Jake Moult goes close to stabbing Alty in front following a first-half corner. Photo: Michael Ripley.
Two late goals from Grenadian international Kairo Mitchell saw Alty fall to a 2-0 defeat at King’s Lynn Town on a bright but bitingly cold and blustery afternoon at The Walks.
Alty were seeking a third successive victory and back-to-back wins on the road, and nearly opened the scoring inside the second minute. Neat work from James Hardy saw him wriggle through the midfield and hit a drilled pass into the path of Joe Piggott. He moved the ball on to Josh Hancock, and when his attempt was blocked, the ball fell to Ryan Colclough, who hit an audacious effort against the crossbar from a difficult angle on the left-hand side.
The home side had their first chance of the game on 12 minutes, the lively Michael Gyasi finding time and space before feeding a ball in behind Tom Hannigan, where Kairo Mitchell – whose two previous outings were for Grenada in their World Cup qualifiers against El Salvador and the US Virgin Islands – latched onto the ball and saw his attempt well blocked by the on-rushing Tony Thompson as the angle narrowed.
Ten minutes later, King’s Lynn had the best chance of the game. Gyasi was once again instrumental in getting the hosts moving, he fed the ball out to Mitchell on the left wing, and when his low ball across the area found Sonny Carey bursting through, the Linnets seemed certain to open the scoring, only for the 20-year-old prospect to cut his shot wide of the mark.
It was an open and free-flowing game, with Alty dictating the play and being allowed plenty of time and space. The Linnets, meanwhile, looked menacing on the break, with Gyasi, Mitchell and Carey a constant threat.
In an end-to-end encounter, the game’s next chance fell to the Robins on the half-hour mark. Connor Hampson, who was getting lots of joy down the left-hand flank, whipped an excellent ball into the box, and Joe Piggott’s header spun narrowly wide, the Alty number 9 having done well to get into a good position between two King’s Lynn defenders.
In the 38th minute, James Hardy drifted across the area from right to left and pulled the ball back for Josh Hancock, and when he opened up his body and hit a well-placed shot, it seemed destined for the bottom corner, only for Theo Richardson to dive to his left and palm away.
HT: King’s Lynn Town 0-0 Altrincham
Two minutes into the second half, Connor Hampson drilled a low shot that was saved by the feet of Richardson, before the game entered its quietest lull. Then, in the 61st minute, Josh Hancock did well to shake off his man and curl a tantalising effort from 22 yards that bounced awkwardly in front of Richardson and agonisingly wide.
Cameron King and veteran Michael Gash entered the fray for King’s Lynn, which instigated an excellent spell for the Linnets. With 13 minutes remaining, Gash’s shot from the edge of the area struck the arm of Toby Mullarkey, and the hosts were awarded a penalty. Gash himself stepped up but saw his low drive well saved by Thompson down to his left.
Any hopes that Thompson’s heroics might galvanise Alty were quickly dashed when, just two minutes later, King’s Lynn opened the scoring. Substitutes Gash and King combined in the area, the latter having two bites at the cherry, and with Alty unable to clear their lines, the ball ultimately fell to Kairo Mitchell, who drilled powerfully across Thompson and into the back of the net.
Alty thought they had found an equaliser in the 83rd minute when a penetrating run and weighted feed from Ryan Colclough found Josh Hancock one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and although Hancock finished expertly past Richardson, the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.
Alty’s fate was sealed in the 86th minute when Mitchell went down under a Mullarkey challenge in the area and won his side’s second penalty of the afternoon. Lynn’s top scorer Mitchell this time took responsibility from the spot and made no mistake in sending Thompson the wrong way.
The result meant that King’s Lynn had won back-to-back games for the first time this season, following their 2-1 win over Eastleigh last time out, whilst Alty’s recent revival in form was brought to an abrupt halt in Norfolk.
FT: King’s Lynn Town 2-0 Altrincham