Altrincham v Wrexham Vanarama National League Tuesday 9th February 2021, 19:45 KO Match Preview - By Ed Painter
Alty will be looking to extend their impressive winning run to four games on Tuesday evening as we host play-off chasing Wrexham at FC United of Manchester’s Broadhurst Park.
Due to difficult conditions at the J. Davidson Stadium, and with both sides eager to play the match, it was agreed the fixture would take place elsewhere.
After wins against struggling Barnet and Wealdstone, the Robins proved once again that they could mix it with the best, returning home from Devon with all three points following a 2-1 comeback win over table-topping Torquay United.
Despite a strong start from Phil Parkinson’s side, they fell behind early in the first half through Kyle Cameron’s close-range finish at the far post.
Alty stayed in the game and only moments later, were awarded a penalty for a foul on Josh Hancock, with the midfielder calmly converting the spot kick himself to draw the visitors level.
The winning goal came just before the break, through substitute Ryan Colclough, who had come on earlier to replace the injured Dan Mooney. Picking the ball up outside the area, the forward unleashed an unstoppable effort into the top corner, beyond the fingertips of the Torquay ‘keeper.
You can watch highlights of our 2-1 victory over Torquay by pressing play below.
That result did have Alty sitting fourth in the Vanarama National League table, playing a total of 21 games, but a positive result for Stockport County against Yeovil Town saw the Robins drop one place to fifth, four points ahead of Tuesday evening’s visitors.
Despite falling one place, the Robins remain right in the thick of a competitive promotion race. Aside from Torquay United being ten points clear at the top of the league, the next nine places are only separated by six points. Further to that, the teams from second to fifth (Sutton United, Stockport County, Hartlepool United and Altrincham) are only separated by one.
Unbeaten in their last four games, Wrexham have asserted themselves as promotion contenders and currently sit just outside the play-off places in 9th. From the 20 games that the Red Dragons have played this season, they have secured eight wins, five draws and seven losses, scoring 26 goals but conceding 22. With the American takeover of the club close to being finalised, the Wrexham support will be hoping that their club secures a long-awaited return to the Football League.
The Welsh club have shown over the course of this season that they are a hard team to beat, winning one, losing one and drawing three of their last five league games. However, they have only managed to secure draws in their last two matches against Eastleigh and Dagenham & Redbridge, slowing their momentum.
In their last league outing against the Daggers, Wrexham did have a two-goal lead with only 15 minutes left in the game, courtesy of goals from defenders Jamie Reckford and Reece Hall-Johnson. However, they were not able to seal the deal, with Matt Robinson pulling a goal back before Dean Rance’ header in the dying seconds forced the stalemate, leaving the Red Dragons to wonder what could have been.
Tuesday evening present’s Phil Parkinson’s side with the chance to complete the league double over Wrexham, having left Wales with a win earlier in the season. In the previous meeting, which took place on December 1, a Ritchie Sutton goal just before half time was all it took to secure all three points at the Racecourse Ground.
The Red Dragons are managed by their former player Dean Keates, who is in his second spell in charge. Following a playing career which saw him feature for Walsall, Hull City, Kidderminster Harriers, Lincoln City, Peterborough United, Wycombe Wanderers, Rhyl and Rushall Olympic, Keates made his first step into management with Wrexham in October 2016.
An impressive spell in charge saw him poached by Football League side Walsall, before being sacked after only 20 games. He made his return to North Wales October 2019, replacing the outgoing Bryan Hughes.
Since his return, Keates has transformed his team into genuine promotion contenders. However, his efforts will not be aided by the departure of star striker Adi Yussuf, who was recalled from his loan by Blackpool before being loaned again to league rivals Chesterfield. He was replaced by Dior Angus, formerly of Barrow, who will work alongside Kwame Thomas and Jordan Ponticelli to get the Red Dragons firing.
While Wrexham could climb into the play-off places Tuesday evening, Phil Parkinson’s Alty side could potentially climb as high as second with a win, highlighting just how important a positive result is to both sides.
A hard fought effort from the Robins who played some brilliant football at times tonight. Thomas' first half goal (36) was cancelled out by a worldy from Ryan Colclough in the 50th minute. However, Thomas' added his second of the game midway through the second period (67) to ultimately claim all three points for the Red Dragons. Altrincham 1 Wrexham 2
Final Score: Altrincham 1 Wrexham 2
Four minutes of added time. 1-2
86: Almost a third for Wrexham, as Davies plays a defence splitting ball to Hall-Johnson, but his angled shot flies narrowly over the crossbar. 1-2
82: The Robins forcing the Wrexham defence onto the back foot. Kosylo picks out Ceesay on the wing but with options in the box, he elects to have a go at goal, with his shot well wide. 1-2.
