The Robins hit the road Tuesday evening in search of their first win in three games when they travel to the Technique Stadium to face James Rowe’s Chesterfield.
Phil Parkinson’s side enter this fixture off the back of Saturday’s disappointing result against Boreham Wood, a game which saw the Robins lose 3-2 and finish the game with ten men.
Having lost midfielder Ryan Colclough to injury early on, Alty were soon a goal behind when Kane Smith converted from close range.
Things went from bad to worse as not long after Connor Hampson was shown a second yellow card, Boreham Wood doubled their lead through Kabongo Tshimanga, who turned a wayward shot home at the far post.
Corey Whitely added a third for the visitors, before the Robins, who were playing at FC United of Manchester’s Broadhurst Park, looked to mount an unlikely and impressive comeback.
Second half goals from Matty Kosylo and Tom Peers gave Parkinson’s side a glimmer of hope, but it proved to be too little too late, as the Wood held on for all three points.
You can watch highlights of our 2-3 defeat to Boreham Wood by pressing play below.
As a result of that defeat, the Robins dropped to ninth in the Vanarama National League table, one place below Boreham Wood and two points away from the final play-off place, having played one more game than Wrexham in seventh.
Our opponents on Tuesday evening, who are playing their third season at this level, following relegation from League Two in 2018, have made their return to the field of play, following a period of isolation due to a positive Covid-19 test. Despite not having played since the end of January, they made up for lost time at the weekend, beating promotion chasing Notts County 1-0 at Meadow Lane, courtesy of Gavin Gunning’s first half free kick.
Previous to that, the Spireites threw away the lead twice to draw 2-2 with struggling Dagenham & Redbridge at the Technique Stadium. Despite having Tom Whelan sent off after only ten minutes, they soon found themselves firmly in control of the game through Will Evans’ goal. After Scott Wilson equalised for the Daggers, Akwasi Asante gave Chesterfield the lead heading into the break. However, Sam Deering’s thunderbolt midway through the second period saw the game finish level.
Currently, the Spireites sit in 15th, having played only 19 games, the second lowest number of completed games in the league. Despite the enforced period of isolation, they do enter Tuesday’s game in good form, winning two, drawing two and losing only one of their last five games. They also remain unbeaten in their last four games, with Notts County, Dagenham & Redbridge, Boreham Wood, and Wrexham failing to beat them. Their last defeat came against Solihull Moors.
Chesterfield are managed by James Rowe, who had led Gloucester City to the summit of the National League North table, before securing a move to the Technique Stadium. In a short space of time, Rowe has turned the fortunes of his present club around, and has built a squad capable of chasing promotion, with the likes of Akwasi Asante,, Gavin Gunning, Adi Yussuf, and Joel Taylor signing for the club.
Asante in particular has impressed for the club, having scored seven goals in only 10 games. Coupled with the signing of Adi Yussuf, who has six goals from 17, Chesterfield boast one of the more prolific attacking threats in the National League.
Alty will need to be at their best to achieve a positive result, but with Ryan Colclough and Connor Hampson unavailable, while Josh Hancock remains a doubt with an ankle injury, Phil Parkinson will be looking for his side to dig deep to get back to winning ways.
Last five games
Chesterfield: LWDDW (F6 A4)
Altrincham: WWLLL (F7 A8)
Watch the game live
Click here to order the Chesterfield live stream, at a cost of £10.
Listen to the game live on Radio Robins
You can listen to live commentary from the Technique Stadium on Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery.
Join Brian Flynn, John Edwards, Niall Finnegan & Ian Wilkinson from 7.00pm.
The match commentary sponsor is 'Andy's Man Club'.
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'.
FT: Chesterfield 1-0 Altrincham. A fantastic effort from the boys, who more than matched the impressive Spireites throughout. Ultimately, though, they'll be unhappy with the manner of the goal they conceded, and having missed a late penalty, we head back to Cheshire empty handed.
90' +5 ADDITIONAL MINUTES
88' CHANCE for Alty! What an opportunity. Kosylo's inviting in-swinging freekick is glanced on by the head of Mullarkey, but the home goalkeeper, Smith, does well to watch it all the way and hold onto the effort.
