Altrincham vs. Whitby Town

Altrincham 1 - 0 Whitby Town
22 Aug 2017 - 19:45J.DAVIDSON STADIUM, Moss Ln, Hale, Altrincham WA15 8AP

Town’s poor start to their Evo-Stik Premier campaign continued as they fell to a third defeat in four, at Altrincham.

Josh Hancock’s first half goal was all that separated the two sides, though in truth it could easily have been more with the hosts’ profligacy in front of goal evident.

The Blues, however, had two big penalty appeals turned down either side of half-time by Alan Bennett which could have changed the course of the game.

Chris Hardy made two changes to the side that lost out against Stourbridge, bringing in Andrew May and Andy Monkhouse for Lee Bullock and Kieran Weledji.

Despite the hosts also having a poor start to the season, they looked the brightest in the opening stages with right-back Simon Richman almost striking the base of the post from twenty yards.

Whitby looked to take the game to their hosts though, forcing a positive spell for themselves, and should have had a penalty early on.

Steven Snaith’s ball forward in search of David Carson was a good one, though when chasing it down, the Blues attacker was clearly tripped from behind by Lewis Short, though nothing was given.

The Blues carried on, however, and could have led on fifteen minutes.

Matty Tymon turned his man well, after receiving the ball from Callum Martin, but his effort was cleared off the line by Richman, after beating Tony Thompson.

Ten minutes later, Whitby went close again from a set-piece.

Tom Peers’ late challenge upended Adam Gell on the edge of the penalty area, leaving David Carson to step up from the free-kick. His curling effort went close, though was pushed away at full-stretch by Thompson.

The hosts began to find their feet again, and had the ball in the net just a minute before the half hour mark.

Peers was found in space by Laurence Taylor’s through-ball, before firing a thunderous attempt into the roof of the net at Shane Bland’s near post, though was adjudged to have been offside.

That was to be merely a dress rehearsal for Altrincham, however, and they took the lead two minutes after.

Richman broke into the box, forcing Bland to parry his effort across goal, though he could only send it in the direction of Hancock, who sent the ball into the net from the left-hand side of goal.

The Blues looked lost from this point, and could have been two down on as many occasions not long after.

Trouble-causer Hancock danced through Whitby’s defence on a run from deep, though saw his effort saved, before sending a golden opportunity wide when in acres of space, following a clever pass from James Poole.

Hardy’s side re-grouped after a spell of Altrincham dominance, and should have equalised on the brink of half-time.

Callum Martin’s deep cross found James Risbrough at the back post, who headed wide, though should have done far better.

Altrincham started the second period in a similar vein to how they started the first. Again they should have doubled their lead through Hulme, who beat two men but could only force a save from Bland.

Whitby were mostly limited to half-chances in the early stages of the half, with Carson firing over from range on two occasions.

Tymon went close to equalising, however, with little more than twenty minutes remaining.

Adam Gell’s corner found the forward lurking at the back post, though his low driven effort went wide of the back post.

The Blues then had a massive penalty appeal turned down; a second of the night. Carson’s driven twenty-yard attempt was parried by Thompson into the path of Tymon, who was clearly pulled down, though referee Bennett gave nothing again.

The game had opened up, though Altrincham’s profligacy in front of goal continued with Poole firing wide, before James Jones headed a corner just wide, with just fifteen minutes remaining.

The hosts faced a nervy final five minutes having not wrapped the game up, as Hardy introduced two attackers to the fray in Anthony Hume and Mikey Roberts, who joined Kieran Weledji, who joined the action just over ten minutes earlier.

The Blues earned a free-kick in the third of four added minutes. Dan McWilliams’ deep ball forced Thompson to tip wide for a corner, with his counterpart Bland joining the attack for one last throw of the dice.

Callum Martin’s corner swung to the back post, finding Monkhouse, though his low attempt was agonisingly stopped on the line by the Alty stopper, to ensure the host’s first three points of the season.

Altrincham: Thompson, Richman, Short, Jones, Harrison, Moult (C), Peers, Taylor, Hulme (Johnston ’66), Poole (Sheridan ’81), Hancock. Subs not used: Disney, Harrop, Deasy.

Whitby Town: Bland, Martin, McWilliams, May, Bythway, Snaith, Monkhouse, Gell (Weledji ’73), Carson, Tymon (Roberts ’83), Risbrough (Hume ’88). Subs not used: McGoldrick, Fryatt.

Whitby Town MotM: Shane Bland – Once again made a string of impressive saves to keep the scoreline respectable for Whitby.

Attendance: 579