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Match Report


Posted Thu 10 May 12 at 06:12 AM

What Neil Aspin would give......

What Neil Aspin would give for a boring 1-0 win at The Shay.

But this game was a million miles from that as the Halifax fans were served up a pre-Christmas cracker that posed more questions than answers about The Shaynen's strangely inconsistent home form.

The Town manager saw plenty to delight and dismay him in equal measure but The Shaymen were often their own worst enemy, conceding as many gilt-edged chances as they created in 'one of those matches' that seemed to have everything. There have been a few of them here recently.

There were far too many chances to list here but suffice to say, a 3-2 scoreline at half-time meant there were plenty that went untaken.

The first-half was bookended by goal-line clearances by Lee Gregory from Altrincham corners, while in-between there was a litany of goalmouth action as both teams threw caution to the particularly chilly wind.

The two sides probably realised early on that attack was their best form of defence, and with the league's top scorer in Damien Reeves, Altrincham proved it as they raced into a two-goal lead after 14 minutes.

A long ball forward went unchallenged from the Town defence as Reeves was left free to deftly chip the ball over the onrushing Simon Eastwood.

Before Town knew where they were, Reeves had flicked on Nicky Clee's cross at the near post to double the visitors' lead.

Only seconds before Reeves' first, the returning James Dean had fluffed a great chance six yards out from James Walshaw's cross, which just added to the frustration now that Town found themselves two behind.

Jamie Rainford helped to snap the home fans out of the reverie of shock they were in three minutes later though, playing a superb one-two with Tom Baker before confidently sweeping the ball past Stuart Coburn.

He and Dean then should have each found the net before Simon Garner produced a majestic left-foot strike from outside the box to bring Town deservedly level.

Not that Altrincham had gone off the boil, with Reeves denied a first-half hat-trick by the right-foot of Eastwood, as the chances kept on coming.

Unfortunately for Town, the goals did too as Jack Redshaw took advantage of some hesitant home defending to jink his way into the box and fire past Eastwood from close range.

The second-half didn't quite live up to its mile-a-minute predecessor as both sides stopped their back doors from swinging open so frequently.

Things still weren't going quite right at either end for Halifax as Gregg Anderson's withdrawal through injury forced another defensive re-jig while Gregory forced two excellent saves from Coburn after doing everything right but finding the net.

That seemed to sum up Halifax's day, but Altrincham didn't have that problem as they justified their status as third top scorers in the division when Redshaw unleashed a beautifully placed shot from 25 yards out to put the game out of reach for the hosts.

Reeves was then denied a hat-trick late on when his penalty was saved by Eastwood following Scott McManus' handball, but by then the visitors had already proved themselves clinical enough to warrant leaping above Town in the table.

Halifax, Simon Eastwood, Ryan Toulson, Scott McManus, Simon Garner, Liam Hogan, Gregg Anderson (St Juste 62), Jamie Rainford, Tom Baker (c), James Dean, Lee Gregory, James Walshaw (Foster 46). Subs: Phil Senior, Danny Holland, Jason St Juste, Harry Winter, Anton Foster.

Goalscorers: Rainford (17), Garner (41)

Shots On Target: 8

Shots Off Target: 4

Corners: 4

Altrincham: Stuart Coburn, Matthew Flynn, Ryan Brown, Anthony Danylyk, Adrian Hawes, Adam Flynn, Simon Richman, Shaun Densmore (c), Jack Redshaw, Damian Reeves, Nicky Clee (Dodd 82). Subs: Adam Dodd, Mark Lees, Robbie Williams, Michael Twiss, Adam Reid.

Goalscorers: Reeves (11 & 14), Redshaw (43 & 72)

Shots On Target: 9

Shots Off Target: 2

Corners: 9

Attendance: 1,414

Man of the Match: Lee Gregory

Tom Scargill

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