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Monday, June 25, 2018

We've Been There Before - Altrincham



For this look back at teams now in the National North, BN features a game at Altrincham from Saturday April 15th 2006.

One Foot in the Play Offs

Hereford United all but secured their place in the play offs for a third successive season following their 1-0 victory at Moss Lane this afternoon, against Altrincham. Morecambe were 3-0 victors at Tamworth, meaning, at the worst, Hereford can only finish 6th on goal difference. A victory on Monday, against Tamworth, for the Bulls would finalise their position in the top five.
United made a few changes from the draw with Dagenham last weekend - the only forced one was the replacement of Daryl Taylor on the right by Andy Williams, as the former's loan spell has ended. Andy Ferrell was back in the middle in place of Jamie Pitman and Stuart Fleetwood was back in the starting line up in place of Adam Stansfield, who was benched. There were returns from injury, but only to the subs bench, for Guy Ipoua and Nicky Nicolau.
Hereford started brightly with Rob Purdie causing plenty of problems on the left, and it was his dangerous early cross that was clawed away by 'keeper Stuart Coburn. Ferrell had fired off target in the sixth minute before Fleetwood should have broken the deadlock. United had broke well down the right, where they were to enjoy much success in the first half, and Simon Travis delivered a cross for Fleetwood, but his first time effort was somehow tipped onto the cross bar by Coburn.
Stanley had an even better chance to open the scoring just before the half hour mark, after another fast attack down the right caused problems for the Alty defence. This time it was Williams who was the creator, but Stanley volleyed just wide from a central position, from around twelve yards out.
United continued to dominate after the break, but still struggled to make Coburn work that hard in the Alty goal. The Bulls enjoyed much possession around the box and were very rarely threatened at the back for the opening stages of the second half, but the nearest to a shot on goal came through Stanley, whose effort from outside of the box was deflected to safety.
Colin Little had Alty's first real effort at goal when he headed over before Fleetwood finally made a break through in the sixty fourth minute. The Robins had squandered possession in the middle and Ferrell managed to thread an inch-perfect pass, just beyond the toes of the impressive Gary Talbot, and into the path of Fleetwood's run. He made no mistake when faced by the on rushing Coburn, as he fired powerfully into the back of the net.
United took their foot off the gas once they'd got the goal, and Altrincham did come into the game a bit. However, the Bulls almost doubled the lead when an Alex Jeannin corner found Danny Carey-Bertram at the far post, but his first time shot was blocked on the line. Tamika Mkandawire was first to the rebound, but his shot was deflected behind for a corner. Williams also had a good chance, but he was just beaten to a cross from man of the match Purdie, by the flying Coburn.
Substitute Kieran Lugsden shot narrowly wide as the hosts tried to salvage a point before Guy Ipoua replaced Williams in the eighty fourth minute. Hereford had one final chance before Ipoua's introduction, and it was Ferrell, who'd created the first goal, who went close. Williams received the ball into his feet, fifthteen yards out with his back to goal, and touched the ball onto Ferrell who met it first time with a thunderous effort, that whistled just wide of the top corner.
It was, again, not the best performance from United but it is definatly points that matter at this stage of the season. However, Hereford did look solid at the back and a little more fluency and pace to their game would most probably do them a world of good. Another positive for the Hereford following in the crowd of 1,251 was the return of Ipoua. The Bulls will want to have everyone fit and avaliable for their inevitable play off campaign.
HUFC: Brown, Travis, Beckwith, Mkandawire, Jeannin, Purdie, Ferrell, Stanley, Williams, Carey-Bertram, Fleetwood. Subs: Mawson, Pitman, Nicolau, Stansfield, Ipoua.
AFC: Coburn, Aspinall, Talbot, Band, Scott, Potts, Murphy, Peyton, Chalmers, Little, Thornley. Subs: McFadden, Adams, Lugsden, Munroe, Norton