08 Sep 2019 by Aiden Beswick

Five-star Robins turn on the style

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*1-0 .. Ash Hemmings (foreground) and goalscorer Jordan Hulme celebrate Alty's opener. Picture by Michael Ripley.

Altrincham made it four games undefeated at home with an emphatic 5-0 win over Leamington at The J.Davidson Stadium.

From the kick-off, Alty looked like they were very much up for it - whatever Phil Parkinson’s pre-match team talk was, it worked wonders. Within six minutes, the Robins had their first chance, with Jordan Hulme firing just over.

A mere three minutes later, Ash Hemmings cut inside from the right and tried his luck with a shot that went into the hands of Leamington keeper Jake Weaver.
Hulme went close to opening the scoring on the 13th minute, his effort being saved well by Weaver.

Altrincham did, however, take the lead on the quarter-of-an-hour mark. James Jones played a crisp ball through to overlapping right-back Andy White, who drilled a low cross that found Hulme for a close-range finish.

It was a deserved breakthrough for a dominant Alty side who looked like doubling their advantage a few minutes later, when Yusifu Ceesay broke clear down the left.

The winger appeared to be through on goal but suddenly pulled up in full flight and clutched the back of his leg in agony. He was eventually helped on to a stretcher and carried off with a hamstring injury.

Due to this, Alty boss Parkinson was forced to make his first substitution - John Johnston coming on for the stricken Ceesay in the 20th minute.

Just under 10 minutes later, the Robins suffered another injury setback, with left-back Connor Hampson needing treatment for a slight hamstring problem and having to make way for Simon Richman.

This change saw White shift to the left-back position, with Richman slotting in at right-back.

Leamington took advantage of the disruption and almost equalised a minute later with an effort that hit the post and a follow-up shot that was beaten away by keeper Tony Thompson. 

The referee had just indicated three minutes of added time when Altrincham claimed their second goal. A brilliant crossfield ball from Hemmings found Johnston in space on the left, and the winger curled a cross towards the edge of the six-yard box, where Josh Hancock nodded home.

Half-time - Altrincham 2, Leamington 0

Hemmings got us back underway in the second-half. Just five minutes after kick-off, the winger cut inside and curled a fantastic effort at goal that beat the keeper but came back off the angle of bar and post.

Alty made it 3-0 just before the hour-mark. An excellent free-kick from Hemmings on the right flashed across the Leamington goal and appeared to be deflected into his own net by a visiting defender, under pressure from Hancock.

With half-an-hour to go, Leamington boss Paul Holleran made a double change - Kieran Dunbar and Kaiman Anderson making way for Ravi Shamsi and Jordan Murphy.

Seven minutes later, Leamington made their final substitution - Joe Clarke coming off for Gift Moussa.

The first yellow card of the game was given to Sean Williams with 19 minutes to go, for what looked like a very clean tackle.

The resulting free-kick hit the wall, more specifically Williams, with impact, and the midfielder needed a couple of minutes to recover.

Alty made their final change of the game in the 77th minute, when Tom Peers replaced Hulme.

Leamington had a chance to get a goal back, but Josh March fired well wide with eight minutes to go.

Altrincham went up the other end a minute later and almost made it 4-0, with Hemmings setting up Hancock for an effort that was saved well by Weaver.

Just three minutes after that, it was Hemmings again who had a chance, but after cutting inside, he blasted the ball just over.

The Robins made it 4-0 in the 90th minute when the referee, after overlooking several Leamington challenges that looked like fouls, finally gave Alty a free-kick. It was superbly taken by the quick-thinking Johnston, who found Richman on the right in enough space to look up and pick out the unmarked Peers for a simple tap-in.

The referee signalled three minutes of added time, and that was sufficient for Alty to add a fifth goal to their tally.

In the tightest of spots on the left, Johnston did brilliantly to engineer an opening that enabled him to cross for Hancock to guide a side-footed finish inside the near post.

Full-time - Altrincham 5, Leamington 0.

After a fantastic performance that was reflected in the scoreline, the Robins travel to Kidderminster Harriers next Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

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