Blue Square Bet North – Tuesday 5 March 2013

 by Gary Owen

 This game really summed-up Droylsden’s difficult season: defensive errors being punished; industrious, but unproductive midfield; and a strike force that fails to register a shot on target. Indeed, Stuart Coburn’s evening consisted of dealing with back-passes and taking goal-kicks. Not only did the Altrincham stopper not have a shot to save, he didn’t even have a cross to field.

The two chances of any note from Droylsden’s perspective were two first half free kicks, neither of which troubled Coburn.

 However, by the time the first of those had arrived, Droylsden were behind to a Damien Reeves strike in the 17th minute.

 Duncan Whatmore had seen an earlier effort deflected, enabling Dale Latham to save, but ten minutes later Ben Mills got the better of Adam Karim on the right side of the box, and teed-up Reeves, who doesn’t miss from 8 yards out.

Seconds later, Reeves tried his luck from distance, but his dipping volley flew too high, before he saw yet another effort blocked by Latham.

 Alty continued to pressure the home side, and a quick throw-in caught the Bloods’ defence napping for Mills to cross for Whatmore, but the Robins’ midfielder fluffed his lines with an open goal, although he did make amends later.

 A foul by former Blood Patrick Lacey on Matty Ward gave Droylsden a free kick some 25 yards from goal, but Adnam Ahmed’s effort only found the side netting, and Coburn probably had it covered had it been on target.

 Whatmore then embarked on a decent run for the visitors, which resulted in Lacey firing over, but Alty made it 2-0 on 37 minutes when Karim was again caught-out, this time by a pass from Whatmore, which found Mills, who took a quick touch before curling a beauty past Latham inside the post.

 A Carlos Logan free kick could only find the wall, but in first-half added time, it was effectively game-over when Reeves again outwitted Karim to turn provider for Whatmore to atone for his earlier miss.

 Ahmed saw an effort fly off target for the hosts in the second half, but Altrincham made it 4-0 when Whatmore embarked on another great run, this time outstripping Mike Byron to return the favour for Reeves, who notched his brace from a central position. At that time, it was the hosts doing most of the pressing, but without any real creativity, and credit to Altrincham for what was a classic counter-attack.

 Reeves went in search of his hat-trick, and a slip by Andy Langford looked like it had gifted the division’s leading goalscorer with his wish, but he could only crash his shot against the crossbar with only Latham to beat.

 Langford then took a lunge at Simon Richman in the box for a clear penalty, and regular spot-kicker Shaun Densmore added the fifth.

Reeves was again thwarted by Latham in the dying moments, and in added time an effort from Whatmore was deflected wide before Mr. Graham drew matters to a close to prevent any further agony.


Droylsden:                  Latham, Minihan, Logan, Byron, Karim (Langford, 51’), Chalmers, Ward, Ahmed, O’Neill (Watson, 66’), Dali (Berkeley, 46’), Cox.

Subs. not used:            Holden, Rick.

 Altrincham:                 Coburn, Densmore, Clee, Lacey (Doughty, 73’), Havern, Leather (Hall, 46’), Whatmore, Richman (Rodgers, 51’), Mills, Reeves, Lawrie

Subs. not used:           

 ATTENDANCE:                 258

 REFEREE:                            Mr. Paul Graham (Manchester)

Category: Match Reports