This would have been the Good Friday (02/04) game; but the passing of our captain Lee Collins earlier that week put anything so trivial as playing a football match into perspective.
Saturday’s (22/05) rearrangement will be our first trip to Moss Lane in twenty-one years, since 29th April 2000 to be exact, when a 2-2 draw helped Alty on their way to relegation out of what was then called the Nationwide Conference into the Northern Premier League. Kick-off is 3.00 p.m.
From that time the two clubs veered along different paths, until now. With the formation of Conference North and South in 2004 Alty found their natural football niche: a yo-yo club between the North and the National divisions. They might have yo-yoed even more but for an unlikely sequence of good fortune. Between 2005-06 and 2007-08 Altrincham finished in the relegation zone all three seasons, only to be reprieved each time. In 2005-06 they were saved when Canvey Island resigned and Scarborough were demoted; saved again in 2006-07 when Boston United were demoted; and yet again in 2007-08 with the liquidation of Halifax. A couple of seasons later they were again back in the relegation zone, but this time had run out of clubs to be demoted in their stead.
Since then Altrincham has been up and down several times, the most recent move being upwards from North to National last season when PPG had them finishing sixth and they then beat Chester, York City and Boston United in the belated play-offs.
Back at Easter when the match was originally scheduled both clubs could still just about claim to have vague aspirations of unlikely bids for the play-offs. These are now long gone. Altrincham, 11th on 27th March after a 0-1 win away to Maidenhead, have not won a game since. Having only picked up a single point in the meantime – a 1-1 draw at home to Notts County – it’s been a steady drift down the table, to a current 17th.
This should be Altrincham’s first match with some fans back at Moss Lane (J. Davidson Stadium). The club is hoping to be allowed 1,200 spectators though there appears to have been some delay in getting the required confirmation from Trafford Borough Council. However, any hiccups are irrelevant to us as whenever it does get sorted it’ll be home fans only.
Yeovil Town has Alex Bradley and Luke Wilkinson serving suspensions. Billy Sass-Davies should know the Moss Lane pitch well having had two loan spells with Altrincham, the second earlier this season when he made seven appearances.
The Alty TV LIVE streaming service costs £9.99 and can be found via: Streaming on Alty TV LIVE | Altrincham Football Club (altrinchamfc.com) . At the time of writing purchase for the Yeovil fixture has not gone live.
The usual radio commentary from BBC Somerset Radio Somerset – Listen Live – BBC Sounds and Three Valleys Three Valleys Radio – Yeovil’s Sports Radio Station will be available.