First half showing proves sufficient for Blues at Altrincham

Altrincham v Southend United – Vanarama National League – J Davidson Stadium, Moss Lane – Report

Altrincham 1-2 Southend United

Southend United gave their hopes of avoiding relegation a huge boost after a masterful first-half performance against Altrincham at Moss Lane

Blues arrived in the North-West occupying a place in the Vanarama National League’s bottom three and having suffered back-to-back league defeats at the hands of Woking and Grimsby Town. Nevertheless, It was a superb start for the visitors. Louis Walsh’s effort was wayward. However, Rhys Murphy was on hand to deflect beyond Alty stopper, Tony Thompson with less than a minute on the clock.

Rhys Murphy appeared to bundle home Southend United’s opening goal at Altrincham (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Alty enjoyed plenty of early possession. However, it was the Blues who continued to carry the greater threat. Murphy headed agonisingly wide after Jason Demetriou had picked him out. Then a quite brilliantly worked free-kick saw Zak Brunt tee up Sam Dalby to double their advantage with a neat finish from eight yards.

256 Southend United supporters made the trip to Moss Lane

Blues stopper, Steve Arnold produced a superb save to keep out Ryan Colclough’s fizzing free-kick. But that aside, Blues had controlled the opening period.

Altrincham boss, Phil Parkinson, replaced the ineffective Adam Porter and Dan Pringle with Jake Moult and Dan Mooney in a bid to retrieve the situation. Connor Hampton was a whisker away from reducing the arrears – Matty Kosylo, sliding in at the far post, unable to provide a telling touch.

Blues responded. Murphy fired the wrong side of an upright after seizing on some hesitant defending. But then Altrincham were handed a lifeline. Nathan Ferguson handled, but Arnold produced a wonderful flying save to his right from Colclough’s resulting spot-kick.

But while Southend had been pushed deeper, the home side had improved tenfold. Substitute Mooney dashed forward before sending a sweet, angled effort beyond Arnold. The hosts were back in it!

Blues came under heavy pressure during the closing stages but defended manfully to earn an unlikely and priceless three points and only their fifth win of the campaign.

Southend United return to Vanarama National League action on Tuesday, December 7 when Maidenhead United are the visitors to Roots Hall Stadium (7:45pm).

Altrincham: Tony Thompson (Capt), Connor Hampton, Tom Hannigan, Adam Porter (Jake Moult 46′), Ryan Colclough, Matty Kosylo (Josh Hancock 70′), Ben Pringle (Dan Mooney 46′), Tom Peers, Joel Senior, Toby Mullarkey, Danny Whitehead Subs not used: Kennedy Digie, A-Jay Leitch-Smith

Booked: None
Goals: Dan Mooney 68′

Southend United: Steve Arnold, Nathan Ralph, Shaun Hobson, Rhys Murphy (Matt Rush 84′), Sam Dalby, Nathan Ferguson, Louis Walsh (Harry Phillips 75′), Will Atkinson, Kacper Lopata, Jason Demetriou, Zak Brunt Subs not used: Rob Howard, James Dunne, John White

Booked: Jason Demetriou (foul), Harry Phillips (foul), Kacper Lopata 9foul)
Goals: Rhys Murphy 1′, Sam Dalby 34′

Referee: Adam Herczeg
Assistants: Danny Guest and Steven Lawson
Fourth Official: Mark Ryder

Attendance: 1,288 (256 from Southend United)

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]