New boys look the part and Isaac shines, but it's more frustration as Alty draw another blank
Report by Joe Ward
Picture by David Munro
Altrincham 0, Barnet 2 (Ryan De Havilland 16, Daniele Collinge 77)
Barnet moved to within a point of the Vanarama National League play-offs with a 2-0 win at The J.Davidson Stadium that condemned Altrincham to their second home defeat in the space of a week.
Alty looked to have the measure of the Bees after applying some pressure early on.
However, the Robins were soon undone in the 16th minute when Ryan De Havilland turned in Sam Beard’s cross from close range.
Barnet then secured the three points late on when Danny Collinge superbly headed in Rob Hall’s corner past a helpless Oliver Byrne.
Nevertheless, there were some real positives to take from the game for manager Phil Parkinson. Most of all, a quality performance from Isaac Marriott, who returned from injury to make his first appearance of the season, and a couple of impressive debut displays from Elliot Newby and Connor Jennings, who gave fans a glimpse of what they can bring to the squad.
Barnet were called into action just six minutes in, when Ryan Colclough tried his luck from range. The winger’s effort was matched well by Laurie Walker, who got across his goal to save a shot that looked destined for the top corner.
Alty kept up the early pressure, coming close again in the 11th minute. Chris Conn-Clarke's sublime cross found the head of James Jones, but the defender could only nod it over from close range.
The Bees responded brilliantly, however, scoring the first goal of the evening. An excellent run by Beard down the left saw him skip past Ross Barrows and into a penalty area full of Barnet players ready to pounce. It was Havilland who stole the spoils, though, placing it into an open net from less than six yards out to put his side 1-0 up.
Parkinson’s players picked themselves up quickly as Newby beat the offside trap and went one-on-one with Walker just minutes later. Unfortunately for Alty, the Barnet keeper pulled off another incredible save from point-blank range, denying them an equaliser.
Alty came out fighting in the second half in search of a leveller. Conn-Clarke found himself in all sorts of space out on the right and tried an effort from range which took a wicked deflection.
The Barnet keeper could only watch and pray as the ball sailed over his head and on to the roof of the net for an Alty corner, but nothing came of it.
Barnet began to grow into the second half and forced an emphatic save from Byrne in the 59th minute. A strongly hit free-kick from Bees skipper Dale Gorman found its way to the back post, where Barrows lost his footing. The slip allowed Kabamba to get his header off, but it was kept out superbly by Alty’s number one.
The Robins hit back just minutes later with a procession of chances, the best of which came from Newby, who ended a well-worked corner with a drilled effort from range, only for Walker yet again to keep the ball out.
In the end, it was too little too late for Alty as the visitors soon doubled their lead. Hall’s corner was met by an absolute bullet of a header from Collinge in the 78th minute to silence the Alty faithful on the surrounding terraces. There was little Bryne could do as the ball smashed the back off the net in front of the jubilant away fans.
Overall, it was frustrating night for the Robins, as they dropped another three points at home.
However, the gaffer must now pick his players up as Altrincham redirect their attention to another home game on Saturday against York City.
1. Ollie Byrne, 2. Eddy Jones, 4. Isaac Marriott, 6. Lewis Baines, 8. Josh Lundstram, 11. Ryan Colclough ©, 16. Chris Conn-Clarke, 22. Ross Barrows, 26. James Jones, 28. Elliot Newby, 35. Connor Jennings
Subs: 9. Jordan Hulme, 10. Elliot Osborne, 18. Ben Pringle, 23. Jake Cooper, 33. Egli Kaja
1. Laurie Walker, 4. Danny Collinge, 5. Marvin Armstrong, 6. Jerome Okimo, 8. Dale Gorman, 9. Nicke Kabamba, 11. Idris Kanu, 14. Harry Pritchard, 21. Ben Wynter, 23. Sam Beard, 33. Ryan De Havilland
Subs: 7. Rob Hall, 16. Kian Flanagan, 28. Sam Woods, 31. Sean Shields, 32. Aymen Azaze
Attendance: 1,147 (36 away)