ALTRINCHAM FC MATCH REPORTS
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ALTRINCHAM (1) 2
ALDERSHOT TOWN (0) 1
played on Tuesday, 3 October, 2023 at 7.45pm.
In an entertaining, end to end game, Altrincham extended their winning run to four matches with a narrow win against an Aldershot side who will be disappointed that their pacy attacking intent was not accompanied by a goal from open play.
Altrincham took a 24th minute lead when Conn-Clarke was set running at goal by Eddy Jones and finished with a strong, low shot into the net to the keeper's right. The Shots almost levelled two minutes later when Glover hit the post with a speculative effort from wide left.
The visitors equalised from the penalty spot when Mnoga was upended by Osborne as he advanced into the box. Although Ross had saved three of the four spot-kicks he had faced this season, Harries sent him the wrong way to make it 1-1 (72 mins).
But parity lasted barely six minutes before Alex Newby swept home a second goal for the Robins from a Banks feed and that proved decisive. The win left Altrincham in sixth place ahead of a trip to Gateshead on Saturday.
- 24 mins: Chris CONN-CLARKE (ALTRINCHAM 1 Aldershot Town 0)
- 72 mins: Cian HARRIES (penalty) (ALTRINCHAM 1 Aldershot Town 1)
- 78 mins: Alex NEWBY (ALTRINCHAM 2 Aldershot Town 1)
REFEREE: Mr Andrew Miller
ATTENDANCE: 1,274 (117 from Aldershot)
Alty were still without the injured Linney, Crankshaw, Kosylo, Wilson, Joey Jones and Liam Brockbank, whilst loanee Gerald Sithole had returned to Bolton Wanderers afer he too had picked up an injury. There was also no sign of defender Burroughs on the Alty bench, where an Academy graduate and a sub keeper were named. Lewis Banks came in to the starting eleven as Justin Donawa moved to the bench, where Matt Gould replaced Tom Jones, leaving no outright attacker on the bench.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 29. Ethan Ross, 2. Lewis Banks, 15. Jake Cooper, 4. Lewis Baines, 3. Eddy Jones, 6. Elliot Osborne, 8. Isaac Marriott (c), 11. Justin Amaluzor, 30. Alex Newby, 10. Chris Conn-Clarke, 14. Dior Angus. Subs: 5. James Jones, 16. Sam Roscoe, 17. Justin Donawa, 18. Owen German, 21. Matt Gould.
ALDERSHOT TOWN (All yellow): 1. Jordi van Stappershoef, 2. Haji Mnoga, 3. Ollie Harfield, 4. Cian Harries, 6. Theo Widdrington, 9. Lorent Tolaj, 10. Josh Stokes, 11. Ryan Glover, 17. Aaron Jones (c), 22. Jack Barham, 27. Tommy Willard. Subs: 5 Coby Rowe, 12. Keane Anderson, 20. Joe Haigh, 24 Maxwell Mullins, 38 Finlay Westen.
Altrincham were looking for fourth successive win for the first time since their return to the National League in 2020. They started the game in sixth place, three points ahead of tenth-placed Aldershot Town.
Once again for a match this season there had been plentiful rain in the previous days but the pitch was in good condition. Aldershot had brought a creditable number of fans for a midweek trek up the motorways from Hampshire.
Aldershot kicked off towards the Golf Road end and made a very bright start. They won a corner inside 30 seconds when Tolaj, Stokes and Barham combined effectively on the left. This corner was half-cleared by Newby but moments later the Shots had won another corner, again on the left. From this, Barham got in a glancing header at the near post but it narrowly missed the target as it flew across goal (2 mins).
Amaluzor, a former Aldesrhot player, almost won the ball twice in as many minutes against Harfield before Altrincham began to get into the game after their shaky start.
Next, after Osborne had fed Angus, the striker was felled by Harfield and a freekick was awarded some forty yards out. Altrincham disappointingly played this backwards.
The Shots continued to get forward and when Cooper misheaded a ball, Stokes fired a shot across goal which was only just off target (7 mins). And, a minute later, a cross from the left by Glover saw Stokes's back-header saved by Ross (8 mins).
The lively game continued with Amaluzor showing great control from a long kick by Ross but the home side's most threatening moment, so far, came in the 16th minute when a superb run by Conn-Clarke took him past three defenders' challenges and into the box, where he was halted.
A foul by Aldershot's loanee Mnoga earned the defender a lecture (20 mins). More skill from Amaluzor was on display as he cleverly back-heeled the ball to get clear of a marker but only a throw resulted.
Now, Altrincham took the lead when the ball was cleverly played forward by Eddy Jones to Conn-Clarke, who advanced on goal before firing a fierce low shot to the right of van Stappershoef; it was the Alty man's seventh goal of the season (24 mins).
