GIANT KILLERS ALTY ARE BACK!
DEFIANT Barnsley boss Lee Johnson says he’s in it for the long haul after Altrincham knocked his side out of the FA Cup.
Alty striker Damian Reeves struck the killer blow to revive the National League club’s proud cup past.
It was the latest blow for Johnson’s underpressure side, who can’t buy a win – and he’s promised a shake up.
“I’m angry and frustrated,” Johnson said. “They deserved their win today, which is not on from our point of view.
“I’ve been a giantkiller in my days at Yeovil, I know how hard people work.
“But I just feel there’s a soft under-belly all the way through the club.The 18s can’t get a win, the 21s can’t and the first team can’t.
“We need to shake it up and if I’m still here, like people keep questioning, then I will be the one to shake it up.
“Football’s football. It’s an horrendous run, you never know what’s around the corner. But, by the same token, I still believe I’m the man for the job.”
Alty boss Lee Sinnott was paying little attention to Barnsley’s seven-game losing streak in League One ahead of the game.
But the Tykes would have arrived nervous at the prospect of facing the Non-League club with the most giant killings to their name.
Altrincham have claimed 16 Football League scalps down the years, although another name hasn’t been added to the list since the 1994-95 season when they beat Wigan Athletic. And they showed their intent on 22 minutes as keeper Adam Davies had to be alert to tip Jake Moult’s dipping drive over the bar.
Moult when close again soon after Barnsley skipper Alfie Mawson had fired just wide at the other end. The National League side were more than holding their own and they struck immediately after the break with a classic poacher’s goal from Reeves.
Ryan Crowther drove forward with the ball, shot low and although Davies parried, Reeves was on hand to tuck in the rebound.
It was too quick for Sinnott, who was still in the stand when the ball hit the net.
Johnson quickly responded with a triple substitution and all three went close.
Lloyd Isgrove put a good opening wide, Conor Wilkinson saw his shot deflected into the hands of Alty keeper Tim Deasy and Conor Hourihane went within inches of the angle with a free-kick before drilling another chance past the post.
But, with the rain pouring down, Altrincham tackled, hassled and repelled every attack for a deserved win.
“I’m pleased it’s been rekindled, it’s been a while since Altrincham, a brilliantly traditional name in the FA Cup, have shown everyone it’s still there,” Sinnott said.
“We have some elderly supporters who remember those games in the 80s.
“It’s nice to see it’s come back for people like that.
“We’re excited to be in the draw and excited to see who we get.”
STAR MAN JAKE MOULT Altrincham SLIDE RULE: Adam Davies makes an excellent save, but can't keep hold of the ball Inset: Damian Reeves celebrates scoring the only goal