Fresh off a victory against Southport on Tuesday night, Altrincham make the long journey to Spennymoor for their third match of the season. With a 15:00 kick-off, Phil Parkinson’s men will be looking to build on their four points earned from the opening two matches.
The squad of players is expected to be the same as Tuesday night with Shaun Densmore and Tom Hannigan expected to play for Altrincham Reserves on Saturday as they ramp up their returns from injury. James Poole remains out.
Spennymoor have also made an unbeaten start after two matches following their draws at Chester and at home to Darlington. The point against local rivals Darlington on Tuesday will see them come into this game on a high given the fact their equaliser came in the 89th minute.
They have named the same starting line-up in both of their matches so far and could well do the same once again. They did bolster their squad this week by signing goalkeeper Chris Elliott and forward Kevin Hayes to give manager Jason Ainsley more options to choose form.
Our hosts have produced an excellent breakdown of matchday information for all fans planning to attend which can be found here.
How to get there:
Directions from The J. Davidson can be found here while the address for your sat nav is The Brewery Field, Wood Vue, Spennymoor, County Durham, DL16 6JN
Live Commentary on Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, and the broadcast starts at 2.40pm.
The match commentary sponsor is Kids Disco Parties. The commentators are Mark Simpson & Brian Flynn & the match summariser is John Edwards.
You can listen to Radio Robins in any of the 5 following ways:
a) Visit our 'MatchCentre' and click the 'Radio Robins' tab in the 'Spennymoor Town' match where the Mixlr player is embedded and just press play
b) The Radio Robins website www.radiorobins.com. Open the page in any web browser and the broadcast should start automatically.
c) Download and install the Mixlr app on Android devices from the Google Play Store - start the app and search for 'Radio Robins'.
d) Download and install the Mixlr app on Apple devices from the Apple Store - start the app and search for 'Radio Robins'.
e) There is a temporary WIX website at https://rr5977.wixsite.com/radiorobins
A solitary point seemed scant reward for some irresistible attacking play, but that's what Altrincham had to settle for after Spennymoor Town pegged them back for a third and final time near the end of a pulsating game at The Brewery Field on Saturday.
Spennymoor may have sensed a first win of the season was on the cards after starting brightly and going in front, but they were ultimately grateful for a third successive draw after being thoroughly outplayed for long spells by an Alty side who again looked cohesive and purposeful going forward.
It must have felt like facing a mirror image of themselves for Alty in the opening minutes, as Spennymoor seized the initiative with the sort of passing and movement that has served Phil Parkinson's players so well over the past 12 months.
Home danger man Glen Taylor brilliantly turned past Liam Goulding in the seventh minute, only to drag his shot wide from an inviting position on the edge of the area. A minute later, there was further evidence of the big frontrunner's ability to threaten on the floor as well as in the air, as he swivelled and hit a shot on the turn that looked goalbound until Goulding flung himself in the way to make a vital block.
Despite the rigours of a derby showdown with Darlington in midweek, Spennymoor were full of running, and the early home pressure duly told in the 11th minute, when Alty were punished for losing possession just outside their own area. The ball was swiftly switched to Mark Anderson, who cleverly juggled it to open up space for a left-foot volley that was despatched unerringly beyond the reach of Tony Thompson.
It was looking ominous for Alty, but, as referred to in the Leamington match report, resilience figures among the many qualities imbued in Parkinson's men, and it shone through again, as they took the early setback in their stride and immediately set about wresting control from the home team.
The transformation was little short of remarkable, as a Spennymoor side who had a spring in their step after opening so positively suddenly found themselves hanging on for dear life in the face of an onslaught that was unrelenting and yielded chance after chance.
Josh Hancock provided a taste of things to come in the 20th minute, taking a Jordan Hulme pass on his chest and unleashing a first-time dipping volley that flew past keeper Matthew Gould and just cleared the bar.
Alty were level two minutes later with a goal that was down to sheer persistence on the right flank, as much as anything, as Hulme and John Johnston kept probing for an opening and recycling possession until Andy White found room for a shot that squeezed inside the right-hand post.
Alty were virtually camped in the Spennymoor half, opening them up with some lightning raids down both flanks, as White pushed forward on the right to complement Johnston's darting runs and Connor Hampson made himself available in advanced positions to keep an overworked home defence fully occupied on the left.
As the pressure mounted, so goalscoring opportunities materialised with increasing frequency, as Hancock fired narrowly over from the best part of 30 yards and Gould needed two attempts to deal with a piledriver from the industrious and influential Sean Williams.
Alty were in no mood to take their foot off the pedal, and they were in front for the first time in the 33rd minute when Johnston picked himself up from being flattened on the right of the area and clipped a free-kick towards the edge of the six-yard box, where James Jones won the aerial duel with a header that flashed into the roof of the net.
The lead could easily have been doubled soon after when Gould parried a Johnston drive at full stretch and Williams shot narrowly over from the rebound, so it came as something of a surprise when Spennymoor drew level four minutes from half-time. The home team needed something to bounce their way after being second-best for so much of the half, and their equaliser certainly stemmed from a stroke of luck, as Williams inadvertently stood on the ball as he tried to manoeuvre it forward just inside his own half.
Robert Ramshaw wasted no time firing it towards the edge of the area, where Adam Boyes made the most of slight hesitation in the Alty ranks to measure a lob over the advancing Thompson and into the net.
It was a setback Alty didn't deserve, but if there were any fears it may take the wind out of their sails, they were soon dispelled, as they started the second half in the same vibrant fashion and regained the lead in the 48th minute. Johnston, ever threatening and always willing to take on defenders, much to the consternation of the home rearguard, cut in from the right and whipped in a low cross that was met by Hancock's perfectly-timed run for a close-range finish that made it 3-2.
Again, there were chances to open up a two-goal advantage, as Williams curled a shot from the left that just missed the far angle of bar and post and Hulme twice went close, first with a header from a Johnston corner that was cleared off the line, then with a rising effort that rose a fraction too sharply.
Again, Alty were left ruing the ones that got away, as Spennymoor skipper James Curtis headed a deep free-kick back across goal and substitute Shane Henry volleyed his side back on terms in the 68th minute.
Spennymoor might have edged ahead against the run of play in the 72nd minute, when Thompson saved well with his feet from an angled shot by Anderson, but it was Alty who had the next say with a second goal for Hancock in the 76th minute. An astute Johnston pass gave Hulme the chance of a one-on-one with Gould, who did well with an outstretched boot as the Alty striker tried to take the ball round him. It was only a temporary reprieve, however, as the ever-alert Hancock pounced on the loose ball and, with Gould flat on his back, fired it home.
Seeing out the final few minutes, or, better still, making it a two-goal cushion were the two favoured options for a travelling support who provided sustained vocal backing but whose nerves were by now being tested to the limit. It was to be neither, unfortunately, as Hulme was booked for a needless trip and the resulting free-kick was hoisted high into the Alty area, where it fell for Taylor to scramble home.
In a finale that typified an enthralling, incident-packed afternoon, it was Alty who came closest to a fifth goal. Substitute Brendon Daniels shot wide, after a good run by fellow-sub Ben Harrison, then so nearly won it in injury time with a blistering drive that Gould failed to hold on to. Agonisingly, the loose ball was hacked clear, just as Hulme tried to close in on it, and Alty had to be content with one point when three was surely the return their free-flowing football deserved.