View From Altrincham
February 22, 2015
BRISTOL ROVERS 1. v. 0. ALTRINCHAM
(Excellent Match Report courtesy of the Altrincham Official Site.)
Vanarama Conference Premier match played on Saturday 21 February, 2015.
A headed goal just before half time by Parkes settled this match. After a decent first half display Alty rarely threatened in the second period until the final five minutes. Reeves even headed into the net at the death but offside saved Rovers. However the visitors could have no real complaints at the final outcome.
- 45 mins: Tom PARKES (Bristol Rovers 1 ALTRINCHAM 0)
REFEREE: Mr Brett Huxtable (Devon)
ATTENDANCE: 6765 (162 from Altrincham)
Cavanagh returned to the squad but there was no place in the squad for either Gillespie or Crowther.
BRISTOL ROVERS (Blue and white quarters) 1. Steve Mildenhall, 5. Mark McChrystal, 6. Tom Parkes, 2. Daniel Leadbitter, 3. Lee Brown, 7. Lee Mansell, 4. Tom Lockyer, 23. Andy Monkhouse, 28. Adam Dawson, 10. Matty Taylor, 27. Nathan Blissett. Subs: 11. Jake Gosling, 14. Josh Wakefield, 25. Will Purdy, 17. Ellis Harrison, 29. Angelo Balanta
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white stripes, black shorts, red socks): 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 5. Gianluca Havern, 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 4. Jake Moult, 8. Simon Richman, 11. Nicky Clee, 10. Damian Reeves, 7. James Lawrie, 14. Kyle Perry. Subs: 25. Peter Cavanagh, 6. Scott Leather, 17.Dave Parton, 18. Shaun Williams, 26. Jordan Sinnott.
Altrincham beat Rovers 2-1 in the reverse fixture; since then, however, Rovers had risen to second in the table.
Rovers kicked off and immediately gained a throw, in the corner on their right wing. Indeed, The Gas concentrated their probing up their right flank in the early stages.
Alty responded but Perry was halted in the box, after which he was pushed in the face by Parkes, who avoided any sanction from the referee (4 mins). Next, a Densmore shot was blocked (6 mins) before a low Reeves cross into the Rovers’ box was cleared.
In cold and gusty conditions, Alty continued their decent atart to the game but Perry was unable to gather a long ball, which ran off his boot to the keeper (13 mins). Both sides were making unforced errors but, after 17 minutes, it took a good save from Coburn to stop a Blissett shot.
Play continued fairly uneventfully until Perry was held in the box by Parkes but, again, referee Huxtable saw no offence (23 mins). Next, under pressure, Alty conceded a corner off Griffin, followed by another corner soon afterwards.
Rovers now had the upper hand and, after Marshall had been beaten in the air at the back post, it took a fine one-handed save by Coburn to keep the game goalless (24 mins).
For Altrincham, a Clee run led to a Lawrie shot, which was blocked before a Densmore cross went to keeper Mildenhall (26 mins). But Alty kept losing possession as they sought to build momentum. The next action at either end was a Perry nod, which ran to the keeper, followed at the other end by a 20 yarder which cleared Coburn’s bar (30 mins).
After some Rovers pressing, Perry got forward but shot very wide. Following two home freekicks, a Bristol corner followed. Whilst Rovers were very solid at the back they continued to falter up front as their next two attacks showed. After one shot had been scooped badly over the bar, a home player was put clear but shot badly wide (38 mins).
After Perry had been fouled on the edge of Bristol’s box, Marshall’s kick went off the wall for a corner. From this Perry’s shirt was nearly pulled off his back as the ball was cleared but this went undetected by Mr Huxtable (40 mins).
Alty continued to hold their own as a Clee shot was blocked and a subsequent Alty move faltered. Next, from Griffin’s excellent cross, Perry headed over the bar from close range but was given offside in any case (43 mins). The Gas now wasted a corner but won another when a cross was deflected onto the outside of the post.
From the right, the corner was met by the head of the unmarked Parkes, at the back post, who made it 1-0 to Rovers (45 mins). In added time, Reeves lashed a shot over the bar but was given offside.
Alty had performed quite well in the first half before conceding disappointingly, from a set-piece, right at the end of the 45 minutes.
Harrison replaced Taylor for Rovers before Alty kicked off the second period, which began quietly. Seven minutes into the half, Moult lost the ball and Harrison went on to hit the outside of the post, but Coburn had it covered. Then a Leadbitter run was halted by Marshall.
After an Alty freekick and two throws, Richman lost possession and Coburn had to save a Bristol 25 yarder (59 mins). Alty were not looking like scoring this half and, indeed, there was scant goalmouth action at either end at this stage. Then Rovers won a corner off Griffin. Following this, from a cross from the left, Harrison headed wide (65 mins).
Rovers’ Dawson now went off and Gosling replaced him (66 mins). Two minutes later, Jordan Sinnott came on for Perry who humorously saluted the taunting fans in the Bristol end. Next Marshall and Moult collided and hurt themselves. After treatment the ref did not make them leave the pitch but awarded a contested dropped ball inside Alty’s penalty box (69 mins).
A Bristol corner on their right came and went but Alty were posing no threat going forward until a Griffin cross, which was just too high for Reeves to head properly (75 mins). Nevertheless, Alty’s 162 supporters were still singing as their side remained in the match.
Ten minutes from time, Blissett went off as Balanta came on for Rovers. Alty were still working hard to contain Rovers but then a Densmore run forward was halted. When Richman was upended 25 yards out, a Rovers man was yellow-carded (82 mins).
Following the freekick, Moult put the loose ball well over the bar (84 mins). Next, Coburn saved from Balanta after a Harrison cross. Soon, a corner was awarded to Rovers, which Parkes headed just over the bar (85 mins).
When Alty won an 88th minute corner on the left, it prompted a desperate closing period for the Bristol defence. A fine cross from the right by Sinnott was met by a diving header from Reeves, whose effort beat the keeper but was ruled out for offside (89 mins).
Next, Reeves almost scored with a shot which prompted a melee in Bristol’s box and an Alty freekick. From this, Lawrie fired over the bar (90 mins). Part-time Alty were finishing the game strongly and won another freekick. Although kept on the back foot, Rovers held out till the end of four added minutes.
Rovers deserved the win which took them to within a point of Barnet at the top of the table. Altrincham had not been disgraced but had been kept on the back foot for most of the second half.