Altrincham open their Vanarama National League North campaign this afternoon with a home game with York City, who are the ante-post favorites with the bookies to win the league.
Kick-Off at the J.Davidson Stadium is at 3.00pm.
Admission is by cash payment at the turnstiles & prices are as follows:-
The Robins achieved a memorable double over the Minstermen last season with a hugely impressive 2nd half performance in the corresponding fixture. After an evenly contested 45 minutes, Josh Hancock broke the deadlock after the interval & completed the scoring late on, with Jake Moult firing home from the edge of the area in between.
Hancock was the thorn in York's side again at Bootham Crescent in March, with his 'Goal of the Season' wonder strike in the 81st minute settling a tight encounter.
Hancock's red card in the play-off semi-final defeat on penalties to Chorley means that he is suspended for the first 3 games of the season & Simon Richman is rated as very unlikely to be fit for today's game. Richman suffered a foot injury, following a challenge from Danny Rowe in last Saturday's impressive 3-1 pre-season victory over AFC Fylde.
Connor Hampson is likely to wear the Captain's armband, in the absence of Jake Moult, who was able to complete a jogging routine before Tuesday night's final friendly fixture at Trafford, as he continues his recovery from a double-hernia operation.
York had a difficult campaign last season but improved under new manager, Steve Watson, who left Gateshead in January to try to halt the decline of a club that were in the same Division as Manchester City in 1998/9.
Watson has made some eye-catching signings during the close-season including Steve McNulty (Tranmere Rovers), Andy Bond (AFC Fylde) & 3 members of the Blyth Spartans team that played against the Robins in that epic play-off eliminator at the J.Davidson Stadium in May. The match ultimately ended in heartache for Spartans who had led 2-0 within half an hour, before Josh Hancock's last gasp equaliser took the game into extra-time, with the Robins eventually triumphing 7-6 following a remarkable penalty shoot-out.
Goalkeeper, Peter Jameson, Kieran Green & Dan Maguire are all top quality players that have moved into full-time football with York, having departed Croft Park, & these 3 acquisitions significantly strengthen the spine of the Minstermen's team.
There will be Live Updates in the 'Match Centre', match updates on twitter & Live Commentary of today's game on Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery with the broadcast starting at 2.40pm.
The commentary team is Paul Salt, Brian Flynn & 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 'York City' 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/rad...
*James the 1st .. James Jones claims Alty's opening goal of the campaign with this fine header from a corner. Picture by Michael Ripley.
Altrincham started their 2019/20 Vanarama National League North campaign with a disappointing 3-1 defeat to title favourites York City.
Despite the result, it was the home side who started the brighter, John Johnston breaking away and letting fly in the fourth minute with a shot that was deflected for a corner.
The Robins were on the end of a York counter-attack two minutes later that led to a chance on the right side of the six-yard box, but captain Connor Hampson threw his body in the way to prevent a almost certain goal.
Alty took the lead in the 12th minute from a Johnston corner that found the head of James Jones, who directed the ball into the back of the Minstermen’s goal.
It was almost 2-0 six minutes later, when a deflection off a York defender fed to ball to Jordan Hulme, who attempted to lob the keeper but directed it inches wide.
Altrincham could have had another in the 24th minute. It was Johnston again with the chance, breaking on the counter but shooting just wide.
The visitors looked threatening down the left several minutes later. David Ferguson’s whipped cross found Dan Maguire, who tried an audacious bicycle kick that lacked enough power to trouble Steven Drench.
The Alty keeper was called into action again in the 31st minute, reacting brilliantly to keep out a powerful shot with a remarkable one-handed save low down to his right.
The Minstermen found their feet just after the half-hour mark, forcing Drench to make a trio of saves inside the next 10 minutes.
York had their equaliser on the stroke of half-time, when a Ferguson cross hit the inside of Drench’s left post and then deflected off Robins' goal scorer Jones, before finishing the net.
Altrincham has one last chance in the first-half to restore their lead, but Nathan Arnold hit the side netting, following a scramble in the York box.
The whistle blew for half-time, with the teams level at 1-1.
Only four minutes into the second-half, Alty almost had their second, Max Harrop’s inswinging cross from the right being met by Arnold, whose glancing header went narrowly wide.
However, it was the visitors who grabbed their second on the 51st minute, as Joe Tait tapped in an effort from a corner after the Alty defence failed to clear their lines.
Sean Williams received the Robins’ first yellow card of the season, two minutes after the goal, for pulling back the pacey Adriano Moke.
York had their third goal on the hour mark. Conor Branson lost control of a pass from Drench, and the ball was swiftly switched to Jordan Burrow, who scored with ease.
Phil Parkinson made a double substitution on the 64th minute. Nathan Arnold and Andy White made way for new signing Lewis Walters and recent acquisition Toby Mullarkey.
It was Johnston again who had a chance five minutes later to grab another goal for the home side after he cut inside on to his left foot but fired just wide.
Altrincham made their third and final change on the 70th minute, Tom Peers coming on for Johnston.
The afternoon got even worse for the Robins, when Williams was shown a second yellow card for another infringement three minutes later.
The visitors made their first change of the game on the 74th minute, with Alex Kempster making way for Paddy McLaughlin.
Harrop became Alty’s second player to go into the book five minutes later, following a tackle.
The Minstermen made their second change of the game in the 79th minute, with Kieran Green replacing Moke.
York then made their final change of the game five minutes later when Maguire made way for Macauley Langstaff.
McLaughlin was booked for the visitors in the 87th minute.
Despite four minutes of added time, the home side couldn’t create any clear chances to find a consolation goal.
The full-time whistle blew with Altrincham losing their opening game - a fair result considering the second-half performance. The Robins face Chester next on Tuesday evening at the Deva Stadium, kick-off 7.45pm.