Venue: Moss Lane
Saturday August 20th, 3pm kick-off
Conditions: Bright and sunny with a strong cross wind
Pitch: As you would expect on the second home game or the season.
Attendance: 1,621 (142 away supporters)
Scorers: Malachi Linton 8 (1-0), Toby Mullarkey 39 (1-1), Gime Toure 70 (2-1), Egli Kaja 90 (2-2).
Yeovil Town: None
Altrincham: Cooper 60
Referee: Gareth Rhodes
Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
Morgan Williams, Max Hunt, Josh Staunton, Jamie Reckord
Charlie Wakefield, Matt Worthington, Lawson D’Ath (for Sam Perry 89), Chiori Johnson (for Matt Grivosti 73)
Alex Fisher (for Gime Toure, 61) Malachi Linton
Substitutes (not used): Will Buse, Alfie Pond.
Altrincham: Mee, Jones, Baines, Osborne, Cooper, Mullarkey, Lundstram, Bennett (for Kaja, 68), Conn-Clarke (for Pringle, 68), Colclough, Hulme (for Dinanga, 79). Substitutes (not used): Brockbank, Samizadeh.
An injury time equaliser from Altrincham substitute Egli Kaja saw Yeovil Town’s search for their first win of the season go on.
Having taken the lead early on through Malachi Linton, the visitors were pegged back by a goal from Toby Mullarkey late in the first half and then forced to soak up a great deal of pressure early in the second half.
The ‘Hargreaves-ball’ style which had been evident in the previous two matches was in short supply, but the introduction of forward Gime Toure midway through the second half provided a spark.
The Frenchman drew Yeovil level on 72 minutes before Kaja struck at the death. In fairness, it was a game we have probably did not deserve to win, but it was a sickening way to be denied it.
Here’s how Dave saw it from the sun-soaked away end at Moss Lane…..
The game opened with the visitors attacking the home end with a strong left-to-right wind causing issues with balls floated over the top.
Jordan Hulme and Ryan Colclough both forces Grant Smith in to early action, but it was Yeovil who took the lead after just nine minutes.
Matt Worthington dispossessed his man and fed the ball to Malachi LINTON (aka ‘Mal’ to our listeners) who turned and slammed home an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box.
But Altrincham kept up the pressure seeing more or the ball with Colclough a threat down the left flank without causing too much to trouble Grant Smith. However, if there was to be any joy for the home side, it was going to come from a wide position
Having earned a corner shortly before the half-hour mark, Glovers’ defender Max Hunt directed a corner in to the hands of Dermot Mee in the hosts’ goal.
Moments later a great through ball from D’Ath set Wakefield away, he was clattered just outside the box but the referee Gareth Rhodes was unmoved.
With the game closing towards half-time, Altrincham found their way through the visitors’ defence and on 40 minutes they pulled level.
Chris Conn-Clarke brought the ball forward without much resistance and his effort deflected to Colclough whose smashed a shot across the face of goal. The chance looked to have gone wide, only for Toby MULLARKEY to burst in from right back at the far post to tuck it home from an acute angle.
It was nothing more than Altrincham deserved having carved out a couple of opportunities as the half wore on, however, the half-hearted nature of the efforts to stop the move will have frustrated boss Chris Hargreaves.
I firmly suspect the possession stats would show Alty bossing the ball in the first half and there was not a great deal of the free-flowing ‘Hargreaves-ball’ which had been seen in the previous two outings.
Half time: Altrincham 1 Yeovil Town 1
The second half started as the first one finished with the visitors affording their hosts too much time on the ball. Altrincham responded by testing Grant Smith before Max Hunt was forced to clear a goalbound effort off the line.
For the opening 15 minutes of the second half, it was the home side in the ascendancy, but again they were not able to turn their dominance in to many clear-cut opportunities.
Seeking a spark, Hargreaves threw on forward Gime Toure in place of Alex Fisher around the four mark. For all his running around, Fisher never looked like threatening the goal.
Toure’s arrival had the desired impact with the Glovers having a flurry of opportunities around the 66 minutes mark. Johnson’s tame header could not threaten, but a sumptuous ball in from D’Ath moments later almost found the head of Toure. From the resulting corner, Josh Staunton nodded over Worthington’s corner.
The arrival of Toure seemed to give the home side something to think about and on 72 minutes he grabbed the lead. A mistake from the home side saw him gifted possession, he broke forward in to the box and, having had his first efforts blocked by on-rushing defenders, the ball broke to him again and TOURE slammed home his first goal for the club.
The lead was probably harsh on Altrincham who had dominated up to the Frenchman’s arrival, but there was always the fear of a mistake in Yeovil. With ten minutes to go, Jordan Hulme twisted and turned in the box and fired in a shot that Smith had to save with his feet.
If the Hargreaves-ball was missing, there is always the class of D’Ath to enjoy. The playmaker was taken off in the 89th minute, replaced by Sam Perry to well-earned applause from the away end.
But remember how I said there was a mistake in the visitors? Just moments after the fourth official’s board went up to display five minutes of added time, a ball from a wide position (where have we heard that before?) got a glancing header from substitute Egli KAJA to draw the game level.