By Joe Edgar
Altrincham have been knocked out of the FA Cup after suffering a 1-0 defeat against Oldham Athletic.
After a number of opportunities weren’t converted by Alty, a late goal from Oldham’s Harrison McGahey ended our eight-game unbeaten run.
Almost 4,000 fans persevered through the torrential rain to The J.Davidson stadium for the match, creating an excellent atmosphere before kick-off. The excitement amongst both sets of fans was palpable, and the players fed off their energy in the opening stages.
It was both a very tactically and physically-demanding start. While Alty looked to control the game by dominating possession, Oldham were very intense off the ball, denying the hosts any forward passing opportunities as they sat deep.
It was the Robins who created the first chance of the game, despite Oldham’s strong defensive structure. Chris Conn-Clarke led a fast Altrincham counter attack by driving purposefully down the left-hand side. He beat his man and whipped a low cross into the box, looking for Justin Amaluzor who was coming in from the opposite flank. Despite his best efforts, the cross was too far in front of the winger, missing his outstretched leg by a matter of inches.
Less than ten minutes later, Altrincham came close to opening the scoring once again. Alex Newby cleverly intercepted a poor pass well into the Oldham half. He drove forward and faced no pressure from a defender, so he struck a shot from the edge of the area. Despite the shot being saved by Matthew Hudson, the move was kept alive by Amaluzor down the right. He crossed the ball to Dior Angus who was by the front post, but his header went just wide, hitting the side netting.
Moments before the first half came to a close, Phil Parkinson’s men failed to convert another fantastic opportunity to score. A well-weighted pass from Elliot Osborne found Eddy Jones in behind Oldham’s defence. He drilled a ball into the box, finding Alex Newby 10 yards out. The ball sat up perfectly for a shot, but Newby sent his first-time effort wide, ensuring the competitive first half ended goalless.
The second half began as the first half ended – with Altrincham creating the more dangerous opportunities. Once again Newby was involved, as he led another threatening counterattack. He dribbled quickly into Oldham’s half and found Dior Angus who was running in behind the Oldham defence. Angus took a touch and then shot, but his deflected effort cannoned back out off the bar.
Having weathered the attacking storm coming their way, Oldham were able to manufacture some opportunities for themselves late into the game. The first of those came through the substitute Alex Reid, who used his pace to latch onto a ball played in behind Altrincham’s defence. He managed to reach the bouncing ball before an onrushing Ethan Ross, but his attempt at chipping the goalkeeper went just wide.
The visitor’s next opportunity was the one which gave them the lead. Ben Tollitt lofted in a corner towards the back post, which was met by Shaun Hobson, and he headed the ball back into the centre of the area. It fell to Harrison McGahey, who managed to control the ball and fire a shot into the bottom corner of Ethan Ross’ net.
Alty tried to respond in the final ten minutes and lifted their intensity levels yet again. They tried to break Oldham down through quick, flowing build-up play, they tried using crosses into the box, however, they just couldn’t break down Oldham’s defence.
It was a difficult defeat to stomach, especially with the opportunities created, but we have the opportunity to bounce back and continue the impressive run of form in the league next weekend, as we host Dorking Wanderers.