86' SUB for Alty: Densmore ON, White OFF.
85' Kosylo goes into the book.
83' Alty go long on a couple of occasions, with Kosylo working mightily hard to try to latch on to two hopeful punts over the top. He's worked absolutely flat out tonight.
77' SUB for Chesterfield: Clarke ON, Mandeville OFF
75' Piggott's penalty is saved. It's well struck but at a nice height for the keeper, who dives to his right and palms out for a corner
74' PENALTY ALTY! Ceesay is brought down as he rounds the Spireite stopper, following a sensational run and through ball from Kosylo. Piggott to take...
71' SUB for Alty: Hardy ON, Peers OFF
70' Up the other end, Ceesay hits a venomous low drive, which has plenty of power but is well wide of Smith's post.
68' Dangerous, fizzing ball in from the Chesterfield left, one that could land anywhere. Thompson does enough to put it out for a corner.
65' The game has lost its rhythm somewhat following the changes. Tom Peers gets into the area and pulls the trigger from a difficult angle, but it's easily blocked.
62' SUB for Chesterfield: Taylor ON, Whittle OFF
61' SUB for Alty: Piggott ON, Harrison OFF
60' There's a long break in play here, as a Chesterfield man receives treatment. Joe Piggott is readying himself for the Robins.
55' SUB for Chesterfield: Dinanga ON, Yussuf OFF
52' Senior strides forward and then across the edge of the Chesterfield area, but he eventually runs out of options, and his attempted pass to Ceesay is comfortably intercepted.
49' GOAL: Chesterfield 1-0 Altrincham. A cross from the right finds Asante at the far post, who scores from close range.
46' Jake Moult gets the second half underway. Chesterfield 0-0 Alty.
HT: Chesterfield 0-0 Altrincham. An excellent half of football from both sides. Chesterfield started strongly, but it's the Robins who've probably had the half's best opportunities.
45' Chesterfield have an opportunity to throw one long into the swirling wind and rain, right at the end of the half. A foul is committed, and it comes to nothing.
40' Tentative appeals for an Alty penalty, with Tom Peers using his strength well and then going down under pressure, but the referee adjudges that it was Peers committing the foul.
35' Yussuf and Asante are a real handful, and they combine before Asante's ultimate effort rolls comfortably into Thompson's clutches. Probably the wrong option in the end from Asante.
32' A penetrating run from Kosylo, and he's brought down right on the edge of the area. Alty have a dangerous free-kick here, right of centre. Senior to take...he blazes over.
30' It has been a captivating first half-hour. The hosts certainly shaded the opening quarter of the game, but Alty have had three excellent chances.
26' A spell of pressure from the Robins, with two free-kicks and a corner, but they come to nothing. The home side now have a corner themselves, following good work down their left-hand side.
22' Another excellent opportunity for the Robins. Peers flicks on a lofted ball, and Harrison feeds Kosylo who is stopped expertly in his tracks by the backtracking Evans. Kosylo might have been better setting himself and pulling the trigger, instead he tried to dribble and jink inside the defender, which was a step too far.
15' More wonderful work by Ceesay. He takes down a ball from Hannigan and strides purposefully between three defenders. This time his final effort is better but saved well by the feet of Smith.
10' Persistence and skill in abundance from Ceesay; he does brilliantly to put the Chesterfield right-back under pressure, followed by a couple of majestic stepovers and a shot that's saved comfortably by Smith in the home goal.
8' Lots of early pressure being applied by our hosts. You can certainly tell they're a team in form, stroking it about confidently. They have a corner, which Thompson does well to punch clear.
6' Two long-range shots in as many minutes for the home side, both narrowly wide of Thompson's left-hand post. Alty won't be happy with the space allowed to the Spireites on the edge of the area.
4' Kosylo opens up the pitch nicely and plays it to Smith, and although his pass cuts open the Chesterfield defence, it's overhit for Yusifu Ceesay and the ball rolls out for a goal kick.
The players are out and Altrincham go into their customary pre-match huddle. The Robins in red and white this evening. We're underway!