11 Aug 2019 by Aiden Beswick

James strikes again but Robins are held


*Back of the net .. Jordan Hulme looks on as James Jones (out of picture) gives Alty an early lead. Picture by Michael Ripley.

It was a frustrating afternoon for the Robins, as they finished their second away game of the season with a 1-1 draw against Gloucester City. 

It was Gloucester who almost took the lead in the third minute, a free-kick from Joe Hanks beat the wall and forced Steven Drench into a great save. 
Altrincham took the lead eight minutes later, when an inswinging free-kick from John Johnston found James Jones, who tapped it in with his left foot. 

The 14th minute saw Alty almost double their lead. A long-range pass from deep found Jordan Hulme, but after flicking the ball on, his resulting shot was saved well by Zach Jeacock.

Only a minute later, the Robins had another chance to add a further goal, this time from Lewis Walters, who cut inside from the left and hit a wind-assisted shot that curled inward and almost beat Jeacock.

The Gloucester keeper was called into action again in the 23rd minute, saving with his feet after a long ball from Andy White enabled Hulme to fire in a shot.

The hosts went closest next, 14 minutes later, after a good bit of play in the middle led to an eventual shot that was saved comfortably by Drench. 

It was Hulme again who could have extended Altrincham’s lead in the 41st minute, but his right-footed volley went just wide. 

The last chance of the first-half once more involved Hulme. The Alty striker did brilliantly with the ball at his feet, running at the home side's defence and flicking the ball on to Walters, who shot inches wide. The half-time whistle went with Alty in control and deservedly ahead, though the lead should have been more decisive.

Just two minutes into the second half, Johnston almost doubled the Robins’ lead with a shot that went just over.  However, the 51st minute saw the home side level. A foul by Max Harrop gave Gloucester a free-kick on the edge of the box that was converted well by Hanks.

Harrop was looking for redemption three minutes after the equaliser and almost found it with a well-struck free-kick that swerved to Jeacock’s left, only for the hosts’ keeper to tip it round for a corner.
Mike Cook was the first manager to make a change - Ioan Richards making way for Sam Avery. Cook made Gloucester’s second change of the game on the 57th minute, when Jake Jackson came off for Zack Kotwica.

With the game level after 70 minutes, Phil Parkinson made his first Altrincham change, Walters leaving the field for Tom Peers. 
Five minutes later, Parkinson made his second change - this time Harrop coming off for Nathan Arnold.

Gloucester made their final change of the game in the 82nd minute - Josh Thomas making way for Kieran Smith.

It was a quiet last half-hour, with minimal chances for either side, as well as several questionable decisions from referee Dean Watson, and after four minutes of added time, Alty had to settle for a point. 

The Robins do, however, remain undefeated away from home in the league since January. They face Alfreton Town next at The J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.45pm. 

Altrincham goal - James Jones 11 minutes; Gloucester goal - Joe Hanks 51 minutes.

Altrincham bookings - Andy White, Max Harrop, John Johnston
Gloucester bookings - Chris Knowles, Josh Thomas.

Attendance - 305.


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