*Big Ben .. a player who should chime with Robins fans is Ben Harrison, back at Nantwich after making such a positive impact in Alty colours. Picture by Michael Ripley.
The focus switches from Saturday afternoon to Tuesday night for Altrincham in the build-up to another new season, with familiar opponents lying in wait for their latest test tomorrow evening. Here, ED PAINTER brings you all you need to know about game three in a busy programme of pre-season games.
Altrincham’s pre-season schedule picks up pace tomorrow evening as Phil Parkinson’s men make the short trip south to face Nantwich Town at the Optimum Pay Stadium (kick-off 7.45).
The Robins returned to action on Saturday with two matches in one day, the first of which was against West Didsbury and Chorlton at noon and the other against Ashton United at 3pm.
Game one saw an Alty team largely made up of trialists, youngsters and summer signings fall to a narrow 1-0 defeat, courtesy of an unfortunate own goal in the first half.
The second match saw a more familiar starting Xl take to the field at Hurst Cross, with goals in either half from Dan Mooney and Ryan Colclough securing a 2-0 win.
An all-round impressive performance saw the Robins take the lead after only 18 minutes, with Mooney pouncing on the ball, after a collision, before lobbing his effort over the advancing home custodian.
Following an impressive first-half performance, Colclough continued to take the eye in the second period, and there was no stopping him as he doubled the lead.
After his first attempt was well defended, the attacker persisted and buried the ball into the bottom corner at the second time of asking.
There was almost a third for Parkinson’s side when substitute Fisayo Adarabioyo saw an effort from distance fly narrowly off target, before Tom Peers was unsuccessful from the penalty spot, following a foul by the Ashton shot-stopper.
However, the visitors were able to comfortably see out the rest of the game, grabbing their first win of pre-season in the process.
Nantwich Town are a side who play their football in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, finishing the previous two seasons in fifth and 16th, before the Covid-19 pandemic brought both campaigns to a premature end.
Founded in 1884, The Dabbers, as they are affectionately known, came close to promotion to the National League North back in the 2018/19 season, finishing fourth and qualifying for the play-offs. However, they suffered defeat to Warrington Town at the semi-final stage.
A side very familiar to some within the Altrincham ranks, several members of the current squad once called the Optimum Pay Stadium home, including Andy White, Josh Hancock, Toby Mullarkey, Matty Kosylo, Tom Peers, and our management duo of Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel.
During his playing days, Parkinson enjoyed plenty of success with the Dabbers, winning the Cheshire Senior Cup for the first time in 30 Years and the FA Vase final in 2006, before moving into the dug-out in 2015.
Following the departure of Phil Parkinson to the Robins, Nantwich appointed Dave Cooke as their new manager in May, 2017. He has experience of management at various levels of non-League football, including the National Conference where he helped keep Northwich Victoria in the league.
Cooke then became assistant-manager at Shrewsbury Town following their relegation from the Football League, helping them to bounce back at the first time of asking. He was also instrumental in giving debuts to the likes of Joe Hart and Dave Edwards.
More recently, he guided the Dabbers to the first round of the FA Cup, where his team were beaten away at League Two Stevenage. In the same season, his side finished 15th and also won the Cheshire Senior Cup with a 3-0 win over Stockport Town.
In their last outing, Nantwich overcame the challenge of Whitchurch Alport to win 2-1, picking up the Eddie Morris Memorial Trophy. Having taken the lead through former Alty favourite Ben Harrison, the Dabbers were pegged back straight away before Carlos Montefiori’s strike, with 20 minutes, left secured the win.
Admission prices agreed for the match are as follows:
£8 - Adults
£6 - Concessions (Disabled & Over 60’s)
£4 - Under 16’s
Tickets should be purchased in advance and can be purchased from Nantwich Town's online ticket portal: https://nantwichtownfc.ktckts....
It is possible to make a cash payment at the turnstile but this is not Nantwich Town's admission payment preference.
Listen to the game Live on Radio Robins
You can listen to live commentary on Radio Robins and the broadcast starts at 7.40pm. The commentary team is Niall Finnegan and John Edwards.
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 fans who travelled to The Weaver Stadium on Tuesday evening will have been encouraged by an impressive display as goals from Marcus Dinanga, Ryan Colclough & Dan Mooney produced a 3 goal margin of victory that was a fair reflection of the 90 minutes.
Altrincham (1st Half)
Joel Senior | Toby Mullarkey | Tom Hannigan | David Fitzpatrick
Jake Moult | Connor Kirby
Brad Jackson | Josh Hancock | Ryan Colclough
There were plenty of early chances for both sides with former Altrincham Youth & Reserve team keeper, Cameron Terry, making a top-class save to deny Ryan Colclough & tipping a very well executed Joel Senior free kick onto the crossbar superbly, whilst Shaun Miller & Thommy Montefiori had great opportunities to put the Dabbers ahead & former Robin, James Lawrie brought a save from Tony Thompson.
Ryan Colclough rattled the post before a brilliant piece of creativity from Josh Hancock just after the half-hour released Marcus Dinanga, who opened his goalscoring account by deftly lifting the ball over the advancing Terry.....a lovely goal!
Marcus Dinanga about to open his goalscoring account for the Robins.
Colclough doubled the Robins' lead in the last throes of the first half action with a deflected shot from inside the area.
Altrincham (2nd Half)
Toby Mullarkey | Ritchie Sutton | Kennedy Digie | Joel Senior
Sean Williams | Ben Pringle
Dan Mooney | Josh Hancock | Matty Kosylo
James Berry replaced Josh Hancock midway through the 2nd half & played on the left wing with Matty Kosylo moving into the Number 10 role.
Liam Blackburn, who had played for an hour on Saturday at West Didsbury & Chorlton, after replacing the injured Matt Gould, was an unused substitute.
Phil Parkinson & Neil Sorvel made 7 changes at half-time & the 2nd half was a much more low key affair with Alty generally in charge & Dan Mooney capitalised on good play by James Berry to score a 3rd goal 10 minutes from the end with a low right footed shot from 12-15 yards that crept into the bottom corner.
Assistant manager Neil Sorvel said:-
'The game was pretty open in the fiirst 15-20 minutes & 4-2 would have been a fair reflection of the scoreline. We needed to do better early on in terms of getting back into our defensive shape & there's a bit of work to be done in our recovery positions, but in possession we looked a real threat going forward throughout the game'.
Having used 8 trialists in the 2 games on Saturday, 3 were on show at The Weaver Stadium, David Fitzpatrick (Left Back), Ben Pringle (Midfield) & James Berry (Left Wing).
1. Cameron Terry, 2. Jack Hatton, 3. Callum Saunders, 4. Troy Bourne,
5. Josh Langley, 6. Caspar Hughes, 7. James Lawrie, 8. Ben Harrison,
9. Shaun Miller, 10. Sean Cooke, 11. Carlos "Thommy" Montefiori
Subs: Jack Wood, Ollie Pope, Louis Danquah, Joe Mwasile, Connor Heath, Joel Stair, Jahquil Hill.