Alty's disappointing start to the season continued as they lost to a headed goal by Wiley, from a right-wing corner. The first half had seen some good play from Alty but with no real goal threat at the end of it.
But Alty started the second half poorly and Matlock took the lead in the 49th minute. Second half substitutions did improve things but it was deep into added time before Sam Sheridan produced his side's best shot of the game which Barnes pushed over the bar.
REFEREE: Mr Richard Watson
Altrincham had several players unavailable to manager Phil Parkinson. In addition to long-term injury victim Sean Miller, right-back John Disney and defender Chris Lynch were also not fully fit, whilst Josh Amis continues his recovery from an appendix operation. In addition, Shaun Densmore was unavailable. Tom Hannigan was available as his suspension starts on Tuesday.
Into the side came midfielder Laurence Taylor and forward Tom Peers, whilst midfielder Simon Richman had to be deployed at right-back.
MATLOCK TOWN (Blue and white) 1 Phil Barnes 2 Nico Degirolamo 3 Jake Green 4 Joe Doyle-Charles 5 Adam Yates (c) 6 Dwayne Wiley 7 Darnelle Bailey-King 8 Callum Lloyd 9 Shaun Harrad 10 Ted Cribley 11 Rhys Sharpe Subs 12 Marc Newsham 14 Ryan Wilson 15 Luis Rose 16 Zeyn Hakeem 17 Tyler Blake
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Simpn RICHMAN, 3. Lewis SHORT, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Laurence TAYLOR, 9. Tom PEERS, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK Subs 12. Sam SHERIDAN, 14. Jordan HULME, 15. John DISNEY, 16. Chris LYNCH, 17. Tim DEASY
After their battling ten-man draw on Tuesday night, hopes were high that Altrincham had turned the corner after their hugely disappointing home victory to Stafford Rangers on the opening day of the season.
Mike Garnett reminds us of the historical record of matches between Alty and our opponents, Matlock Town. Whilst Alty have been very successful at home, at Matlock it has been a different story...
Alty last met Matlock Town as recently last season on 15 October 2016 in an Emirates FA Cup 4QR match at Moss Lane, which Alty won 3-1. Only two players started that game for Alty and also began the most recent league game at Nantwich; they were Jake Moult and Simon Richman.
Alty's summer trialist James Jones was at the match and is expected to join the club shortly.
Matlock kicked off defending the cricket pitch end of this attractively located ground. Once again, Alty started the match quite brightly, passing the ball around, and they also got in the first meaningful shot, when a Poole twenty-yarder was saved by the diving Barnes (3 mins).
Next Peers got into the box but his cut-back pass was behind Richman. Then Poole played Peers into the box but he was halted as rain now fell on what was to be an afternoon of sunshine and showers (7 mins).
However, the Gladiators soon came to life as the pacey Bailey-King got free up the right, past Hannigan, with Short stranded upfielded. But his shot across goal went narrowly wide of the back post. Then Cribley got free and Richman tripped him to earn an early booking (13 mins).
From Matlock's freekick, 25 yards out, Thompson tipped the ball round the post to his right for a corner, which the Alty keeper punched clear. Then a Town cross caused some concern before Alty cleared the pressure. Next Richman had to hack clear as Alty were penned back at this stage (16 mins).
Matlock's Doyle-Charles won his side another corner, off Harrison, on their right. Wiley glanced a header wide from this corner but was to do better later in the game. Things improved for the visitors as a good move only ended with Johnston being halted. When Hancock was held, the victim himself hit the freekick, from 30 yards out, into the wall (22 mins)
The hosts looked the more incisive and Hannigan had to cover smartly when Bailey-King outpaced Short up the Matlock right. At the other end, a Peers shot was blocked then a mishit shot by Poole went for a goalkick. Next, Poole fired over from the edge of the box from Peers's lay-off (26 mins).
With Hancock getting flagged offside as Poole put him clear, then Johnston miscontrolling the ball, before Hancock was again needlessly offside, Altrincham were not converting their possession into anything threatening (30 mins).
