Linney at the double as red-hot Robins stun Woking!

Picture by Jonathan Moore

Woking 2 Altrincham 3

What a way to register your first Vanarama National League win of the season - three superb goals and three thoroughly-merited points at the home of a team who finished fourth last season and are being widely tipped for the play-offs once more.

Altrincham may have been robbed of victory by a goal at the very end of added time a week ago, but there was no denying them at The Laithwaite Community Stadium as they made it four points from two unbeaten games in fine style.

Regan Linney put them in from early on, and though Woking bounced back with two goals, it was all-square at half-time after a spectacular leveller by Matty Kosylo.

Linney's arrival from FC United of Manchester United last season was widely regarded as a coup for the Robins, and he underlined why with another assured finish in the second half to ensure Alty headed home from Surrey celebrating a famous win.

Fielding an unchanged side, Phil Parkinson’s men made a bright start in what was to prove a fast and frenetic opening 45 minutes.

The Robins were on the front foot from the first whistle and served notice of their intentions in the opening couple of minutes with an effort from range by Chris Conn-Clarke that went just wide.

With Alty keeping the pressure on, it came as no surprise when they went in front after only six minutes.

It stemmed from great work down the left by Kosylo, and when the livewire Alty attacker slid the ball into the area, Linney was on hand to twist and turn before rifling a shot past keeper Will Jaaskelainen.

Woking gradually worked their way into the game and were level after 16 minutes when Nana Boateng crossed the ball into a dangerous area and the ball fell to defender Scott Cuthbert, who stabbed it past Ethan Ross to equalise for the home side.

It gave Woking a lift and led to an impressive spell of pressure for the home side, as they earned consecutive corners that the Alty defence dealt with well. The Cards were exerting a worrying level of control, from an Alty perspective, and it was not long before they took the lead.

Just before the half-hour mark, the hosts made their pressure count as a dangerous ball into the box was met by Reece Grego-Cox with an unstoppable glancing header into the bottom corner.

Alty had to reset at that point and gain a foothold back into the game. Play was somewhat disrupted as Rohan Ince was forced off after coming off second best despite fouling Kosylo and he was replaced by veteran Robbie Willmott.

To their credit, despite being rocked by two Woking goals in fairly quick succession, the Robins raised their game once more and began to dominate possession again.

Justin Amaluzor was played in by Conn-Clarke, but, despite producing a fantastic run down the right that took him flying past Akinola, the Alty winger couldn't get his effort on target as he bore down on goal.

There was no mistake moments later, however, as Alty levelled with another fabulous move. Linney this time turned provider as his dragged-back cross from the left found Kosylo, whose first-time effort sailed into the top corner.

What a fantastic end to what had been an enthralling first half, with Alty starting and ending it in fine style but Woking having the better of the middle section.

The second half didn't start too badly, either, from an Alty point of view, as the visitors took the lead once again with another clinical finish from Linney in the 48th minute.

Kosylo played the ball to Eddy Jones, and when Alty's left-back transferred it on to Linney, the free-scoring frontrunner cut in from the left and fired a shot beyond Jaaskelainen.

A point-blank save by Ross a minute later denied Woking an instant equaliser, which was just what Alty needed as they sought a way of safeguarding their advantage and ensuring the home side didn't repeat their first-half comeback.

Conn-Clarke had an effort saved at the near post, after being set up by Elliot Osborne's quickly-taken free-kick, and Linney had an opportunity to wrap up what would have been a deserved hat-trick, only to be thwarted by a last-ditch challenge.

With time ticking away, Alty made changes and introduced fresh legs, with Sam Roscoe and Joey Jones replacing Amaluzor and Kosylo in the 71st minute and Dior Angus going on for Conn-Clarke seven minutes later.

It had the desired effect, with Alty's lead coming under serious threat only once, when a stoppage-time Woking free-kick from a dangerous position was kept out by a brilliant full-length save by Ross.

And that was it - what an outstanding result for a thoroughly-impressive Robins side, savoured by 68 travelling fans in a crowd of 2,401.

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