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Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 7 March 2023 at 7.45pm.


Altrincham's third away game on the run ended in disappointment, yet they had dominated first-half possession on their first-ever league visit to Scunthorpe. However, they failed to score before the break and Pringle then spurned a decent chance to open the scoring early in the second period which, ultimately, proved costly.

Both Scunthorpe goals came from situations created indirectly by Altrincham errors. The first was an uncharacteristic pass, under no pressure, by Lundstram which went into touch. Following the throw-in, the Iron advanced on the right before a Feeney effort was pushed out disappointingly by Byrne for Bennett to tap home (48 mins).

Thereafter Altrincham never looked like retrieving the game as the home side found some form. And their second goal arose from another unforced error as a cross from the left was chested onto his own upright by Eddy Jones, conceding a corner in the process.

From the corner, Smith hooked the ball across goal and it came back off the inside of the far post. Byrne batted the ball away but it had crossed the line to make it 2-0 (75 mins).


REFEREE: Mr Matt Corlett

ATTENDANCE: 2,545 (68 away supporters)


Following the 4-0 defeat at Weadstone and, no doubt with an intense schedule in mind, Altrincham made four changes with Cashman, Baines, Linney and Oyedele replaced by Pringle, James Jones, Hulme and Marriott. Rumours suggested Oyedele had been withdrawn as a very late change. For Pringle it was just a second league start of the season.

Scunthorpe included former Alty right-back Reagan Ogle and former trialist Tom Pugh was on their bench. For Alty, another link between the teams was that Tyrese Sinclair had formerly been a Scunthorpe loanee.


SCUNTHORPE UNITED (Claret & blue shorts, white shorts and socks) 1. Aaron Chapman, 2. Reagan Ogle, 4. Whitehouse, 7. Liam Feeney (c), 13. Ben Richards-Everton, 19. Jacob Butterfield, 20. Cameron Wilson, 25. Jake Leake, 26. Harvey Bunker, 29. Will Smith, 49. Richard Bennett. Subs: 6. Andrew Boyce, 22. Finley Shrimpton, 30. Tom Pugh, 5. Danny Elliott, 32. Sean Shields

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shorts, black shorts, red socks): 1 Oliver Byrne, 30. Harry Perritt, 5 Kyle Ferguson, 26. James Jones, 2. Eddy Jones, 8. Josh Lundstram, 4. Isaac Marriott, 10. Elliot Osborne, 18. Ben Pringle, 35. Tyrese Sinclair, 9. Jordan Hulme (c). Subs: 21. Matt Gould, 27. Aaron Bennett, 11. Danny Cashman, 29. Regan Linney, 6. Lewis Baines


This was a clash between the second and third teams in the goals-conceded stakes this season in the Vanarama National League. Scunthorpe United had let in 67 league goals this season from 35 matches whilst Alty had let in 63, totals only exceded by Dorking Wanderers' 77.

And Alty supporters had witnessed an aggregate total of 117 league goals this campaign which was the highest number of goals involving any team this season, apart from league leaders Wrexham (124 goals) and Notts County (123).

Although this was Alty and Scunthorpe's first league meeting, the sides had twice been drawn against each other in the FA Cup, with Altrincham energing the winners on each occasion against the then Football League club.

Those meetings both ended in victory for Altrincham in replays at Moss Lane.

The Iron started this game second from bottom, whilst Altrincham lay twelfth. This was the third in a sequence of five successive away league games for The Robins.


After the teams had changed ends, Scunthorpe kicked off and the first effort on goal came from Bunker, whose effort from 25 yards was not too far off-target (4 mins). A home corner followed and, with the hosts having more big players than the visitors, they sought to expose an Altrincham side which has shown a weakness from dead balls and corners in recent games.

However, Alty's first shot on target soon followed, when Lundstram advanced and fed Hulme whose shot was comfortably saved by the 6ft 8inch Chapman in the home goal (6 mins). Not long after a rushed Butterfield effort had cleared the bar comfortably, Alty's right-back Perritt seemed to be holding his hamstring but he continued to play (11 mins).

Altrincham now began to enjoy the majority of possession, a trend which was to continue for most of the first half.

After one multi-pass move, Osborne fed Sinclair and the Rochdale loanee hit a shot which went inches wide (15 mins). However, former Alty man Ogle then got up the right and, after he had taken a throw, he also got in a cross which Bunker headed harmlessly, in an upward loop to the hands of Byrne (16 mins).

More protracted periods of possesion for Altrincham continued as the game neared the halfway point of the first half but then a Feeney effort won his side a corner on the right. Taken by Butterfield, James Jones headed it out for a second flag-kick.

