All Altrincham's pre-season games are away from home, as their new pitch beds in at The J.Davidson Stadium, and they will be clocking up more miles than ever tomorrow as they head down to the Essex coast. Here, ED PAINTER tells you everything you need to know about Alty's latest fixture in the build-up to the new season.
The Robins make the long journey south this weekend when they visit North Road to face Brightlingsea Regent in their fourth pre-season outing (kick-off 2pm).
After winning one and losing one of their opening two pre-season fixtures (against Ashton United and West Didsbury & Chorlton respectively), Phil Parkinson’s side put in an impressive performance on Tuesday evening, beating Nantwich Town 3-0 thanks to goals from Marcus Dinanga, Ryan Colclough and Dan Mooney.
At the Optimum Pay Stadium, Alty were on top early on, with Colclough forcing a tremendous save from former Altrincham Youth and Reserve team keeper Cameron Terry before the home shot-stopper expertly tipped Joel Senior’s free-kick on to the crossbar.
Following a period of pressure from the Dabbers, the visitors took a deserved lead in the 32nd minute. After Colclough hit the post moments earlier, a brilliant piece of creativity from Josh Hancock just after the half-hour mark released Dinanga, who opened his goalscoring account by deftly lifting the ball over the advancing keeper.
The Robins were able to double their advantage moments before the referee brought the first half to an end, with the impressive Colclough seeing his shot take a deflection to beat Terry.
Parkinson made several changes to his starting Xl during the second period, allowing time for some of the trialists to show what they could do. With 10 minutes left, one of the substitutes played an important part in Alty’s third goal.
In a half that was much more low-key than the first, some impressive play from a trialist allowed Mooney the space to fire at goal, with his angled shot from 15 yards out creeping into the bottom corner to seal the Robins’ second pre-season win.
Brightlingsea Regent, as much as a six-hour drive away from The J. Davidson Stadium, were founded in 2005 and currently play their football in the Isthmian League Premier Division. Before last season was brought to a premature end, The R’s were sat 19th after two wins, two draws, and seven losses.
This season will be our hosts' fourth consecutive year in the ILPD, having won promotion as champions of Division One North back in 2018. Since then, Brightlingsea have finished as high as 13th, which was the last time teams at that level were able to complete a full season of football.
Looking to improve upon their current best league finish, our hosts are boosted by the likes of Zach Smith-Walter and Cadell Fraser-Robinson, who have experience of playing in the National League North/South with Brackley Town and Chelmsford City respectively.
Brightlingsea are managed by Tom Austin, who took charge in 2020 following the departure of the previous management duo of Kem Izzet (formerly of Charlton Athletic and Colchester United) and Pip Boyland.
Tom was previously manager at neighbours FC Clacton, who appointed him to the post in February, 2018. Austin impressed while at The Seasiders, leading FC Clacton to their highest league position in 15 years, recording a 43% win ratio in the process.
He is joined at Brightlingsea by the likes of Chris Ribchester, Zach Smith-Walter, Billy Wales, Charlie Durling, Harry McDonald and Jake Clowsley, who have all featured for Austin’s former side.
In their last outing, Brightlingsea were held to a draw by Isthmian League North Division side Coggeshall Town. Despite being a goal ahead at the break, their opponents levelled the score during the second half, with the hotly-contested pre-season game ending 1-1.
Admission prices are as follows:
£5 - Adults
£3 - Concessions
Listen to the game Live on Radio Robins
You can listen to live commentary on Radio Robins and the broadcast starts at 1.55pm. The commentary team is Laurence Howarth & Matt Gould.
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'.
Altrincham continued what has been a successful pre-season programme to date with a five goal margin victory in Essex on Saturday afternoon.
The kick-off was delayed by 30 minutes from its scheduled time of 2pm as the Altrincham coach did not arrive at North Road, until 1.25pm.
Ritchie Sutton was named in the starting line-up but pulled up in the warm-up with a calf-strain & that caused a reshuffle of the back four with Toby Mullarkey moving to centre-back, Brad Jackson starting at right back & Dan Mooney starting the game on the right wing.
It was Mooney who fired the Robins into a 7th minute lead, opening up the Regent defence on the edge of the penalty area before despatching a clinical left foot shot into the bottom corner from about 16 yards.
Alty were on fire in the opening 20 minutes, with Marcus Dinanga going close twice before Mooney's goal, but to their credit, Brightlingsea responded well & Max Booth got clear inside the Robins' penalty area & his angled shot looked destined for the far corner, before Tony Thompson intervened with a fine block.Regent also hit the bar in their best spell of the game.
This game had been arranged & very kindly sponsored by Altrincham Director, Cathal Morrison, who lives in Brighlingsea & his local Under 11 team. that Cathal runs (pictured above), were kitted out in new Puma Altrincham home kits & gave great vocal support throughout, celebrating each of the five goals in enthusiastic fashion!
As per the game plan, there were plenty of changes at half-time & Phil Parkinson's side were back into their stride quickly. Shortly after the hour mark, Ryan Colclough doubled the lead with an impressive strike from just outside the area & Tom Peers made it 3-0 in the 83rd minute with a smart touch & finish. The goal of the game came in the dying minutes, courtesy of Sean Williams, whose 35 yard arrow like shot flashed into the bottom corner, rising no more than a couple of feet off the turf between the Ginger Pirlo's right foot & the back of the Brightlingsea net.
Marcus Dinanga completed the scoring in the final minute, with a close range finish, his 2nd goal in as many games.
All in all, this was a positive afternoon for the Robins & Brightlingsea Regent were perfect hosts on a pleasant sunny afternoon in Essex.