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Vanarama National League match
played on Tuesday, 6 February, at 7.45pm.


It was an ultimately comfortable win for Altrincham as they reversed the 3-0 defeat that they had suffered at Spotland earlier this season.

On a pitch heavily sanded in several places, Rochdale started well before Altrincham began to assert themselves after the opening quarter of an hour. The hosts took the lead in the 44th minute when a fine shot from the left by Eddy Jones was pushed onto the post by the keeper, only for Amaluzor to net the rebound.

Rochdale were still well in the game with Gilmour pulling the strings in midfield but two goals in as many minutes settled the outcome.

Isaac Marriott won the ball in midfield and, via Conn-Clarke, the ball reached Linney, right of goal, from where he scored smartly (66 mins).

Just two minutes later Marriott was again involved as he set up Conn-Clarke to score his 17th league goal of the season. But the home defence played with assurance and despite plenty of the ball, Dale could not get a consolation goal.


  • 44 mins: Justin AMALUZOR (ALTRINCHAM 1 Rochdale 0)
  • 66 mins: Regan LINNEY (ALTRINCHAM 2 Rochdale 0)
  • 68 mins: Chris CONN-CLARKE (ALTRINCHAM 3 Rochdale 0)

REFEREE: Mr Steven Copeland

ATTENDANCE: 3,441 (898 in away end)


Altrincham were unchanged from their win at Solihull. So that meant that Matt Gould started a fourth successive league game for the first time in his Alty career, which is now halfway through its fourth season.

Oldham started with former Alty loanee Tyrese Sinclair on their left-wing whilst ex-Alty defender Kyle Ferguson was named on the bench. They welcomed back Kairo Mitchell, Geoge Nevett and Cian Hayes to their starting eleven whilst the ten-week injury absence of Adam Clayton ended with his appearance on the bench.


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Matt Gould, 2. Lewis Banks, 15. Jake Cooper, 4. Lewis Baines, 3. Eddie Jones, 8. Isaac Marriott (c), 6. Elliot Osborne, 10. Chris Conn-Clarke, 30. Alex Newby, 11. Justin Amaluzor, 9. Regan Linney. Subs: 16. Sam Roscoe, 7. Matty Kosylo, 14. Dior Angus, 19. George Wilson, 44. Dan Mooney.

ROCHDALE (Blue and black stripes, black shorts and socks) 1. Tiernan Brooks, 2. Kyron Gordon, 3. Cameron John, 4. Ryan East, 6. Ethan Ebanks-Blake (c), 7. Tyrese Sinclair, 9. Kairo Mitchell, 14. D'Mani Bughail-Mellor, 15. George Nevett, 18. Cian Hayes, 20. Harvey Gilmour. Subs: 8. Adam Clayton, 11. Jesurun Uchegbulan, 13. Jimmy Keohane, 24. Kyle Ferguson, 40. Ian Henderson.


This fixture should have been played on Tuesday 23 January but a waterlogged pitch prevented that happening and also meant that the planned television coverage had been lost. After plenty of rain which had caused the postponement of a midweek fixture, today's match was able to go ahead after sterling work by the ground maintenance team.

There were three large areas which necessitated heavy sanding but the surface passed a referee's inspection at 11am.

Altrincham were seeking a third successive league win whilst Rochdale had lost their two previous league fixtures.


Rochdale kicked off towards the Golf Road end but, inside the second minute, it was Altrincham's Regan Liney who was claiming a penalty after going down inthe box but he had gone down a little too easily for Mr Copeland's taste.

However, it was Dale who enjoyed the better of the opening stages and they won two early corners. The first, from the left was helped across the penalty area by an Alty back-header only for a Rochdale head to put the ball wide of goal. A Banks error then a meant that Marriott had to scuttle back to concede the second corner (7 mins).

Indeed, Alty lost the ball cheaply several times in the opening minutes.

Next it was Sinclair whose well-struck, low shot, was saved at the base of his right upright by Gould (10 mins). Despite another cheap surrender of possession from a mispass by Altrincham, it was the hosts who threatened next as a pull-back from the left allowed Conn-Clarke a shot which was well blocked by Brooks. Amaluzor hit the rebound goalwards only to see Brooks, a Notts County loanee, again save the day for his side.

