Altrincham players congratulate James Hardy on a fine goal in the reverse fixture with King's Lynn Town, pictured here by Michael Ripley.
Having secured an impressive 3-0 win at The J. Davidson Stadium against the same opposition a fortnight ago, the Robins took to centre stage the following Saturday when they squared up to Alan Devonshire’s Maidenhead United in front of the BT Sport cameras.
Alty were looking to put their best foot forward and in the 19th minute, following a smart save from Magpies ‘keeper Taye Ashby-Hammond to deny Josh Hancock, Ryan Colclough saw his effort crash against the crossbar, before the follow-up effort by Connor Hampson was blazed over from range.
As the half wore on, the hosts were beginning to warm into the game, with George Wells looking to cause trouble down the wing. In the 38th minute, his wicked delivery only needed a touch from someone inside the box for the ball to go in.
With the scores level at the break, it took until the 63rd minute for the Robins to finally breach the Maidenhead defence, when Colclough’s corner went directly in at the near post, after Wells took a wild swing at the ball and missed it and Ashby-Hammond stood transfixed behind him as it trickled over the line.
Devonshire’s side threw everything they had at the men in yellow as time was running out, with Danilo Orsi having the best of their chances in the 80th minute, but Alty held on for another important win.
You can listen to Phil Parkinson’s thoughts on that 1-0 win by pressing play below.
Following that result, the Robins moved to 11th in the Vanarama National League table, six points behind Wrexham in the final play-off place, having played two more games than the Red Dragons. Alty were due to face Yeovil Town on Good Friday, but due to the tragic passing of Glovers’ captain Lee Collins, the game was understandably postponed.
This will be the second meeting between the sides this season, following the Robins’ recent 3-0 win at The J.Davidson Stadium. On that occasion, a double from top scorer Josh Hancock and a solo effort from James Hardy secured an impressive victory that ended a run of four games without a win.
You can watch the highlights of that 3-0 win against King’s Lynn by pressing play below.
After their rapid rise up the non-League football pyramid, King’s Lynn Town have struggled to maintain the same kind of form that left many wondering whether the Linnets were destined for the Football League, like Crawley Town and Fleetwood Town before them. Currently, the Norfolk-based club sit 21st in the Vanarama National League table, 17 points behind Altrincham and with only Barnet and Dover Athletic below them.
Following a run of eight games without a win, they secured a morale-boosting 2-1 win against an Eastleigh side that are only four points away from a play-off place. Despite the positive result, they could not have started the game much worse, as visiting midfielder Jack Payne put the Spitfires ahead in the opening 90 seconds, firing his free-kick from the edge of the 18-yard box beyond the ‘keeper into the back of the net.
While many will have undoubtedly wondered whether this was going to be a sign of things to come, the Linnets responded admirably, levelling the score five minutes after the restart when former St Ives Town forward Michael Gyasi slotted home a rebound from close range.
Approaching the final 20 minutes of the game at the Walks, the hosts took the lead through Chelmsford City loanee Simeon Jackson, when the experienced striker scored from the penalty spot after he had been fouled by Joe Partington.
Despite the threat of relegation now being lifted, due to the cancellation of the National League North/South seasons, King’s Lynn will still be delighted with a win which proves that they can mix it against the better sides in the league.
The Linnets are currently managed by Ian Culverhouse, who made his return to the Walks in October, 2018 after a very brief spell in charge of Northern Premier League Premier Division side Grantham Town. During his first spell in charge of King’s Lynn in 2017, the Linnets were members of the Southern League Premier Division.
Since then, the former Norwich City defender has led them to play-off glory, helping them secure a place in the National League North for the 2019/20 season. Upon their promotion, many had installed the Linnets as relegation favourites, but they defied all the odds by reaching the summit of the league and fighting York City all the way for the title.
Despite being in second place when the campaign was brought to a premature end by the Covid-19 pandemic, they were moved into first after the final table was decided by the use of PPG. This proved to be the club’s second successive promotion with Culverhouse at the helm.
As a player, Culverhouse began his career with Tottenham Hotspur, before moving to Carrow Road in 1985. After 297 appearances and one goal, he was transferred to Swindon Town in 1994, going on to spend four seasons at the County Ground. With only three games to play until his 100th appearance for the club, he left for Kingstonian in 1998 before joining Brighton & Hove Albion soon afterwards. He hung up his boots while a member of the Seagulls squad in 2000.
Despite keeping a majority of his NL North winning squad together, Culverhouse has used the loan market to further bolster his squad. Since the start of the season, he has added Alfie Payne from Lowestoft Town, Simeon Jackson from Chelmsford City, Theo Richardson from Cleethorpes Town, Jak Hickman from Bolton Wanderers and Archie Mair from Norwich City.
