The J Davidson Stadium
National League North
Altrincham 4-1 Spennymoor Town
The Robins build on an early goal to claim play-off battle scalp.
Moors dropped out of the play-off places on goal difference as a double from Jordan Hulme helped Altrincham to a 4-1 win.
Elliott Durrell and Hulme scored at the start and end of the first half as The Robins took control of the contest, but Tyler Forbes halved the deficit with a thunderous effort six minutes after the interval to give Moors hope.
Tom Hannigan’s header saw Altrincham regain their two-goal advantage before Hulme lobbed Matt Gould in the final minute of normal time.
Jason Ainsley made one enforced change to the side who claimed a dramatic point at home to Telford a week previous, with the suspended James Curtis replaced by Carl Magnay.
Curtis was beginning his three-game ban which will see him miss further games against Hereford and Blyth Spartans.
Spennymoor suffered a nightmare start when Altincham scored after just two and half minutes, with the diminutive winger Durrell keeping up his superb recent scoring record for The Robins.
A burst into the midfield from John Lundstram ended with a cross across the area, which was missed by Nathan Buddle, and when the ball dropped to the feet of Durrell, he kept his composure and bent a pinpoint shot past Gould.
The early warning signs were still apparent when Altrincham almost doubled their lead through winger Dan Mooney, but his effort span wide of the far post.
The home side, well renowned for their ability to maintain possession, came close to finishing a flowing passing with a second goal, but Josh Hancock’s bobbling shot was saved by Gould.
A rough opening was finally quelled after that Hancock opportunity as Moors got to grips Altrincham’s interplay, consistently applying pressure and forcing errors during a scrappy phase of play.
Spennymoor forced their first corner of an increasingly tight contest after half an hour, with Mark Anderson’s poorly driven delivery picked up by Hulme, however, after slipping when attempting to cushion the ball, the ball struck the striker’s arm.
Referee Aaron Bannister was unmoved as a frustrating first half continued.
That frustration turned to dismay moments later when The Robins doubled their lead with a carbon copy of their early opener.
Hulme skipped by the challenge of Buddle on the edge of the area and bent a shot round the outstretched hand of Gould from an identical angle, giving Moors a sense of unwanted déjà vu.
Gould was tested early in the second half when the bright Hancock tried his luck from distance, only being denied courtesy of a flying stop from Moors’ keeper.
However, a long-range strike was soon to be the preferred method as Moors clawed their way back into the contest.
Tyler Forbes, fresh from a stunning last gasp equaliser against Telford a week previous, struck a sweet shot which dipped and swerved en-route to the top corner, leaving Tony Thompson floundering and without a chance in the Altrincham net.
That goal sparked Moors into life and the game was almost levelled when Roberts broke the offside trap before testing Thompson from a tight angle, before Taylor’s flicked effort was saved by The Robins’ keeper.
Despite dominating the second half it was Altrincham who netted the game’s fourth goal, with central defender Tom Hannigan powering a header past Gould direct from an in-swinging corner.
Moors attempted to respond quickly and were only denied a second goal by a stunning point blank save from Thompson.
A fizzing cross field pass from Taylor found the surging run of Forbes, and his whipped ball into the six-yard box found Ramshaw whose strike was clawed away to the disbelief of the Spennymoor bench.
Hulme rubbed salt into Spennymoor wounds with a minute of normal remaining, lofting an audacious chip over the head of Gould.
- Tony Thompson
- Shaun Densmore
- Connor Hampson
- James Jones
- Tom Hannigan
- Jake Moult (C)
- Dan Mooney
- John Lundstram
- Jordan Hulme
- Josh Hancock
- Elliott Durrell
12. Mahon 14. White 15. Peers 16. Mullarkey 17. Richman
- Matt Gould
- Tyler Forbes
- Stephen Brogan
- Jason Kennedy
- Nathan Buddle
- Carl Magnay
- James Roberts (Johnson 88)
- Shane Henry
- Glen Taylor
- Rob Ramshaw
- Mark Anderson (Boyes 83)
12. Mason 13. Eve 14. Cogdon 15. Johnson 16. Boyes
MAN OF THE MATCH
Another stunning goal from the right-back who followed up his stunning effort against Telford with another long range belter.
Moors are back at home next Saturday when they welcome Hereford to The Brewery Field.