However, the keeper could not hold the ball and Amaluzor got a second chance which was blocked once more (12 mins).

As the game passed the 15 minute mark, Altrincham were beginning to get the upper hand. A fine run up the left by Linney led to his pull-back but Conn-Clarke over-hit an intended return pass to the striker (16 mins). An Alty corner soon followed, which was played short to Osborne, but his shot went into orbit (17 mins).

Next Marriott earned his side a corner from which a Cooper header was cleared (22 mins).

Alty contiued to threaten when a multiple-pass move ended with a threatening low cross from Amaluzor (23 mins)> Then a Banks cross was met by a rare Conn-Clarke header which Brooks saved comfortably (24 mins). The pressure continued as Amaluzor rose but could not quite each a Newby cross fom the left, the side which was being favoured by the players as it was less heavily sanded.

Alty had a second unanswered penalty appeal when Conn-Clarke went down in the box but again Mr Copeland was right to turn it down (39 mins).

After an uncharacteristic Marriott error, Rochdale won themselves a corner to relieve the pressure but this only led to a smart counter-attack as Conn-Clarke set Newby advancing up the left but the move ended with an Osborne shot which was deflected for a corner.

But Rochdale themselves now threatened as Gilmour's long-range shot just cleared the bar (33 mins). Nevertheless, Alty continued to have the better things before another vain penalty appeal by Conn-Clarke, for alleged handball, was again rejected by the referee (40 mins).

When Linney turned past an opponent and was brought down, Alty had a promising freekick 25 yards out left of goal. However, Conn-Clarke could only hit the freekick into the defensive wall (42 mins).

However, a low shot by Conn-Clarke soon won a corner for his side. From Newby's corner a back-post header by Cooper was blocked as Rochdale remained on the back foot (43 mins).

But Rochdale could not get to the interval on level terms as a well-hit effort by Eddy Jones from left of goal was well saved by Brooks but he could only divert the ball onto the inisde of the far post where Amaluzor was quickest to react as he put the ball into the net from 12 yards to make it 1-0 (44 mins).

After a bright start by Rochdale, Alty had deserved their interval lead.


For once, Altrincham were the first of the teams to emerge for the second half. But, as in the first half, Rochdale started well and Alty picked up a booking for a foul by Amalauzor (53 mins).

From the freekick Sinclair headed over the bar (54 mins). Next Hayes fired wildly over the bar (55 mins).

After Linney had forced a save, Rochdale made a change with Clayton, returning from a long lay-off, replaced East (59 mins).

Rochdale now enjoyed a spell largely in the Altrincham half but a comfortable save by Gould from Hayes was the neaest to a goal for the visitors (63 mins). Soon after Phil Parkinson had exhorted his team to play the ball "quicker", the Robins doubled their lead. And just two minutes later it was 3-0 with Marriott again instrumental in the goal. He fed Conn-Clarke who netted his 17th league goal of the campaign (68 mins). But there was almost a Rochdale goal a minute later as Gould pulled off a fine save after Nevett's header rebounded goalwards off the post.

Rochdale continued to get forward and soon Hayes won a corner for them (73 mins). The lively Hayes was surprisingly withdrawn soon afterwards as Uchegbulan came on and Henderson replaced Mitchell (77 mins).

Altrincham continued to look secure at the back before Osborne picked up a card for a foul (80 mins). Alty brought everyone back to withstand some sustained Dale pressure but Gould was not seriously tested.

A double change by Alty brought on Wilson and Angus for Linney and Conn-Clarke (85 mins). The hosts were containing Rochdale fairly comfortably, the visitors being limited to two routine shots which Gould held comfortably

Just before five added minutes were decreed Kosylo completed the substitutions as he replaced Newby (90 mins). In added time Sinclair fired over the bar and Banks found himself booked for holding (90+3 mins) as Altrincham completed an impressive victory which put them up to fourth in the league with games in hand.

A 3-0 margin was perhaps a little harsh on a Rochdale side which played the game the right way and which kept coming forward even when the game was a lost cause but they lacked a cutting edge.

But nothing could detract from another accomplished performance from Altrincham with a solid defence, incisive attack and creative midfield all in evidence.