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Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 19 September, 2023 at 7.45pm.


A sixth draw in ten outings was the least an injury-ravaged Altrincham side deserved against their visitors from the North-East.

Manager Phil Parkinson opted to start the match with Justin Amaluzor and Justin Donawa on the bench as he fielded a more defensive minded eleven than usual.

Nevertheless, they fell behind against the run of play when Finney was played in behind the Altrincham defence and, as Ross raced out to meet him, he looped an excellent finish over the keeper and into the net (15 mins).

In swirling rain Alty levelled after 23 minutes. The goal arrived after Conn-Clarke, for the second time in the game, found himself behind the Pools' defence. He played the ball inside and it ricocheted into the path of Marriott who stabbed the ball home.

Alty took the lead in the fourth added minute of the first half. A freekick from the left arrived in the path of Baines, to the right of centre, who hooked the ball home impressively at the second attempt. Amaluzor and Donawa were introduced in the final quarter of the game with the former's electric pace causing the Pools' defence problems.

But Hartlepool netted an equaliser after 77 minutes when Grey was played in and he finished coolly past the advancing Ross. Ross made a couple of important saves in the closing stages whilst substitute Amaluzor also went close at the other end.


  • 15 mins: Oliver FINNEY (ALTRINCHAM 0 Hartlepool United 1)
  • 23 mins: Isaac MARRIOTT (ALTRINCHAM 1 Hartlepool United 1)
  • 45(+4) mins: Lewis BAINES (ALTRINCHAM 2 Hartlepool United 1)
  • 77 mins: Joe GREY (ALTRINCHAM 2 Hartlepool United 2)

REFEREE: Mr Jamie O'Connor

ATTENDANCE: 1,421 (214 in away end)


Alty were without six injured first teamers in the shape of Ollie Crankshaw, Regan Linney, George Wilson, James Jones, Liam Brockbank and Matty Kosylo. There was a surprise in that Amaluzor and Donawa both moved to the bench as Joey Jones and Sam Roscoe started, giving the side a more defensive aspect.

At the back, Jake Cooper and Eddy Jones both started, the two also having been loanees at Hartlepool in 2021/22.

Pools' Alex Lacey was concussed in his last match and joined the injured Dan Dodds, Anthony Mancini and Callum Cooke in missing this game. Into the visitors' side came Burton for Lacey, and Umerah replaced Grey.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 29. Ethan Ross, 2. Lewis Banks, 3. Eddy Jones, 4. Lewis Baines, 16. Sam Roscoe, 22. Joey Jones, 6. Elliot Osborne, 8. Isaac Marriott (c), 14. Dior Angus, 10. Chris Conn-Clarke, 15. Jake Cooper. Subs: 11. Justin Amaluzor, 17. Justin Donawa, 20. Tom Jones, 21. Matt Gould, 32. George Burroughs

HARTLEPOOL UNITED (Blue and white striped shirts, whiye shorts and socks): 13. Peter Jameson, 21. Charlie Seaman, 18. Kieran Burton, 27. Luke Hendrie, 23. Emmanuel Onariase, 3. David Ferguson (c), 6. Kieran Wallace, 22. Tom Crawford, 14. Oliver Finney, 20. Emmanuel Dieseruvwe, 9. Josh Umerah. Subs: 1. Joel Dixon, 4. Matthew Dolan, 12. Joe Grey, 24. Brody Paterson, 19. Osazee Aghatise,


This was the first appearance of Hartlepool at Moss Lane to be witnessed by spectators since 1973 when Alty had performed an FA Cup giant-killing against the then Football League club, beating them 2-0. Since then the Pools had visited again, in 2020-21 but that match was behind closed doors and ended in a draw.

Following an unbeaten run of six games from the start of the season, Altrincham were now without a win in four outings and had won just once in four previous fixtures at the JDS this season.

The pitch was a tribute to groundsman Adam Lawrence and his team of volunteer helpers as it had absorbed the rain well.


The game got underway in swirling rain and a gusty wind, with two hundred of the loyal away supporters braving the elements in the uncovered away end. It was Hartlepool who kicked off, defending that away end and, as the players came to terms with the conditions, Pools suffered a scare when left-back Burton slipped on the wet surface but managed to kick the ball from a prone position, to curtail any danger to his goal (5 mins).

Moments later it was Altrincham who created the first real attacking threat as a promising move ended with Conn-Clarke's effort being blocked. Then the same Alty man got into the box to gain the match's first corner (7 mins).

Another promising passing move was then curtailed by a Wallace foul on Joey Jones which earned him an early yellow card (8 mins).

With rain still falling, the match was being played at a fast, almost frantic, pace as Altrincham's early dominance led to a Conn-Clarke effort narrowly passing the keeper's left upright, low down (11 mins). And, after Joey Jones had won possession, another passing move earned another corner for the hosts. From Eddy Jones's corner from the right, his namesake Joey's back post header was cleared off the line (12 mins).

However, when Joey Jones then fouled Dieseruvwe, the resulting frekick led to a shot from right of goal which fizzed across the Altrincham box.

