A good workout and win for Town who came back from going a goal down with goals from Clark and Vernon
Town lined up against Altrincham with Micky Mellon making a number of changes from the side that drew against Kidderminster earlier in the week. Micky and his assistant Mike Jackson had said for fans not to read too much into this evening’s line-up and try to second guess the starting eleven that would take to the field next week against AFC Wimbledon.
Town were looking good in the opening 10 minutes despite the heavy rain starting to come again. They were getting the ball down and passing well with willing runners over the field making things tough for the home side.
There was a good chance for Town on 10 minutes when they got the ball into the Alty box, possession was kept well as players looked for the clear shot at goal but in the end the ball dropped to Vincent who had found space at the back post but his shot was wide.
The best of the attacking play was coming for Town who were creating openings well but just needed to find that killer touch in front of goal. Vernon had a couple of good long range efforts, Vincent fired one in and Woods hit in a dipping shot from outside the box.
Town created a great chance for Vernon on 25 minutes, it started after Woods was fouled by Cavanagh, Woods took the kick quickly to Collins but he was then fouled by Cavangah, ref waved play on and Woods continued to break he pushed it wide to Vincent who hung over an inviting cross that was met by Vernon's head but Coburn was equal to it.
The chances kept coming for Town but Coburn in the Altrincham goal was in good form, a great quick move from Town ended with the ball coming to Clark on the edge of the box and he drilled in a great low shot but Coburn was down quickly to pull off a great save.
It was the home side who took the lead after a ball over the top found Alty in on Jayson Leuwiler’s goal, he came to head the ball but couldn’t clear and this allowed the Alty to get goal side, Jayson pulled him back outside the area but as play had carried on the ref pointed to the spot. Nicky Clee stepped up to take the kick and made no mistakes to give Alty the lead on 30 minutes.
Minutes later Town had a great chance to level after James Collins found himself in behind the home defence and in on goal, he had options with Vernon and Vincent in space to his left but choose to shoot and Coburn was again there to save Altrincham.
Town were finally back on level terms after Jordan Clark found the space in the box, he skipped past a challenge and drove in a lot shot but Coburn was once again there to save, this time he could only parry it and Clark kept his composure to drive a low shot under the Altrincham keeper and make it 1-1.
Altrincham looked a lot better after the restart and were really putting the pressure on Town and asking questions of the visitors. Jayson Leutwiler was the busier of the keepers and had to make a couple of smart saves to keep the home side at bay.
Town were starting to get back into the game more as an attacking force and Liam Lawrence drove a long range free-kick just over the bar on 60 minutes, Then followed a double switch with Andy Robinson and James Caton coming on to replace goalscorer Jordan Clark and Ashley Vincent.
Town edged into the lead minutes later after the ball found Caton out on the right, he showed good composure to find the space to cross low to the near post, James Collins then flicked on the ball and there was Scott Vernon to turn the ball home from close range.
With 20 minutes of the game remaining Micky Mellon made another switch with Andy Mangan coming on to replace James Collins. Then minutes later Cameron Gayle and Ryan Woods were replaced by Aaron Wildig and Jermaine Grandison and then moments later Micky Demetriou was on to replace Ashley Knight-Percival.
Altrincham were still showing as an attacking force and after they found the space to skip through the Town defence Jayson Leutwiler had to be at his best to turn the ball wide with his foot after being left exposed by his defence.
Town's defence was showing some good strength at times and looked comfortable on the ball, when an Altrincham attack was snuffed out the ball was played out to Caton, he let the ball run to take him away from his marker and when he approached the halfway line he saw Coburn away off his line and drove in a lovely looking long range effort that had the home keeper back peddling to gratefully collect the ball just in time.
Town: Jayson Leutwiler, Cameron Gayle (Jermaine Grandison), Nathaniel Knight-Percival (Mickey Demetriou), Mark Ellis, Connor Goldson, Ryan Woods (Aaron Wildig), Liam Lawrence (c), James Collins (Andy Mangan), Scott Vernon, Ashley Vincent (Andy Robinson), Jordan Clark (James Caton)
Subs:, Dom Smith, Callum Burton
Altrincham: Stuart Coburn, Shaun Densmore (c), Adam Griffin, Peter Cavanagh, Gianluca Havern, Tom Marshall, James Lawrie, Jake Moult, Steven Gillespie, Damian Reeves, Nicky Clee
Subs: Scott Leather, Mike Williams, Ryan Crowther, Sean Williams, Simon Richman, David Parton, Kyle Perry, Greg Wilkinson, David Brown, Jeff King
Ref: P Banks
Assistants: A Worthington and J Blower
Fourth Official: S Humphries