|Venue: Moss Lane Date: 24-10-23 Altrincham 1 Harriers 1 Att: 2077 (away fans: 223)
Harriers hold out against the excellent Alty
Report: Phil Lench
They say an early goal comes back to haunt you and so, to a certain extent, it did so at Altrincham tonight. Within seconds of the game starting we had already had a close chance when Caleb Richards saw his shot blocked after just fifteen seconds and then a minute later we had taken the lead with a complicated goal from a simple trademark Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain throw in. Arrowed right in front of the keeper, Ethan Ross, the ball fell into a scurry of feet and ended up in the back of the net.
The complication came in deciding who had got the final touch. At first it was credited to Krystian Pearce, then ten minutes later the announcer announced that it was now being given to Reiss McNally but then after the break it was given as an own goal by the announcer. Following the game Altrincham put their match report up and in there stated it had now been credited to the former Harrier Dior Angus as an own goal.
In front of a decent crowd, in a past its best stadium, there was a sobering minutes silence to mark the passing of the legendary Sir Bobby Charlton. It was treated with the utmost respect but one felt that maybe a minute of applause would have been more fitting. On our bench was new loan signing Ryan McLean formerly of Hereford FC and now of AFC Wimbledon but unable to get a game there. Also sat down was Matt Preston on his second long journey back from injury.
Following that early opening goal the hosts slowly recovered and began to dominate the game. Some of their possession, passing and crossing was a class or two above us and you can see why they’re doing so well towards the top of the table. We, sadly, still look like a National North side and our main tactic was to stand off, letting them attack, and then booting to ball skywards to claim twenty seconds of breathing space. Not good.
Alty’s superior play paid off mid way through the half when, again, we stood off fullback Lewis Banks as he moved forwards onto our goal and then cut inside to fire a strong shot into Christian Dibbles net. Not one single defender made any real attempt to stop him!
Somehow we managed to see the remainder of the half out with Angus trying a shot from distance that was just over the bar while, the very quite Chris Conn-Clarke, sent his shot wide of the left post. We had just a couple of chances to get our noses back in front with Bailey Hobsons’ shot being saved by Ross and Kieran Phillips close range header also dealt with by the tall keeper.
HT: 1 – 1
Following what seemed a very long half time break the teams re-emerged into the cold Autumn night with traces of fog, or vape smoke, swirling around the far side of the ground obviously coming from the Manchester Ship Canal 🙂
It was Alty that dominated the second half of the game with the Harriers on the back foot for most of it. A training ground free kick routine saw the hosts almost go into the lead as two players pretended to get in each others way while leaving the ball for Eddy Jones to fire towards the top corner but somehow Dibble got over to it and pushed it over the bar.
They had two more chances late on with the first being wasted when Justin Amaluzor fired in a shot that Dibble pushed back towards him but his follow up was skied right over the bar. Again they broke through and Eddy Jones had a second chance to score but his scuffed chance was pushed away by Dibble.
With time running out we had a final fling at trying to get something from the game when Sam Robinson went surging towards the goal only to find himself being hauled up and over on the edge of the area by an Altrincham defender. Pleading to the referee for a hoped for penalty he, and we, were amazed to see the ref say no and instead give a free kick to Alty. We had a lot of that.
The four minutes of injury time seemed to take four hours to pass but finally it did and we had held out against one of the best teams we have seen this season so far. On Saturday we have Chesterfield and we may not be so happy then.
FT: 1 – 1
Goal for Altrincham: Banks 28
Goal for Harriers: OG (Angus) 2
The Harriers Online MotM is: Sam Robinson
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|Mr James Westgate