mins). But the referee blew his half-time whistle before the Bees could take the corner.

So the interval arrived with Barnet holding a deserved lead.

Half-Time: BARNET 2

Barnet started the half well but a couple of early efforts were off target. First, a twenty-yard shot from Collinge went wide before a Senior cross prompted a Kabamba attempt which went high and wide (49 mins).

Alty were then deprived of a clear corner, won by Linney, which was wrongly awarded as a goalkick. However, Altrincham responded by winning three corners in as many minutes, all taken by Osborne from the right.

Hulme had won the first flag-kick, on the right, and before he could take the second, the absence of a ball boy or girl meant that Osborne had to clamber over the perimeter fence to retieve the ball in the populated stand.

Following the third corner, again from the right, Linney got in a goalbound shot which was headed off the line. The ball was recycled and came to Oyedele who turned smartly inside the box and drove a low shot into the net, towards the far corner to level the score at 2-2 (54 mins).

It was the Manchester United loanee's second league goal in consecutive appearances.

The visitors' good play continued as an Osborne freekick came to Linney but his well-struck shot from inside the box flew across goal but wide of the target (66 mins).

From the resulting goalkick, the home keeper Walker played it out to a team-mate some 10 yards outside the box where Hulme, who was having a good game, harrassed his opponent and won possession, playing the ball to his right to Linney.

This time, again from right of centre, Linney drove the ball through Walker's hands and into the net to put his side ahead for the first time in the match (67 mins).

Alty immediately introduced Rochdale loanee Sinclair instead of the hard-working Hulme (68 mins).

It almost got worse for the Bees when Linney again had the ball in the net two minutes later but he was adjudged to have handled the ball in controlling it to shoot (70 mins).

Barnet now brought on Armstrong, who replaced De Havilland (73 mins). But the hosts were stunned a few minutes later when Alty made it 2-4. A good build up culminated in Sinclair sweeping the ball into the net from about 15 yards, from Linney's feeed from the right (77 mins).

Barnet responded with a double change as Beard and Hall came on for Potter and Senior. Alty also made a swap as Cashman replaced Linney who has made quite an impact in his 2(+2) appearances to date, with two goals and three assists already to his name (82 mins).

Soon Beard, for Barnet, laid on a cross for Kabamba but his header went comfortably to Byrne (86 mins).

There was some concern for Alty when, soon afterwards, Kabamba beat Byrne to an aerial ball but the forward's header fortunately cleared the bar (88 mins).

Four added minutes commenced with Sinclair firing well over the bar (90+1 mins) and, though Barnet pressed, they could find no way through for a comeback despite the needless concession by Lundstram of a late freekick on the Barnet right.

It had been a stunning turnaround in the second half after Barnet had deservedly led at the interval.

Although the win did not lift Alty higher than their thirteenth position, the three points meant that it would take a monumental collapse for Altrincham not to secure their place in the National League for next season.

And with only eight points separating them from the play-offs dreams of better things have resurfaced for some, though tempered by the prospect of five successive away games after Saturday's home game against Solihull Moors.

Full Time: BARNET 2