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Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 28 February 2023 at 7.45pm.


Altrincham deservedly led 1-0 at the interval thanks to a headed goal by James Jones from an Eddy Jones inswinging corner from the right (22 mins). Regan Linney also went close to scoring twice in the first half. His first effort was well tipped round the base of the post (13 mins) and his second saw him round goalkeeper Smith only for Bevan to clear off the line (30 mins).

But Yeovil dominated the second half, though their equaliser arrived from an error by Byrne. He flapped at a near-post corner and James Jones was forced to handle the ball to stop it going into the net.

James, who had had an excellent game, was shown a red card and Maguire-Drew beat Byrne from the spot to level the score.

The ten men held on to record a point which had promised to be three at the interval but which lifted them one place to eleventh in the National League.


REFEREE: Mr Matt Russell

ATTENDANCE: 2,106 (39 away)


Altrincham's starting eleven was unchanged but, on the bench, they brought in right-back Aidan Roxburgh for his first league involvement since joining last summer. Nevertheless Alty again deployed midfielder Josh Lundstram as right-back in the starting eleven.

Roxburgh had replaced Armando Júnior Quitirna in the squad, the Guine-Bissau man having returned to Fleetwood Town following his loan spellat Altrincham which comprised just nine minutes of action, plus added time, at Bracknell in the FA Trophy. Nevertheless, he had scored in that brief cameo appearance.


YEOVIL TOWN (Green & white shirts, green shorts and socks): 1. Grant Smith, 39. Edwin Agbaje, 16. Ryan Law, 26. Owen Bevan, 2. Morgan Williams; 3. Jamie Rekord, 24. Charlie Cooper, 15. Josh Owers, 8. Lawson D'Ath, 9. Alex Fisher, 18. Seb Palmer-Houlden Subs: 10. Jordan Maguire-Drew, 7. Matthew Worthington, 11, Jordan Young, 17. Chiori Johnson, 14. Malachi Linton

ALTRINCHAM (Dark blue shirts with yellow sash, dark blue shorts, blue socks): 1. Oliver Byrne, 8. Josh Lundstram, 26. James Jones, 6. Lewis Baines, 2. Eddy Jones, 4. Isaac Marriott, 9. Jordan Hulme (c), 10. Elliot Osborne, 28. Maxi Oyedele, 35. Tyrese Sinclair, 29. Regan Linney. Subs: 11. Danny Cashman, 20. Aidan ROxburgh, 18. Ben Pringle, 21. Matt Gould, 27. Aaron Bennett


This match had been postponed from 21 January, after Altrincham had travelled to Somerset, as the Huish pitch had been frozen. The fixture had now become the first of five successive away games for The Robins in the National League.

The sides arrived in contrasting form. The Glovers had just dropped into the relegation places, having lost their last three matches and, in fact, they had not won in their previous five league outings. For their part, Altrincham, after a four-game run of defeats had transformed their form by winning their three most recent National League games, all against teams higher than them in the National League, and hitting eleven goals in the process.

Conversely, Yeovil were the lowest scorers in the National League. However, only four teams in the division had a better defence than Yeovil, and those teams were all in the top eight league positions.


Yeovil kicked off and an Agbaje cross had earned the Glovers a corner, off a deflection from Baines, inside 35 seconds. His centre-back partner James Jones, not for the last time, cleared the corner-ball but, soon, Fisher had a chance to shoot but his tame effort ran to Byrne (2 mins). In an end to end start, Linney got into the box but the ball ran harmlessly to goalkeeper Smith.

The Glovers won their second corner of the match fortuitously when a wild shot by Agbaje was deemed to have gone out via deflection (6 mins) but Altrincham replied with a corner of their own as Sinclair went down in the box claiming a penalty rather than a flag-kick (8 mins). Sinclair was making an early impression on the Alty left and, after the even start to the match, Alty began to get the upper hand, with the left-winger instrumental in most of their better moves.

But it was Linney who went closest to an early Altrincham goal when an incisive ball from Marriott led to the striker turning smartly but his goalbound shot, aimed for the bottom corner, was just touched round his left upright by Smith for a corner (13 mins).

After Cooper had fouled Sinclair, thirty yards out, and the foul had been given, the Rochdale loanee tried to make capital out of very little by rolling around theatrically. Osborne hit the resulting freekick too high.

Next Byrne dwelt on the ball and his kick was charged down but only a home throw-in resulted, though a corner came from that (19 mins).