A win for Altrincham on Monday could lift them above Bromley and Eastleigh into ninth in the league. However, if King’s Lynn Town were to win their second game in a row, they would close to within three points of Weymouth in 20th. This, of course, depends on results elsewhere.
Last five league games
King’s Lynn Town: LDLLW (F4 A8)
Altrincham: LDLWW (F6 A4)
King's Lynn Town are providing a live stream at the cost of £12. Click here to create an account and purchase this.
Listen to the game live on Radio Robins
King's Lynn Town will not permit Radio Robins to broadcast from The Walks, therefore Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery will provide a remote broadcast from The J.Davidson Stadium, starting at 2.30pm.
The match commentary sponsor is Andys Man Club.
The commentary team is Luke Edwards, Ian Wilkinson & Mark Simpson.
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'.
Jake Moult goes close to stabbing Alty in front following a first-half corner. Photo: Michael Ripley.
Two late goals from Grenadian international Kairo Mitchell saw Alty fall to a 2-0 defeat at King’s Lynn Town on a bright but bitingly cold and blustery afternoon at The Walks.
Alty were seeking a third successive victory and back-to-back wins on the road, and nearly opened the scoring inside the second minute. Neat work from James Hardy saw him wriggle through the midfield and hit a drilled pass into the path of Joe Piggott. He moved the ball on to Josh Hancock, and when his attempt was blocked, the ball fell to Ryan Colclough, who hit an audacious effort against the crossbar from a difficult angle on the left-hand side.
The home side had their first chance of the game on 12 minutes, the lively Michael Gyasi finding time and space before feeding a ball in behind Tom Hannigan, where Kairo Mitchell – whose two previous outings were for Grenada in their World Cup qualifiers against El Salvador and the US Virgin Islands – latched onto the ball and saw his attempt well blocked by the on-rushing Tony Thompson as the angle narrowed.
Ten minutes later, King’s Lynn had the best chance of the game. Gyasi was once again instrumental in getting the hosts moving, he fed the ball out to Mitchell on the left wing, and when his low ball across the area found Sonny Carey bursting through, the Linnets seemed certain to open the scoring, only for the 20-year-old prospect to cut his shot wide of the mark.
It was an open and free-flowing game, with Alty dictating the play and being allowed plenty of time and space. The Linnets, meanwhile, looked menacing on the break, with Gyasi, Mitchell and Carey a constant threat.
In an end-to-end encounter, the game’s next chance fell to the Robins on the half-hour mark. Connor Hampson, who was getting lots of joy down the left-hand flank, whipped an excellent ball into the box, and Joe Piggott’s header spun narrowly wide, the Alty number 9 having done well to get into a good position between two King’s Lynn defenders.
In the 38th minute, James Hardy drifted across the area from right to left and pulled the ball back for Josh Hancock, and when he opened up his body and hit a well-placed shot, it seemed destined for the bottom corner, only for Theo Richardson to dive to his left and palm away.
HT: King’s Lynn Town 0-0 Altrincham
Two minutes into the second half, Connor Hampson drilled a low shot that was saved by the feet of Richardson, before the game entered its quietest lull. Then, in the 61st minute, Josh Hancock did well to shake off his man and curl a tantalising effort from 22 yards that bounced awkwardly in front of Richardson and agonisingly wide.
Cameron King and veteran Michael Gash entered the fray for King’s Lynn, which instigated an excellent spell for the Linnets. With 13 minutes remaining, Gash’s shot from the edge of the area struck the arm of Toby Mullarkey, and the hosts were awarded a penalty. Gash himself stepped up but saw his low drive well saved by Thompson down to his left.
Any hopes that Thompson’s heroics might galvanise Alty were quickly dashed when, just two minutes later, King’s Lynn opened the scoring. Substitutes Gash and King combined in the area, the latter having two bites at the cherry, and with Alty unable to clear their lines, the ball ultimately fell to Kairo Mitchell, who drilled powerfully across Thompson and into the back of the net.
Alty thought they had found an equaliser in the 83rd minute when a penetrating run and weighted feed from Ryan Colclough found Josh Hancock one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and although Hancock finished expertly past Richardson, the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.
Alty’s fate was sealed in the 86th minute when Mitchell went down under a Mullarkey challenge in the area and won his side’s second penalty of the afternoon. Lynn’s top scorer Mitchell this time took responsibility from the spot and made no mistake in sending Thompson the wrong way.
The result meant that King’s Lynn had won back-to-back games for the first time this season, following their 2-1 win over Eastleigh last time out, whilst Alty’s recent revival in form was brought to an abrupt halt in Norfolk.
FT: King’s Lynn Town 2-0 Altrincham