Our run of seven consecutive away games comes to an end this afternoon with one more big day out, this time we’re off to Wealdstone, for what will be our first encounter with the ‘The Stones’ in 32 years.
Altrincham and Wealdstone may be National League ‘new boys’ this season but both clubs are very much OG’s when it comes to Non-League’s top flight. We’re both founder-members of the league and this is quite the 80’s throwback fixture, one that is sure to be enjoyed by plenty of fans who remember that era well.
It has been quite a remarkable sequence of games for Alty. Starting exactly a month ago today with a 3-1 defeat at Notts County, the Robins have been away from home every game since - with the most recent league trip seeing Phil Parkinson’s side finally gain that all important first three points of the season.
In a game that was hampered by Weymouth-opening-day like conditions for large periods, Alty were 1-0 victors at Dover - new signing Fisayo Adarabioyo got the only goal of the game, but Robins fans will be particularly impressed with the defensive strength and resilience to keep Dover out as they pushed forward in the final twenty minutes.
This was followed up by a 3-0 win at Barnton in the Cheshire Senior Cup on Wednesday night. As well as being an opportunity for a cohort of Reserves players, the game was used to give valuable minutes to the various first team players. Dan Mooney, Yusifu Ceesay, Tom Peers, Shaun Densmore, Curtis Miller, Andy White, Connor Hampson and Matt Gould all started.
In an interview that will be broadcasted in full on Radio Robins this afternoon, Brian Flynn caught up with Neil Sorvel and they looked ahead to today’s fixture.
They look a good side and it’s going to be an interesting game. They’re top scorers, but they’ve conceded as many as anyone. It’s kind of reminiscent to us in previous years, we’ve been top scorers in the league and conceded a few too many than we’d have liked - I’m sure it will be a good game, they try and play the right way so I’m looking forward to it.
We’ve been competitive in every game and that’s been pleasing. We’ve not looked out of our depth so far and I know it’s really early stages but I think the league is a definite step up from the North, in terms of how teams set up how organised they are. The games have been a real arm wrestle at times, a tactical battle with nothing in them.
We’ve really enjoyed it so far, we’ve equipped ourselves pretty well. Get Saturday out of the way and it’ll be good to play at home again - we’re looking forward to that.
One player who didn’t feature on Wednesday night was Joe Robbins, who was ineligible to participate. Not only will the Crewe loanee rejoin the squad this afternoon, but he will be there alongside fellow Railwayman, Billy Sass-Davies, who also joined on loan from Crewe yesterday afternoon.
This will be Billy’s second spell at the club - he made two substitute appearances for the Robins in the 2018/19 season, away at York and Telford, before being recalled.
From the Wealdstone preview:
"You can get your stream pass to Saturday’s fixture HERE."
Passes cost £9.99
You can listen to live commentary of today's game on Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, and the broadcast starts at 2.45pm
The match commentary sponsor is 'The Non-League Lounge.'
The commentary team is Laurence Howarth & Brian Flynn
You can listen to Radio Robins in any of the following ways:
1) By visiting our Match Centre on the club website
2) Download and install the Mixlr app on Android devices from the Google Play Store - start the app and search for 'Radio Robins'.
3) Download and install the Mixlr app on Apple devices from the Apple Store - start the app and search for 'Radio Robins'.
5) There is also a temporary Radio Robins WIX website at https://rr5977.wixsite.com/radiorobins
On a bright and mild Autumn afternoon in Middlesex, Alty succumbed to a one-goal defeat in their seventh consecutive game on the road in all competitions.
Alty were kicking downhill in the first half on a steep gradient at Grosvenor Vale, and the game got off to a fiery start. Matty Kosylo was booked in the fifth minute for a challenge on left-back Mendy, and that was just one of a number of early challenges that had both benches reacting vociferously.
It was perhaps no surprise, then, that further names were added to Alty’s growing injury list. First, Ritchie Sutton was replaced by the on-loan Billy Sass-Davies, and moments later Fisayo Adarabioyo was replaced by Tom Peers.
The game was being played at a frantic pace. Alty enjoyed lots of the early territory, but Wealdstone were growing into the game and started to pile on the pressure as the half wore on. Moses Emmanuel was a constant threat on the break and the home side were particularly effective down their left-hand side. Alty, however, stood firm and defended resolutely, meaning the teams went in level at the break.
HT: Wealdstone 0-0 Altrincham
It was quite literally an uphill battle for Alty in the second half, The Robins having to adapt to the prominent slope at Grosvenor Vale. Nevertheless, Alty started the second period brightly, dictating the play for large parts.
Just inside the hour mark, Tom Peers was presented with three chances in as many minutes. First, Ceesay set him up on the edge of the area but his shot was blocked; then he was threaded through by Kosylo, but he hit the shot wide on his weaker left foot; and finally he got across his defender well to meet a ball from the right, but his low drive was held by the Wealdstone stopper.
Alty were now dominant. Miller came on for Ceesay, and in the minutes that followed Hancock hit a venomous drive that was blocked.
But it was the hosts that then opened the scoring, against the run of play, in the 65th minute. Lafayette’s attempt was well defended, but the ball fell to Moses Emmanuel, whose initial shot was saved by Thompson before The Stones’ striker forced the ball home at the second attempt from a tight angle, despite a last ditch effort from Hannigan to clear off the line.
Alty had an excellent opportunity to equalise in the 75th minute. A sensational ball from Moult found Hampson advanced down the left, and his deft touch found Peers, who set himself and looked certain to score, but his shot was brilliantly blocked and went out for a corner.
Alty huffed and puffed in the closing stages without troubling the Wealdstone goal, which meant The Robins fell to a narrow and somewhat undeserved defeat.
Overall, this was a fascinating encounter in an historic fixture between two old Alliance Premier League rivals. Alty were excellent in possession but Wealdstone's power and athleticism was a constant threat.
FT: Wealdstone 1-0 Altrincham