Altrincham now enjoyed a period on top and, after a fine run by Lundstram, a subsequent cross earned the visitors a corner on their right. This was a well-taken inswinger by Eddy Jones and it found James Jones outjumping his marker in the centre of the box before directing a downward header past Smith to give the Robins a 1-0 lead (22 mins).

Alty followed that up with a slick move, involving Oyedele, which ended with Smith blocking a Linney effort though offside was decreed anyway (25 mins).

Marriott now impressed, tracking back assiduously to concede a home corner which James Jones cleared with Byrne remaining on his line (30 mins).

Moments later Alty almost doubled their lead as Osborne won possession and the ball reached Linney who got past the keeper but his shot from the right was cleared off the line by Bevan, a corner resulting.

D'Ath's was the first name in the referee's book when he felled Sinclair near halfway (32 mins).

Altrincham contined comfortably in control as the break approached but Linney's shot over the bar, from 16 yards, was as good as it got in terms of more chances. Oyedele now earned a lecture from the referee for disputing his award of a foul against the Manchester United loanee (43 mins). But Cooper hit the long-range Yeovil freekick over the bar.

As the break got closer, Marriott was felled by Williams who was fortunate to escape with just a talking-to (45 mins). One minute of added time left Alty deservedly ahead at the interval but, perhaps, disappointed that they had not created a biger lead. At this stage the visitors looked decidedly the favourites to win the game.

Half-Time: YEOVIL TOWN 0

But the second half was to be a different story. It started with Sinclair again attracting the opprobrium of the home support for rolling around after a challenge on him (47 mins),

When Byrne played a short goalkick to Lundstram, just outside the penalty area, the Alty right-back was caught unaware and dispossessed but Yeovil made a hash of the potential opening (48 mins).

Alty did better a little later when Eddy Jones was clattered and Byrne's freekick was relayed via Oyedele for the oncoming Lundstram to fire narrowly over the bar from 18 yards (50 mins). However, Oyedele was booked soon afterwards for a fou.l

After an Alty corner had been and gone, an Osborne cross was smartly flicked towards goal by the boot of Hulme but the ball ran to Smith (57 mins).

However, from the hour mark, Yeovil got the upper hand and it took an excellent point-blank save from Byrne to prevent an equaliser before Hulme hooked the loose ball away from danger.

Soon afterwards a well-struck Yeovil shot was well blocked by a diving Baines before Byrne made the best save of the game as he threw himself, low to his right to push a goalbound header round the post for a corner (62 mins).

The Glovers now introduced Maguire-Drew to replace Owers (64 mins) as Alty remained on the backfoot, with Sinclair's first-half threat seemingly blunted and Linney getting little opportunity to strike.

Midway through the half Altrincham did get forward and, from a Lundstram cross, Hulme turned well but saw Smith stop his shot at the second attempt (68 mins).

Yeovil responded with a couple of corners, the second won by the increasing threat of Agbaje and half-cleared by Byrne's glancing punch (75 mins). The Alty keeper was soon busy again as Fisher's header was just about shoveled round the post for a corner. This corner, from the Yeovil right, was aimed to the near post where Byrne got his hands to it but the ball carried on across, and towards, goal where James Jones handled it to keep it out of the net.

Referee Russell rightly awarded a penalty and red-carded the unfortunate Jones who had been a rock at the heart of the Atltrincham defence, as well as having scored his side's goal.

Maguire-Drew's penalty rose above the dive of Byrne, who had gone the right way, but he could not prevent the equaliser which, by this stage of the game, was deserved (78 mins).

Mark Cooper now withdrew his son, Charlie, and brought on Johnson (79 mins). Alty responded with Pringle being introduced in place of Sinclair (81 mins) as the ten men attempted to hold on to their point.

Next, another signal of Alty's intentions arrived when striker Linney was replaced by midfielder Cashman (84 mins). But Alty rmained largely on the back foot as Maguire-Drew just cleared the bar from 19 yards (85 mins), whilst D'ATh's attempt soon afterwards was hit well over the target (88 mins).

Altrincham managed to hold out without too many alarms and, indeed, Agbaje was booked in the closing stages for a rugby tackle on Marriott as Alty threatened to break forward (90+2 mins).

A point at Yeovil, the league's draw specialists, was not a bad outcome after the lengthy midweek trek to Somerset, but it could have been three points had the Robins established a bigger first-half lead when they were on top.

Full Time: YEOVIL TOWN 1