Whitehouse became the first name in Mr Corlett's book for a challenge on Sinclair (26 mins). After a Sinclair effort had been blocked, an impressive Alty move produced a corner, but this was poorly taken (29 mins). Following another foul on Sinclair, Marriott's freekick led to Hulme putting in an excellent low cross, from the right, but no team-mate was in the box to convert it (30 mins).

However, Lundstram maintained the pressure by winning a corner soon afterwards, following which a Pringle interception led, via Osborne, to a Marriott shot which was saved (32 mins). Pringle, starting only his second league match of the season, was impressing in the Alty midfield (32 mins).

Alty's forward movements continued with a blocked cross from Eddy Jones and a Perritt nod to the Iron's keeper (33 mins).

The visitors were probably enjoying some 70% of the possession but, when Hulme went down in the home box, the referee was unmoved (38 mins).

An Osborne mis-pass now gifted the Iron a shot at goal but Bennett hit it well over the bar (40 mins). Soon afterwards, another errant pass by Osborne led to a fine tackle by Eddy Jones to halt a threatened incursion.

Another flowing Alty move preceded the announcement of a single minute of added time. But, as that minute elapsed, the home side put together their biggest threat of the half when an Ogle cross led to a Butterworth effort effort which Byrne did well to save.


Marriott kicked off the second half as his side defended the away end. And, just a minute into the half, Osborne gained possession and the ball ran to Pringle, with a sight of goal just inside the box. Unfortunately, the midfielder seemed to hesitate and the chance was closed down.

Then, just as at Wealdstone three days earlier, Altrincham conceded a goal early in the second half and, this time, it stemmed from an uncharacteristic, unforced error by the ever-present Lundstram who got an intended cross-field pass all wrong and it went straight out of play, nowhere near any team-mate. The throw-in led to an advance on the right by Cameron Wilson which was needlessly covered by three Alty men, leaving gaps elsewhere.

Cameron's low cross found Feeney on the front edge of the box and his less than powerful shot was saved by Byrne but the goalkeeper could only push the ball straight back out to Bennett, who was left with little more than a tap-in to give his side a lead which was markedly against the run of play of the match so far (48 mins).

James Joes was less than pleased with his keeper, who has proved a generally reliable shot-stopper but can be prone to pushing saved balls back out to dangerous areas.

The goal altered the whole tempo of the evening as belief returned to the previously lacklustre Scunthorpe players. Two home corners soon followed (57 mins) before Leake clattered into James Jones as he saw a ball out over the by-line (59 mins).

Altrincham were creating nothing at the other end with both Pringle and Sinclair now more subdued than they had been in the first half.

However, after the hour mark, there was a brief improvement as a passing move culminated in a Sinclair effort across the face of goal from the right (64 mins). At this point the hosts brought on Pugh, who had been a trialist for Altrincham in pre-season, and he replaced Whitehouse (64 mins).

Soon afterwards, Alty introduced returning loanee midfielderBennett for right-back Perritt, who seemed to have been carrying a knock since early in the first half (66 mins). This prompted a reshuffle as Lundstram moved to right-back.

The personnel changes continued with Shields replacing Feeney who had previously faced Alty for the likes of Salisbury City and Weymouth (68 mins). Play progressed, with Alty creating little and the home side comfortable with their lead.

After Lundstram's mis-pass had indirectly led to the first goal, another strange incident led to a second goal for the hosts. A ball across the Alty box from the left found Eddy Jones facing his own goal, just a few yards out. He chested the ball onto the outside of Byrne's left upright for a corner.

Altrincham's weakness from corners came home to roost as the corner came in and Smith swept in a curling shot, from right of centre, which came off the inside of Byrne's right post. The Alty keeper reacted quickly to beat the ball away but, after a short pause, the referee and his assistant decreed that it had crossed the line to make it 2-0 (75 mins).

Alty responded by bringing on Linney to replaced Sinclair (76 mins) and, four minutes later, Scunthorpe replaced Bennett by Elliott (80 mins).

When a Byrne kick was charged down by an opponent, the ball fortunately rebounded for a goalkick (81 mins) before Alty's final throw of the dice saw Cashman replace Pringle, who has completed niety minutes of a league game just once this season (84 mins).

Scunthorpe's Man of the Match, Ogle, now won his side a corner off Ferguson (86 mins) as the home side comfortably saw out the rmaining time, which included four added minutes.

So Altrincham's third successive away game had brought a second defeat following a draw at Yeovil. Three more away games beckon before Altrincham return to the J. Davidson Stadium on 25 March, two of those games being in the league and one in the FA Trophy.

Having largely dominated the first half, this defeat in the second half was particularly disappointing and Phil Parkinson will need to lift his men to complete an intense schedule of six games in all competitions in just nineteen days, all of them away from home.