Justin's gem proves decisive as Robins secure first pre-season win

Report by John Edwards

Wythenshawe Town 0 Altrincham 1

The searing pace he adds to wide areas would normally be enough on its own to make him an instant fans' favourite, but Justin Donowa showed he also has a keen eye for goal as Altrincham registered their first pre-season win at Ericstan Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The jet-heeled Bermuda international arrived from Solihull Moors in the summer with a reputation for lightning acceleration as well as an ability to look equally at home as an out-and-out winger, a wing-back or full-back.

As those Alty fans who made the short trip to North West Counties League Premier Division promotion hopefuls Wythenshawe Town saw for themselves, he may well supplement that much-needed speed off the mark with a steady supply of goals, judging by the way he despatched an emphatic finish that gave the Robins a deserved victory.

Alty had dominated possession but were still striving for a clear-cut opening when James Jones played the ball infield to Chris Conn-Clarke just inside the Wythenshawe half in the 16th minute.

The most eye-catching of Alty's summer signings controlled it on his chest and cleverly changed direction before rolling a pass out to Donowa on the left flank.

There still seemed little for the home side to worry about, but all that changed in an instant, as Donowa surged past his marker on the inside and unleashed a ferocious shot from distance that took a deflection on its way into the top corner.

Alty almost doubled their lead a minute later when a Regan Linney cross from the right was headed wide by Lewis Banks, and though there were few further clear scoring opportunities, there was still plenty to admire about the way the Robins functioned in all departments.

An emphatic clearing header by Joey Jones from a free-kick whipped in towards a packed six-yard box with pace was typical of his ability to read danger and deal with it, and his organisational skills were just as apparent as he constantly shouted encouragement and advice to those around him.

Isaac Marriott (pictured) will have benefitted from getting valuable minutes under his belt, and there were further glimpses of Conn-Clarke reintegrating himself in Alty colours, not least a dazzling one-two he played on the edge of the area that almost opened up the home defence.

As Alty looked for ways of giving the scoreline a look that more accurately reflected their dominance, Justin Amaluzor so nearly obliged with another reminder of his ability to make something out of nothing.

Hot on the heels of his brilliant finish against Stockport County on Saturday, the livewire forward made light of being surrounded by defenders with a left-foot shot that struck the inside of one post and appeared almost to clip the other after bobbling across the line before a relieved home side managed to hack it clear.

There were few more scares at either end, though Tom Jones wasn't too far away with a spectacular first-time volley from an Elliot Osborne corner, but Alty will be pleased with a first win under their belts after three defeats and a clean sheet to boot.

All in all a satisfactory evening's work as the Robins prepare to take to the air for their venture into Europe against NEC Nijmegen of Holland on Saturday.

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