There was almost an immediate response from the Shots as Glover's speculative shot from wide on the left came back off Ross's left upright and ended up in a corner kick as Alty cleared the ball (26 mins)
The visitors were continuing to attack with pace and their next foray saw Tolaj slice a shot narrowly wide from 18 yards (28 mins). Harfield then won a corner as the visitors continued to look a lively and pacey attacking force.
A clear handball by Cooper went undetected by the officials some 30 yards from goal and this error almost led to an Altrincham goal as Newby got in a shot at goal which was blocked (33 mins). Next, a Stokes shot rose over the bar as the ened to end entertainment continued (34 mins).
When Tolaj made a rare mis-pass, Conn-Clarke advanced up the middle but overhit his pass to the right, which was intended for Amaluzor.
As the interval approached, Osborne exchanged passes with Angus before the latter fired over the bar (44 mins). In deep midfield Osborne was again having a good game for Altrincham. Although the match had ben flowing from the start, the referee somehow felt that two added minutes were necessary.
In the second of these Newby, hitherto fairly quiet, played a good ball for Angus to get in a low cross which the incoming Amaluzor could not quite turn in at the near post as a defender closely marked him.
It was one of the most entertaining first-halves at Moss Lane this season and the visitors could feel disappointed to be trailing after playing so much attacking football.
Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1
Altrincham kicked off towards Golf Road but, as in the first half, it was the visitors who won an early corner, this time from a deflected Stokes shot (46 mins).
However, Alty responded well with an excellent move involving Eddy Jones, Conn-Clarke, Newby and Angus which ended in a disappointing shot wide by Angus whose target-shooting was off-beam on several occasions in this match.
But in their next attack, Newby was flagged offside and, well after the whistle had sounded, he nevertheless advanced and drove the ball into the net. Not for the first time this season Altrincham had picked up a totally unnecessary card for timewasting as the Colchester loanee saw yellow (49 mins).
Alty were very soon offside again before Conn-Clarke's skill put his marker down on his bottom but his cross from the left was poor from inside the box (53 mins). The Shots then constructed a slick move themselves which also ended disappointingly as Widdrington's scooped effort went wide (56 mins).
After a foul on Conn-Clarke, he took an ambitious freekick from 35 yards which went to the keeper.
Moments later Conn-Clarke appeared to be fouled, without the referee agreeing, before Amaluzor lashed in a fierce shot which the keeper did well to push away for a corner. Another corner soon resulted from which the ball came out of the visitors' defence to Marriott who struck a superb low shot from thirty yards which van Stappershoef saved (64 mins).
The end to end entertainment continued with a Shots cross which Tolaj headed goalwards to Ross (68 mins).
Aldershot had better luck when Mnoga advanced into the front of the box in the inside-right position and was brought down by Osborne's push. A penalty was awarded, the fifth conceded by Altrincham already this season.
Ross had saved three of the previous four spot-kicks but, this time, he went the wrong was as Harries converted coolly to make it 1-1 (72 mins). Steady rain was now falling to dampen the home mood further whilst the away fans in the open end were to get a soaking.
As the rain turned heavier, Alty won a corner, after which Conn-Clarke was cynically hauled down by Stokes, who was duly booked (74 mins).
With draw specialists Altrincham looking to be heading for another such result they retook the lead. A move on the right, saw Amaluzor feed Banks whose low cross reached Newby who swept the ball, low, into the net from a fairly central position to restore Altrincham's lead (78 mins).
With eight minutes of the ninety remaining, Altrincham introduced Donawa and James Jones for Angus and Banks, with rain still falling.
The sides now traded a corner apiece (85 mins) before Conn-Clarke and Eddy Jones conspired to win a further flag-kick for Altrincham (87 mins). Widdrington then fired very wide from 25 yards (88 mins) before Amaluzor had an effort blocked by the keeper which Eddy Jones was narrowly unable to turn into the net (89 mins).
A foul by Cooper, just outside the "D", led to a booking for the defender (90+1 mins) but Harries put the freekick over the bar (90+2mins). Then Conn-Clarke hit a thirty-yard shot well wide as the rain eased.
With the visitors pressing, Donawa gained possession but was cynically upended by Gover as he got over the halfway line and the Shots man was booked (90+6 mins).
Effectively, that was the end of the visitors' hopes of gaining a point which theymight well feel they had deserved. Their positive attitude combined with Altrincham's customary forward-looking approach combined to make this an entertaining hundred minutes or so for the disappointingly low crowd, which was no doubt affected by the proximity and televising of Manchester United versus Galtasary in the Champions League at Old Trafford.
Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 2