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Match Report: York City 1-2 Altrincham

Wednesday, 15 March 2023 11:39

By Ryan Brookes

Alty players celebrate their match winner with travelling fans Photo: Ryan Brookes

Altrincham continued their fantastic recent record against York, heaping even more misery onto the Minstermen, making it two victories in twice as many days at the LNER Community Stadium.

Altrincham continued their fantastic recent record against York, heaping even more misery onto the Minstermen, making it two victories in twice as many days at the LNER Community Stadium.

Alike the replica fixture on Saturday, Alty were gifted the opener through poor defending from City.

A Josh Lundstram cut-back found Joe Hugill on the penalty spot, who guided home with a one-touch simple finish, with less than ten minutes played.

Desperately pushing for a leveller, the hosts found their goal through substitute Shaqai Forde, who powered home into the top corner as the game approached its final 15 minutes.

Yet there was still more Vanarama National League drama to come in the closing stages, James Jones latching onto a perfectly-placed cross to head beyond 'keeper Whitley, in the exact same manner he did on Saturday to win it for the Robins.

Mixing things up following an FA Trophy defeat to Altrincham just days earlier, York interim boss Michael Morton made three changes to his starting lineup, with Ryan Fallowfield, Olly Dyson and Maziar Kouhyar all returning, however there was one notable omission - captain and top scorer Lenell John-Lewis missed out through injury.

It was equally as many changes from Phil Parkinson and Alty, as forward Regan Linney rejoined the side, along with Kyle Ferguson and Elliot Osborne.

After surpassing 100 appearances for the Minstermen at the weekend, Olly Dyson had a bright start to the game, but his low effort from distance a couple of minutes in would never trouble the 'keeper, who watched it roll well wide.

Maziar Kouhyar also alerted Alty of his threat early on, with a clever drag-back inside the area allowing him to curl one goalward, a strike which looked to be heading for the bottom-left corner, had it not been for a crucial headed intervention from an opposing defender.

However, it would turn out to be the same old story for the hosts after seven minutes - failure to take their chances saw a first break forward from the Robins end up in the back of Ryan Whitley's net.

Majorly down to poor marking and defending, Josh Lundstram was able to charge down to the byline, before cutting back towards the penalty spot for Joe Hugill to turn home with ease.

There was a decent opportunity for an equalizer eight minutes later, as Mitch Hancox managed to swing a cross in from the left, and right wing-back Ryan Fallowfield was the unlikely recipient, but clearly hadn't brushed up on his heading lately, nodding over.

Shy of the half hour mark, Dyson too had a headed chance at the back post, and similarly couldn't send one flying past Ollie Byrne; he managed to hit the target though, but straight into the welcoming arms of the stopper.

That was one of few glimpses shown from York, who continued to struggle for them remainder of the half, and a certain Whitley, who hadn't been entirely on it, was sent scrambling at a fizzed effort from Elliot Osborne, however it just floated wide of the mark.

Going in one down at the break, the Minstermen knew they had to do something about their performance if they were going to pull further clear of the bottom four.

And that 'something' almost transpired moments after the restart, a free kick in from Maz Kouhyar aimed at the back stick, but somehow an outstretched leg from Fallowfield diverted the ball into Row Z, rather than into the back of the net.

An opportunity equally as good saw a darting run from England C man Dyson finish in unleashing a decent strike towards Byrne's top corner, only to see it excellently palmed wide by the Altrincham 'keeper.

The chances kept on coming for City, two of them falling to frontman Manny Duku, yet the striker's usual attitude in front of goal continued, his tame efforts never an issue for Byrne.

Shortly after entering the pitch to the crowd's delight, young forward Shaqai Forde tried twisting and turning within the 18-yard box, before hitting one into the safe hands of the man between the Alty sticks.

The Watford loanee might been denied by the 'keeper with that attempt, but that certainly wasn't the case with 16 minutes remaining - Forde's ability to find space to shoot on the edge of the area was matched with a marvelous lashing finish from the substitute, smashing home into the top corner to get a much-deserved leveler, as the match headed into the closing stages.

Robins' substitute Tyrese Sinclair was ever so close to restoring the advantage though, a few moments after, but a tight angle restricted him to arrowing across the face of goal.

The visitors did eventually achieve restoration of their lead - it was virtually a carbon copy of their second goal on Saturday, a free header from James Jones floating beyond Whitley, a puncture to the hearts of the Minstermen.

There was one last chance for either side, but neither could convert, leaving Alty to pick up their sixth successive away victory at York.

Still, the result barely gives Altrincham any hope for a very late playoff charge; for Morton's City side, they linger six points above the drop, but a home fixture against Dorking Wanderers on Saturday is already being branded as a must-win.

York City: Whitley, Fallowfield, Duckworth, Kouogun (Hurst 84’), Crookes, Hancox, Pybus, Dyson, Kouhyar, James (Forde 65’), Duku

Unused Subs: McLaughlin, Ellis, Campbell

Goals: Forde (74’)

Yellow Cards: Pybus

Altrincham: Byrne, E.Jones, Marriott, Ferguson, Baines, Lundstram, Osborne (Perritt 87’), J.Jones, Oyedele, Linney (Hulme 65’), Hugill (Sinclair 76’)

Unused Subs: Cashman, Pringle

Goals: Hugill (7’), J.Jones (83’)

Yellow Cards: J.Jones, Ferguson

Referee: Jamie O’Connor

Attendance: 3,466 (56 away supporters)

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