Moments later Finney was played in, in the inside left position, and, as Ross came out to block him, the Hartlepool man executed an excellent curling lob over the tall Alty keeper which found the far side of the net to give the visitors the lead against the run of play (15 mins).

Altrincham had a decent chance to level soon afterwards when Conn-Clarke was played in, indeed balls bisecting the backline of both sides were to be a recurrent feature of the game. With spectators expecting a shot from right of centre, the Irishman opted to play a low ball inside to Marriott who stumbled and was immediately closed down by a defender so the chance had gone (18 mins).

As play continued Alty twice lost possession cheaply through Osborne and Angus but when Conn-Clarke found himself, once more, free in side the right hand portion of the opposition box, he again played the ball inside. This time the ball found its way off a deflection to Marriott who stabbed it home from close range to level the score at 1-1 (23 mins).

Rain was stil swirling up the pitch as another Conn-Clarke cross earned a corner (27 mins).

With Altrincham the better side so far, Joey Jones dwelt on the ball 30 yards from his own goal and lost possession to Crawford and it took good defensive work from Roscoe to stop the dnger as a Pools corner resulted (35 mins).

As half-time approached Osborne slipped but recovered well to set Angus free and he won a corner (44 mins). Eddy Jones overhit the corner from the right as four added minutes were announced.

A foul by Burton on Conn-Clarke earned him a booking (45+2 mins) and Alty were awarded a freekick towards the left touchline, some forty yards out. Eddy Jones's short freekick was crossed into the box by Marriott but only half cleared out to the unlikely figure of centre-back Lewis Baines who controlled it impressively before he hooked the ball home from twelve yards or so, right of centre, to give Altrincham a deserved lead (45+4 mins).

Following the restart a foul by Marriott on Crawford earned him a third booking of the season (45+5 mins). So Altrincham reached the interval with a deserved lead after a performance which belied the absence of so many injured players.


Hartlepool emerged early for the second half, as the rain had ceased, and when Alty emerged they kicked off the second half. The visitors started with more intent than in the first half and, after an uneventful opening to the half, they gained two corners in succession (53 mins). The first arose from an advance up the left and the second arose from Seaman's deflected shot.

Pools continued to get forward as a Dieseruvwe shot was blocked, then a snap shot from Onariase from 18 yards was saved by Ross (57 mins). When a foul on Angus gave Alty a freekick in midfield a mix-up between Eddy Jones and Osborne led to a "frank exchange of views" between the two.

Altrincham were being forced into a deeper position than they would have liked as the visitors made a chnage with Grey replacing the goalscorer Finney (62 mins). Alty had offered little going forward in the second half before a long range shot from Osborne earned a corner from the keeper's black (65 mins).

Just before the midway point of the half Altrincham introduced a new attacking threat in the shape of Amaluzor who replaced Angus (66 mins). The new man was soon inevidence, getting in a shot from the right which Jameson saved.

But the visitors remained on top in the second half and made vain appeals for a penalty when Dieseruvwe went down. But the referee awarded a freekick on the left edge of the box instead; this was struck into the wall from where it deflected fora corner (70 mins).

The pace of Amaluzor was now Alty's main outlet, the winger being deployed this time as Alty's front man. He now got in a shot which Jameson saved, low down (71 mins). Shortly afterwards Donawa came on for Banks at right-back (72 mins).

When Seaman was allowed to play on, after seemingly fouling Osborne, his shot forced a fine save from Ross.

However, Alty now enjoyed a couple of beter minutes in terms of getting forward with Amaluzor the main threat and then Eddy Jones having a shot blocked by Jameson (75 mins).

But just as it looked as if Alty had weatherd the second half threat from the visitors, they conceded an equaliser. Grey was played into the box in the inside left position, much as had happended when Finley had scored their first goal. This time it was Grey who, fed by Dieseruvwe, got past Cooper and Roscoe and slotted the ball, calmly, past the advancing Ross to make it 2-2 (77 mins).

Immediately afterwards, Alty wavered for a couple of minutes and Ross had to make a save (79 mins). Manager Parkinson shouted "Joey, you and Elliot switch" to try to remedy the situation. But Crawford then got in a shot which Ross spilt but which was hacked clear (82 mins).

Osborne was then booked for a foul as he went for a 50/50 ball (83 mins) before Ross had to come out smartly to smother a through ball (85 mins).

Next, Dieseruvwe was booked for a foul on Marriott (85 mins) as Tom Jones was readied to come on for his league debut (86 mins).

His introduction was sadly not to happen for the young striker but Hartlepool did make a swap as new man Aghatise replaced Wallace (88 mins).

The remarkable pace of Amaluzor gave him a late chance but as Jameson came out the Alty man stroked his effort narrowly wide of the unguarded net (90 mins). Four minutes of added time were decreed in which Dolan replaced Burton in the visitors' defence (90+3 mins).

There was a very late scare for Alty as Ross slipped and was unable to hold Seaman's cross but the game ended shortly afterwards in a draw, which was probably a fair outcome, after the visitors had upped their game after a first half in which the hosts had been the better side.