ALTRINCHAM FC MATCH REPORTS
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EASTLEIGH (1) 2
ALTRINCHAM (0) 1
played on Saturday, 18 November, 2023 at 3pm.
Altrincham's ten-game unbeaten run in the league came to an end when they lost to a late breakaway goal after dominating much of the second half.
Alty fell behind early on when McCallum won a header against Baines and Quigley swept the ball into the bottom of the net (13 mins). The visitors were not at their best before the interval.
However, the second half saw Altrincham largely dominate and they deservedly levelled from the spot after Angus had been brought down. Conn-Clarke converted the penalty midway through the half (66 mins).
With Altrincham looking the favourites to score again, an Eastleigh counter-attack saw McCallum and Quigley break forward as Banks failed to intercept near halfway. This time it was McCallum who scored from Quigley's assist (88 mins).
The Spitfires wound the game down well to leave Altrincham disappointed.
- 13 mins: Scott QUIGLEY (Eastleigh 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)
- 66 mins: Chris CONN-CLARKE (Eastleigh 1 ALTRINCHAM 1)
- 86 mins: Paul McCALLUM (Eastleigh 2 ALTRINCHAM 1)
REFEREE: Mr Dean Watson
ATTENDANCE: 2,121 (98 in away section)
Altrincham were unchanged, other than on the bench where Sam Roscoe (right) replaced Justin Donawa who was away on international duty with Bermuda. Eastleigh brought in Boldewijn for Nwabuokei and made several changes on the bench.
EASTLEIGH (Blue shirts,shorts and socks): 1. Joe McDonnell, 4. Nigel Atangana, 6. Ludwig Francillette, 9. Paul McCallum, 11. Enzio Boldewijn, 12. George Langston, 14. Lee Hodson, 17. Chris Maguire, 18. Bailey Clements. 20. Scott Quigley, 21. Oscar Rutherford. Subs: 10. Aidan Barlow, 19. Corey Panter, 16. Solomon Nwabuokei, 13. Tommy Scott, 23. Jayden Harris
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, 9. Regan Linney, 16. Sam Roscoe, 19. George Wilson, 28. Gerald Sithole.
Altrincham went into the game unbeaten in ten league fixtures but had only won once in five previous visits to Eastleigh.
Altrincham started well with a move up the left which which ended in Conn-Clarke getting into the box, left of goal, and firing into the side netting (2 mins).
Soon afterwards, the visitors also won the game's first corner, on the right. This came to nothing and it was soon clear that the hosts were happy to stand off Altrincham when the visitors were passing the ball about inside their own defensive third.
Eastleigh's best move to date came in the eighth minute when Rutherford's cross went unconverted. Soon afterwards, Altrincham almost took the lead with a move up the left which culminated in a well-struck rising shot which McDonnell did well to tip over the bar for a corner (10 mins).
Eddy Jones then fed Angus whose attempted shot was blocked and Eastleigh promptly advanced up to the other end. The ball was played towards the centre of the box on its outer fringes.
McCallum rose above Baines to nod the ball down and backwards for Quigley who swept the ball, low into the net, to Ross's right, to give his side the lead against the run of play (13 mins).
Both sides were making unforced errors but it was a Maguire cross which earned Eastleigh the match's next corner (22 mins). The ball was put in the net after the corner but the effort was ruled out for offside (23 mins).
Treatment was needed for keeper McDonnell (26 mins) and Maguire's very high long-range shot was the nearest to a goal threat in the next few minutes (28 mins).
Altrincham did better when Newby got a clear sight of goal but the restored goalkeeper saved his shot with his legs (30 mins).
But Alty were living dangerously and, when Ross flapped at a freekick, Cooper had to clear a Taylor effort off the line at the cost of a corner (32 mins).
For their part Altrincham were seeing plenty of the ball but their passing lacked the crispness and velocity to break down the Eastleigh defence.
A lengthy stoppage for treatment to Maguire now ended in the Eastleigh man having to be subbed by Harris (38 mins).
Next, Altrincham won a corner, earned from an Angus shot. Taken from the left, Newby's ball was nodded over the bar by Baines (42 mins).
Six added minutes were to be played in which a Harris corner ended with the ball in the net but it was immediately ruled out for a foul on Eddy Jones (45+3 mins).
Deeper into added time, a foulon Amaluzor gave Altrincham a promising freekick on the edge of the "D". Conn-Clarke's freekick narrowly cleared the bar (45+5 mins).
As the teams left the pitch, Phil Parkinson had words with referee Watson.
Half-Time: EASTLEIGH 1
Eastleigh kicked off the second half and soon won a fortuitous corner when Rutherford, not Banks, clearly put the ball out of play (47 mins). Francilette headed this over the bar.
Eastleigh soon threatened again as a 25 yard dipping shot from Taylor drew an excellent save from Ross, as he diverted the ball over the bar for another corner (52 mins).
But when Rutherford lost the ball soon afterwards, it allowed Newby to race towards goal. He played the ball inside to Conn-Clarke who looked likely to score but the Northern Irishman hit his shot narrowly wide, striking the outside of the keeper's right post (54 mins).
Quigley was booked shortly afterwards for a supposed foul (55 mins), after which Amaluzor got to the byline, right of goal, and fed Angus. His effort was blocked as home players appealed, with some justification, for handball against the Alty winger in the build up.
By now Alty were well on top (60 mins) and to aid their cause they now brought on Linney for Amaluzor, with the striker adopting a role on the left wing (62 mins).
Altrincham then won four corners in a three minute spell (64 mins). Following the last of these, Angus was played in and as he shot, from about six yards out, he was brought down and a penalty was awarded (65 mins). Conn-Clarke, with his customary hop-skip and a jump run up, beat McDonnell comfortably to level the score (66 mins).
Alty remained on top and looked the likely winners at this stage. However, an Eastleigh change brought on Barlow for Taylor (70 mins).
The Robins remained on top, winning a corner, after which a Conn-Clarke shot sailed way over the bar (75 mins).
Eastleigh now began to get more into the game and they won a 77th minute corner. Bookings arrived for a total of five Eastleigh players before the final whistle.
As time passed Eastleigh gained another corner (83 mins) but although the hosts had upped their game they had not looked particularly dangerous. But then, near halfway, Banks made a lunge to try and win the ball but it evaded him and allowed Quigley to get free up the middle.
As he reached the box he fed McCallum, to his left, and the leading scorer duly netted his thirteenth goal of the season (86 mins).
Gerald Sithole was brought on when he had little time to affect the game, replacing Angus (87 mins). Eastleigh likewise brought on Nwabuokei for Atangana.
The Spitfires played down the clock expertly, winning a corner, keeping the ball in the corner and drawing an unnecessary foul from Linney as they successfully completed four added minutes.
The result was harsh on Altrincham who, whilst not at their best, enjoyed a prolonged period of dominance in the second half before being caught by the sucker=punc of a counter-attacking goal from the hosts.
So the ten-match unbeaten run was over in disappointing fashion.
Full-Time: EASTLEIGH 2