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NWYA Premier Division match
played at Valley Road, Flixton, on Sunday, 8 October 2017, at 2.30pm


ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Cameron TERRY, 2. Nathan BRAITHWAITE-BOOTH, 3. James O'HARA, 4. Fergus GROGAN, 5. Will HALL, 6. Ollie OKUNOWU, 17. Dylan SCANLAN, 8. Harry SHERIDAN (c), 9. Kane HUSSAIN, 10. Calvin BOYD, 11. Reiss HUGHES. Subs incl. 18. Curtis MILLER.


After the visitors had kicked off, the first hint of goalmouth action came with a sixth-minute Scanlan cross from the right which found no one on its end. Following a foul by Hall, the referee spoke to both him and the visitors' no.9 and booked the latter, though it seemed at the time that he had booked both players (8 mins).

Another Scanlan cross went begging, four minutes later, and then Alty won the match's first corner. This was half-cleared to Hussain but he sliced his effort off target. When Hussain was then flattened by a challenge, the visitors' no.4 was rightly cautioned (12 mins).

An Ashton corner came and went as both keepers remained little more than spectators. The quality of the match began to inprove around the half-hour mark as Boyd had a shot saved and then Terry had to make a better stop at the other end, after the visitors' no.6 had fed their no.9. Terry also saved a follow-up, at the cost of a corner.

Ashton brought on their no.15 for no.8 before Alty scorned a good chance. Hughes's excellent cross found Hussain but he screwed his shot well wide (34 mins).

Next, Hussain was booked, presumably for dissent (37 mins) before a crude challenge on the Alty striker gained a freekick but went unpunished with any card (37 mins).

A good Altrincham move involving Scanlan, Hussain and their right-back ended with the last named's excellent, low cross, which Boyd converted at the back post to make it 1-0 (43 mins).

After this the referee booked Hall apparently for dissent. Next, from a freekick narrowly inside the Altrincham half, taken by Ashton's no.7, the visitors no.11 was left unmarked. Towards the near post, he stole in to poke the ball past Terry for an equalizer (45+1 mins). It was a doubly disappointing goal to concede as it arrived just before half time.


The second half started quite slowly with Altrincham winning the half's first corner, eight minutes in. The hosts continued to be on top as another home corner came and went before they made a change with Miller replacing Hussain (56 mins). Scanlan now moved from the right wing to the main striker role.

Next, it took a good stop by the Ashton keeper to prevent a goal after Scanlan had made space well and got in a good shot (60 mins).

From an O'Hara cross, Boyd then had a shot blocked and O'Hara did very well to race back and break up a visitors' counter-attack. But when O'Hara was pushed and then handled the ball and was penalised, it was the Alty man who was booked for his reasonable complaint to the referee (62 mins).

Altrincham continued on top and won the match's next two corners before both sides made changes. Alty brought on no.14 for no.2 and Ashton restored nos. 8 and 9 for 10 and 12 (73 mins).

An Ashton corner came and went before their lively no.15 was suprisingly withdrawn and no. 16 came on (80 mins).

Following a foot-up challenge, Sheridan became the next name in the referee's increasingly full notebook (82 mins). Goalkeeper Terry then did well to smother the ball from the visitors' no.8. At the other end, after Scanlan had won a corner, he went down in the Ashton box but no penalty resulted. To everyone's surprise, the referee then called over Scanlan and showed him a red card for reasons that were unclear (87 mins).

The referee annoyed Alty even more when Sheridan was fouled but kept possession and any advantage was lost by the award of a freekick (90 mins). As Altrincham pressed for the late winner that their second half perfomance had deserved, Grogan fired narrowly over the bar.

Then Ashton made a late change as no.15 came on for no.16 but the drama was not over yet. The referee yet again stopped play and now showed a red card to the visitors' number eight, another decision that bemused the spectators.

So the game ended in a draw, leaving Altrincham still in search of a first league win this campaign.