Indeed, it was the 32nd minute before Alty's first corner arrived, off Yates, but Barnes punched it clear. Soon afterwards, a Poole shot hit Yates and gained another corner, which was followed by another, on the left of the pitch this time (34 mins).
Matlock left-back Green was coming out on top in his battle with Johnston as Alty continued to misfire with Taylor overhitting a through ball to the keeper and Thompson again kicking into touch. For Matlock, a ball in from the left by Green was just reached by Harrad at the back post but he could not direct it at goal (40 mins).
As half time approached, Poole fed Johnston who overhit his cross but Alty now earned another corner from a Richman cross (43 mins). Another corner followed off Wiley. And this led to yet another corner which was punched half clear.
Next, Peers hammered the ball into the net but was given offside (45 mins). Added time witnessed an impressive Johnston flick over a defender and a cross but the interval arrived with the score goalless.
|Half-Time: MATLOCK TOWN 0
After Alty had kicked off the second half, Harrison and Hannigan each misheaded the ball but they managed between them to get it to Thompson. Then, after Cribley had beaten Harrison, Harrad won a corner. This was curled in from the right to Wiley who headed firmly home to make it 1-0 (49 mins). Alty's susceptibility from corners is becoming a concern, having conceded from flag-kicks in every game so far this season.
The home side continued to set the pace as a Bailey-King low cross had to be well held, low down, by Thompson (53 mins). Next a Sharpe shot went wide from left of goal after a Harrison clearance. The Gladiators now brought on Blake for Sharpe (56 mins). With Matlock on the front foot, Moult made an important block on Cribley.
Just after the hour-mark, which marked four hours of football this season without a goal from open play for Altrincham, Johnston got to the byline but his cross went out for a goalkick. Alty were yet to threaten in the second half.
After Green had nutmegged Richman, Peers fouled the home defender to the left of the Alty box and was fortunate to escape a booking. The freekick had to be headed over his own bar by Moult for a corner (64 mins). Now Hulme came on for Johnston (65 mins).
After Green had held Peers, Poole's freekick was cleared and Poole himself was then penalised against Green. When Blake got the better of Harrison, his cross led to a Harrad header which cleared the bar (68 mins).
After Alty's poor start to the half, they began to improve as Barnes saved well from Poole, following a one-two with Peers. For Matlock, a Cribley 20 yarder flew just wide as rain now fell again. Sheridan now replaced Taylor in midfield (71 mins), followed by Rose coming on for Bailey-King for Matlock.
After these changes, a Poole 20-yarder flew very close to the post to the keeper's left after Harrison had advanced upfield. Alty were improving.
A fine Sheridan ball to Short was followed by the left-back beating his man but he then mispassed inside the box (76 mins).
A Doyle-Charles foul on Poole earned him a booking before Hancock's header cleared the bar from the freekick. Next, a Hannigan misheader drew Thompson out of his goal smartly to block the ball on the right edge of his box (80 mins).
Alty were now pressing and won a corner on the right, followed by another which came from a melee in the box in which Barnes punched clear and clashed with Hulme.
Following good work from Short, Hulme won another corner but Barnes collected this from Poole (86 mins). Sheridan soon won a freekick on the right wing, 35 yards out and Barnes punched this out to Hulme, whose lob went disappointingly over the bar (87 mins).
Four added minutes were decreed and in the second of these, Hulme won a corner on the left. Next a Richman cross saw Peers almost get in at the back post. But Alty saved their best shot till the last seconds as a well-struck Sheridan 20 yarder forced Barnes to tip the ball over the bar for what proved to be yet another fruitless corner.
So a season which started with optimism is, so far, proving to be problematical. A promising first half was followed here by a poor second which only improved in the final fifteeen minutes or so after two substitutions had been made. Defending of corners and the taking of half-chances remain top of the players' homework list.
|Full-Time: MATLOCK TOWN 1