Robins steal it right at the end
SOME matches just don’t live up their their billing, and the Altrincham versus Macclesfield clash was a prime example.
Not that Alty will care one jot. Their last-minute winner got them only their third win of the season and sent a disappointing Macc side home emptyhanded.
Macc perhaps deserved a point, but that perhaps points to the Robins’ shortcomings. Sadly for those who’d turned out at Moss Lane the evening’s one real slice of quality made all the difference.
Defeat can be hard to accept if those concerned can feel hard-done-by.
However, it was the manner in which the Silkmen fell that so disappointed those 665 crammed in the away end at the Robins’ nest.
Moss Lane is sponsored by a local scrap metal merchant these days, but the fare served up was scrappy in the extreme.
After a fast and furious first 10 minutes the first derby between the two in 17 years fizzled out with the only meaningful action coming in the last minute.
James Lawrie was Alty’s match-winner as time ticked away, looping a stunning goal beyond Rhys Taylor’s grasp moments from the end.
The return of the fixture, the first since 1997, started off at something approaching a frantic pace but once Chris Holroyd and Adriano Moke had fired wide for Macc, and Alty blew a chance from an eight-yard indirect free kick the game degenerated.
Holroyd was also wasteful when he hurtled onto a loose ball but the best chance of the first period came to the Robins’ Damian Reeves, who blasted over from 10 yards after Sean Williams nodded down for him.
Arthur Gnahoua twice went close for the visitors late in the half but he was thwarted in the first instance by Alty keeper Stuart Coburn and skied his second finish when his control let him down and he was forced to improvise his finish, which cleared the bar.
An end-to-end bloodand-guts classic this was not and the second period didn’t even have the relative highlights of wayward shots to redeem it, and although the atmosphere at Moss Lane was spirited, neither set of supporters was given much to shout about.
George Pilkington stooped to head Waide Fairhurst’s corner over Cobrun’s goal and Fairhurst himself found Coburn an obstacle too far when he picoted and fired from Gnahoua’s pass.
But genuine, heartstopping excitement – the type that local rivalries thrive upon – was nowhere to be seen.
That was until a minute from the end, when Lawrie popped up with his superb volley, letting the ball run across his body and, on the turn, looping a shot into the top corner.
A flare and a pitch invader – neither of which were especially welocme – only delayed the inevitable and Macc were made to suffer a second straight defeat. LUKE Waterfall’s loan spell has been extended for a third month.
The Scunthorpe centreback (right) has been a key player for John Askey’s men but will have to return to Glanford Park at the end of October.
United, Accrington Stanley and Millwall defender Tom Bender to his squad.
●● Scott Barrow and Simon Richman (above) stretch for a high ball and Andy Halls clears the flare from the pitch