81: Entering the final ten minutes and Alty have another effort at goal. Colclough takes his effort with his right foot, but the ball doesn't curl as he would like, bobbling wide of the goal. 1-2
79: Chance for Alty. Piggott's pass finds Hancock, but his long distance shot flies well over the Wrexham crossbar. 1-2
77: Hall-Johnson once again causing trouble for the Robins, with the fullback's dangerous cross forcing the Alty defence into action. 1-2
76: Second substitution for Alty. Yusifu Ceesay is on for Ritchie Sutton. 1-2
75: Excellent play from Kosylo, who dribbles past two markers, before his shot is parried away by Dibble. 1-2
73: Substitution for Alty. Byron Harrison is replaced by Joe Piggott, who makes his second debut for the Robins. 1-2
70: There is a stoppage in play as Ritchie Sutton needs treatment. Looks like he is fine to continue though. 1-2
67: Goal for Wrexham. A dangerous corner was deflected off a defender, with Thomas heading the resulting ball home at the far post. 1-2
Excellent game of football between two sides who play the game the right way. Twenty five minutes left for Alty to find a winner. 1-1
62: An excellent delivery from Reckford almost finds its way into the bottom corner, but drifts inches wide. 1-1
61: Freekick in a dangerous position for Wrexham. 1-1
60: Kosylo tries to find space to shoot but after being shut out, he feeds the ball to White, whose shot is saved low down by Dibble. 1-1
55: Excellent cross field ball finds Thomas in acres of space. After shaping to shoot on the Alty goal, an excellent sliding challenge sends the ball behind for a corner. 1-1
53: Alty smell blood here. Excellent hold up play from Harrison inside the box, after an almighty goalmouth scramble, but after feeding the ball to White, the defender could only direct his shot well over. 1-1
50: WHAT A GOALLLLLLLLLL. Joel Senior's pass finds Colclough, who takes a touch to beat his marker before his thunderbolt of a strike beats Dibble to the top corner of the net. GET IN! 1-1
46: Harrison looked to have been barged off the ball in the box, but the linesman ruled him offside. 0-1
The 2nd half is underway. Big 45 minutes ahead! COME ON ALTY! 0-1
Half Time: Wrexham enter the half time break a goal up. The Robins began the game brightly and had some seriously good chances to take the lead, but it is the Red Dragons who have the advantage. 0-1
41: The resulting freekick seems to strike the foot of the post, before the ball is eventually cleared to safety. 0-1
41: Freekick for Wrexham. Yellow card for Mullarkey for a late challenge. 0-1
40: Five minutes left in this half, plus stoppage time. COME ON ALTY! 0-1
36: Goal for Wrexham. A quick freekick from Harris finds Hall-Johnson bursting down the right hand side. The fullback feeds the ball into the box and Kwame Thomas fires the ball into the back of the net. 0-1
31: Another great chance for Alty to score. Mullarkey dribbles past three Wrexham defenders, before feeding the ball back to Colclough, whose driven shot needed tipping round the post by Dibble. SO CLOSE! 0-0
28: Jamie Reckford with a shot from all of 30 yards for the visitors. Thompson makes a smart diving save to keep the scores level. 0-0
24: Hancock the latest Robin to try his luck on Dibble's goal. Unfortunately, he doesn't quite connect with his shot and it dribbles wide. 0-0
21: Turning into a bit of an action-packed game so far. One minute after almost conceding, the Robins charge up the other end of the pitch, with Kosylo seeing his long range shot creeping inches the wrong side of the post. 0-0
20: The visitors with their first clear chance of the game. Thomas and Reckford see their shots on the Alty goal blocked before the ball is eventually cleared. 0-0
16: So close once again to an opening goal for Alty. Harrison is played clean through on goal, but his effort is saved by the foot of Dibble. We are getting closer and closer here. 0-0
Given the freezing conditions across the country right now, the pitch is looking in quite good nick. 0-0
11: Wrexham's Jay Harris shown a yellow card by the referee. 0-0
9: Dibble on hand to deny Alty an opening goal. Harrison charges down the left hand side, before the ball eventually finds White, whose effort is acrobatically tipped over the crossbar. 0-0
7: Hannigan with a good block to cut out Harris' cross before it can find its intended target. 0-0
3: Fantastic start from Alty, with Matty Kosylo finding space in the box to shoot, but his attempt was blocked by a Wrexham leg. 0-0
1: Nice driven shot from Alistair Smith, forcing the Wrexham 'keeper into a fine save. 0-0
Both teams are out on the pitch as the referee blows for the game to start. The Robins get the game going, kicking from right to left. COME ON ALTY! 0-0
The Robins will line up in their home kit, while Wrexham will be wearing green shirts, white shorts, and green socks.
Kick off is only 15 minutes away - We will be back with updates once the game gets underway. Updates are being provided remotely this evening.
Team news for Wrexham who make one change from the 2-2 draw with Dagenham, with Tyler French replacing Dan Jarvis. Dibble, Hall-Johnson, Reckford, Harris (c), Young, Carrington, Angus, Kelleher, French, Davies, Thomas. SUBS: Durrell, Redmond, Jarvis, Rutherford, Horsfield.
Team news from Broadhurst Park, starting with the Robins, with Ryan Colclough and Andy White coming in to the team in place of Connor Hampson and Jake Moult. Thompson (c), White, Sutton, Hannigan, Hancock, Kosylo, Senior, Mullarkey, Harrison, Smith, Colclough. Joe Piggott takes a place on the bench after his return to the club: Piggott, Ceesay, Densmore, Peers, Richman.
Can Alty extend their winning run to four? Join us for live text updates throughout the evening, we'll bring you team news from Broadhurst Park when we have it.
Welcome to tonight's live updates.
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