Solihull Moors 1 Altrincham 2
(Match report by Alty player Kyran Webster)
Altrincham were back on the road yesterday afternoon as they travelled to Solihull Moors for a National League North Under-19s fixture.
The young Robins looked to build on a formidable display against league leaders Farsley Celtic last time out and collect another three points. Solihull sat in ninth before the game, collecting eight points from their opening six games.
The match started evenly, with both teams enjoying lengthy spells on the ball. The game’s first chance came from a clever combination through Solihull’s midfield as the hosts sprayed the ball out wide. The winger fizzed the ball to the edge of the box, but Moors’ number 10 blazed his shot past the post.
After Solihull’s early opportunity, Altrincham began to catch out their opponents with an intelligent pressing system. Their work off the ball was impressive, but their final ball was poor, and Solihull’s goal remained unscathed.
As they grew into the game, Altrincham started to dominate possession. A sharp
combination through midfield from Remi Reymond, Alfie Curwen and Kyran Webster put Afernee Denise down the line, however the Solihull defender used his body well and bought a smart foul.
Solihull tried to play quickly from the free-kick, but the Altrincham midfield were switched on, reacting quickly to the short set-piece. They won the ball back on the right-hand side of the Solihull 18-yard box, resulting in a shot on goal from Alfred Igbinake. His effort was parried by the goalkeeper, but Edson Cata converted the rebound, giving Altrincham the lead.
The next 10 minutes were very closely contested, but Altrincham strengthened their position in the game shortly before the half-time whistle.
A through ball from a Solihull midfielder ended up in the hands of Louis Fallon in the Altrincham goal, and the keeper sent a long ball towards Igbinake up front. His clearance dropped in behind the Solihull back four, resulting in a mix-up between the keeper and centre-back.
Pouncing on the miscommunication between the Solihull players, Igbinake tackled the keeper and slotted the ball into the empty net to double Alty’s lead heading into the half-time interval.
For the first 10 minutes of the second half, Altrincham were on the front foot – their press continued to cause Solihull Moors difficulties. However, after 60 minutes, Solihull looked to fight their way back into the game. A flurry of attacks began, with intricate play and combinations from Solihull putting Altrincham under pressure.
It seemed as though Altrincham were soaking up the Solihull pressure well, but a mix up at the back ended the home side’s frustration. A long ball from their right-back sent their striker bearing down on the Altrincham goal, but he was forced wide of the six-yard box.
This didn’t prove to be a problem, however, as a smart cut-back to the penalty spot and a clinical finish into the top left corner of the Altrincham goal halved the Robins' lead.
The remainder of the game was dominated by Solihull, who were pushing hard in search of an equaliser. Solihull started desperately throwing players forward, but Altrincham’s sturdy defence prevented any late drama. The game ended 2-1, and Altrincham picked up another hard-fought three points.
Squad on the Day Louis Fallon, Thomas Whyte, Ajani Oshidin, Kaiden Powell, Alfie Curwen, Remi Reymond, Kyran Webster, Afernee Denise, Edson Cata, Alfred Igbinake, Charley Jarrald, Kian Gonzalez, Ollie Dixon, Caden Gibson.