Alty will be looking to quickly dust themselves down after Tuesday evening’s defeat when they make the long journey south to face Yeovil Town at Huish Park.
After going five games unbeaten, the last three of which being victories, Phil Parkinson’s side were dealt a setback when they fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of play-off chasing Wrexham.
Having gone behind to a first half strike from Kwame Thomas, Ryan Colclough’s stunning long-range strike deservedly drew the Robins level.
In what was an enthralling game of football, both sides created numerous chances to take control of the game. However, Thomas’ second strike of the game in the 67th minute proved to be enough to hand the Welsh side all three points.
You can watch highlights of that 2-1 defeat against Wrexham by clicking play below.
After the latest round of fixtures, the Robins dropped to sixth in the Vanarama National League table, level on points with Notts County in sixth and one point above Wrexham in seventh but having played more games than their rivals.
Despite the setback, Alty still remain in a strong position and sit only three points behind Hartlepool United in second. However, the very nature of this league has shown that anyone can beat anybody else on their day, meaning that there is still all to play for in the grand scheme of things.
Our opponents this weekend might have hoped for better things this season, having featured in the play-off campaign last season, ultimately losing to Barnet in the Quarter Finals. However, the Huish Park faithful have endured a season of struggle, with the team currently placed 19th in the National League table. From the 19 games they have played, Yeovil have collected five wins, five draws, and nine losses.
From those games, Yeovil Town have been reasonable in front of goal, scoring 25 goals, a better record than some clubs like Boreham Wood in ninth. However, their weakness has proven to be in defence, conceding a total of 31 goals, with only five teams having worse defensive records than the struggling Glovers.
In their two matches, both of which were losses, Yeovil Town suffered successive 1-0 defeats at the hands of Eastleigh and Stockport County. In the Eastleigh defeat, Ryan Hill’s strike just before the half time break was enough to secure the Spitfires all three points, while in the Stockport loss, a solo strike from Alex Reid, also in the first half, did the damage. In fact, in the last three games, all the goals that the Glovers have conceded have come in the first half.
The last time that both sides faced one another was all the way back during the 1999/00 Conference season, a season that saw Altrincham relegated to the Northern Premier League. In the first fixture, which was played on August 21, 1999, goals from Warren Patmore, Adrian Foster, and Matt Hayfield handed the Glovers a 3-1 victory at Huish Park. In the reverse fixture, played on April 29, 2000, both teams scored twice in a 2-2 draw, with the Yeovil goals coming from Paul Steele and James Bent, while Altrincham’s goals came from Gary Talbot and Richard Landon.
Yeovil Town are managed by former Stevenage manager Darren Sarll, who took charge of the club on June 19, 2019. As a player, Darren featured for the likes of Hitchin Town, Berkhamsted Town, Bedford Town, St Albans City, Chelmsford City, Dunstable Town, Hemel Hempstead Town, Chesham Town and Biggleswade United. After hanging up his boots, Darren stepped into first team management in 2016 with Stevenage and went on to enjoy two seasons with the club, before his sacking on March 18, 2018.
Despite not hitting similar heights this season, the Yeovil squad is packed full of Football League experience, such as the likes of Charlie Lee, Reuben Reid, Billy Sass-Davies, Michael Kelly, Adam Smith, and Matty Warburton, the latter four being on loan from Crewe Alexandra, Bristol Rovers, Forest Green Rovers, and Northampton Town respectively.
Billy Sass-Davies, of course, spent time on loan at Altrincham earlier this season putting in some impressive performances at the heart of the defence.
With both teams looking to bounce back immediately from their respective league defeats, Saturday’s game will hold great importance towards whether Alty can further solidify their play-off place, or whether Yeovil Town can climb further away from the relegation zone.
Last five games
Yeovil Town: WLWLL (F8 A7)
Altrincham: DWWWL (F9 A6)
Watch the game live
Click here to order the Yeovil Town live stream, at a cost of £9.99.
Listen to the game live on Radio Robins
You can listen to live commentary from Huish Park on Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery.
The broadcast starts at 2.30pm
The match commentary sponsor is 'Andy's Man Club'. The commentary team is Laurence Howarth & Brian Flynn
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'.
*No way through .. the Yeovil keeper smothers the ball, with Tom Peers waiting to pounce. Picture by Jonathan Moore.
For once, redeeming features were few and far between. On the odd occasion Altrincham have slipped up and finished empty-handed this season, there’s normally been some crumb of comfort or cause for arguing luck went against them.
Not at Huish Park, on a cold, blustery Saturday afternoon, when two second-half substitutes combined to fashion a 2-0 Yeovil victory that was the least Alty deserved for a thankfully-rare off-day.
It was perhaps fitting that a sub should be responsible for each Yeovil goal, since this was, quite decidedly, a sub-standard Alty performance, in sharp contrast to the ones that have lit up the Vanarama National League so far and won Phil Parkinson and his players admirers everywhere they’ve gone.
There was none of the flowing football that had Wrexham on the back foot for long spells on Tuesday night in a first half devoid of anything resembling a clear-cut scoring opportunity.
The second half wasn’t much better, though Yeovil at least showed some attacking intent and were rewarded with a 65th-minute breakthrough from Rhys Murphy and points-clinching second goal by fellow-substitute Chris Dagnall.
Yeovil may take issue with the suggestion neither side looked like scoring in the first half, given Joe Quigley found the back of the net with a 43rd-minute header from Tom Knowles’ right-wing cross.
But Joel Senior claimed, with some justification, that the striker had climbed all over him to win the aerial duel, and the sight of the linesman’s flag held aloft near the corner Knowles had crossed from raised the possibility the winger’s delivery had curled out of play before reaching its target.
Either way, Yeovil had carried little threat up to then, and the same, unusually enough, could be said of Alty.
Ryan Colclough blazed a 14th-minute free-kick over the bar after Matty Kosylo had been chopped down by Yeovil skipper Carl Dickinson as he made his way towards the edge of the Glovers area.
Kosylo foraged forward again in the 39th minute and found Josh Hancock with a crisp pass that was swiftly switched to Colclough, in space on the right flank. The low cross was scrambled clear, but it was, at least, an all-too-infrequent glimpse of the quality associated with this Alty team.
When Yeovil ended the deadlock, it was perhaps appropriate it should stem from the sloppiest few moments of a disjointed Alty performance, possession being surrendered carelessly time and again in a series of lapses that were inevitably punished, as Dickinson drilled the ball into the area and Murphy fired an angled shot past Tony Thompson.
There was little by way of an Alty response, and when Dagnall headed home an Alex Bradley cross from point-blank range at the far post in the 81st minute, the Robins’ fate was sealed.
Any manager looks for a response in the wake of a defeat, but when he mulls over the manner of this setback, Alty boss Parkinson will demand it more than ever and insist the standards that have made the Robins one of the teams of the season so far are reasserted as swiftly as possible.