By Steve Sharman:
Three first half goals ensured Nantwich Town were beaten 5-1 at Altrincham at the J Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night.
Defender Tom Hannigan opened the scoring for the hosts eight minutes before the break as he tapped home at the back post, before two goals in the final five minutes of the first period from Jordan Hulme and John Johnston gave the Dabbers a mountain to climb.
Despite a stronger second half showing, the Dabbers conceded a fourth though Tom Peers before Toby Mullarkey pulled one back with a fine glancing header.
But Josh Hancock added a fifth in stoppage time making it a night to forget in Greater Manchester.
After Saturday’s fine FA Cup victory over Nuneaton, boss Dave Cooke made two changes to his line up as Joe Mwasile and Clayton McDonald stepped in for Matt Bell and Joel Stair.
The night started badly even before the game had kicked off as keeper Krystian Burzynski picked up a knock in the warm up, with the Pole unable to kick throughout the first 45 minutes.
It was the visitors who created the first chance as Alty keeper Tony Thompson fumbled a cross in the box before the combination of David Forbes and McDonald were unable to capitalise as the latter fired an effort wide of the post.
On 13 minutes, Hancock went close for the hosts as his curling free kick landed on top of the netting as he looked to find the net against his former side.
Another former Dabber, Ben Harrison was next to try his luck as his neat footwork on the edge of the box allowed him to shoot on goal, but his effort was comfortable for Burzynski.
Peers was then played in on goal down the right side of the box, but his effort was poor as he fired well over the crossbar.
The visitors thought they had taken the lead though on the half hour mark as Harry Clayton brilliantly fired into the net from a tight angle but the linesman produced a late flag for offside.
Five minutes later and the game did have its first goal as Hannignan arrived late at the far post to fire Joel Bembo-Leta’s low cross into the roof of the net.
Cooke was forced into his first change of the game five minutes before the break as McDonald limped off with an injury as new signing Courtney Wildin was brought on.
With the half coming to a close, Altrincham had a second as Hulme found the net via a deflection, although Sean Cooke looked to have been fouled moments before the goal.
Alty then had a third straight from the kick off as Johnston nipped in down the left hand side before finding the net from an acute angle, despite Mullarkey’s best efforts to clear off the line.
The second half brought another enforced Dabbers’ change as the limping Burzynski was replaced by Reece Quinn who made his first appearance of the season.
Hulme nearly made it four minutes after the restart but was unable to poke the ball home, despite having the goal at his mercy, as the former Salford man shot wide from a matter of yards.
Johnston then struck the base of the post after cutting in from the right and firing an effort against the woodwork with the outside of his right boot.
A fourth goal did come for Altrincham on the hour mark as Peers half volleyed into the far corner after receiving the ball just inside the Dabbers’ box.
With the hosts happy to sit back on their lead, Nantwich were playing some intricate stuff as they looked for a way back into the game.
Quinn had to be on hand though to deny Alty a fifth as he produced a strong save to palm away Hulme’s powerful drive from the edge of the box.
Up the other end Thompson had to be alert as he tipped Sean Cooke’s long range effort around the post.
As the game entered stoppage time, Nantwich did find the net through Mullarkey’s excellent glancing header from Cooke’s right wing corner.
But it was Hancock who netted the final goal of the game as the ball found the midfielder inside the box, before he swept home past Quinn.
Next up for the Dabbers, is a trip up north to Farsley Celtic this coming Saturday with a 3pm KO.
Altrincham: Thompson, Bembo-Leta, Short (Densmore 71′), Hannigan, Harrison, Moult (c), Johnston (Harrop 76′), Richman (Sheridan 65′), Hulme, Peers, Hancock
Unused subs: Jones, Miller
Nantwich Town: Burzynski (Quinn 46′), Bourne, Morgan, Mullarkey, McDonald (Wildin 42′), Hall (c), Mwasile, Hughes, Clayton, Cooke, Forbes (Davies 58′)
Unused subs: S. Jones, Bell
Referee: R Holmes
Photos courtesy of Mark Welton« Back to all news