It was a tight tense match, but Altrincham tipped the balance in the final moments of the game, snatching two late goals to notch their first win of the season, and compound Celtic’s misery.
The early running was all Celtic, with Altrincham too afraid of losing to venture forward much. Adam Mather twice went close, firing free kicks over the bar, whilst Kiel O’Brien came the closest for Celtic from a corner: his header beating Tim Deacy in the Altrincham nets, but Josh Doherty made the block on the line, the ball coming out to Gary Gee who blazed over the bar from the edge of the box. Jay Gorton was on target, his header lacking the power to beat Deacy. Altrincham’s first effort came towards the end of the half, Sean Miller getting onto a great cross from former Celt Greg Wilkinson, but unable to keep the ball down, heading over the crossbar.
Altrincham started to get a little more adventurous, but apart from James Lawrie’s effort, Tony McMillan was largely a spectator, catching Lawerie’s shot comfortably. At the other end, Andy Owens powered down the line and forced a decent stop from Deacy whilst Altrincham defenders tried to muscle him away. Just before the interval, Damien Reeves got to the near post and tried to turn Sean Miller’s low cross in, but McMillan pulled off a great reaction stop to deny him and keep the game even at half time.
The second half was much more even. A Reeves header straight down McMillan’s throat, whilst Deacy was equal to Aidan Chippendale’s first sniff of the ball after coming on for Brian Summerskill, blocking the curling shot well, the ball coming out to Andy Owens at an awkward height, making the shot difficult, and he fired wide.
After waving play on for a foul, Andy Owens almost took advantage, racing in on goal, only for Deacy to push Owens close range shot and have John Cyrus hack clear. Two more former Celts were brought on, Phil Marsh and Craig Hobson joining Greg Wilkinson up front, and it almost paid dividends. Hobson’s flicked on header to Wilkinson, a one two with Marsh and a curling effort from thirty yards that McMillan was relieved to see fly past the post.
Sam Madeley, on for Danny Wilkins, held off Cyrus long enough to turn him and have a shot that Deacy dived for and missed, turning to watch as it rolled across the box and out past the far post.
As the game went into the final few minutes, the deadlock was broken. Sam Patterson overlapped Lawrie, was fed the ball, cut inside with a neat trick to wrong foot Danny Wisdom and create an angle for a shot, firing past McMillan into the opposite top corner.
Searching for the equaliser, Celtic pushed forward. Andy Owens flicked a header from a Chippendale lobbed cross towards goal but Deacy read it well, and Chippendale himself went close, but lacked the power through a crowd to worry Deacy.
With stoppage time remaining, Altrincham looked content to hold the ball in the corner, but when Widom won the ball it looked like it might go for a goal kick, but Greg Wilkinson kept it in, raced down the line and from ten yards out, at a very acute angle powered his shot past McMillan to give Altrincham their first win of the season, and leave Celtic wondering where the points will come from.
|10||Reeves, Damien||> 65|
|11||Miller, Sean||> 65|
|12||Marsh, Phil||< 65|
|16||Hoibson, Craig||< 65|