in conjunction with the and the

Match Report

4 November 2000 - picture added 23 November 2000


F.A. Trophy Match, played on Saturday, 4 November 2000, at 3p.m.


John Knapper nets Ilkeston's penalty, sending Coburn the wrong way.

  • 41 mins: John KNAPPER (penalty) (Ilkeston Town 1 Altrincham 0)
  • 79 mins: Otis THOMAS (Ilkeston Town 1 Altrincham 1)
    REFEREE: Ms A E Rayner

    4.11.00 ILKESTON versus. ALTRINCHAM
    3pm Red shirts with black trim, black shorts, red socks ---. Blue and white shirts and shorts
    1. Chris GORDONS 1. Stuart COBURN
    2. Rob GOULD 2. Gary SCOTT
    3. Gary MIDDLETON 3. Steve PORTER
    4. Chris TIMONS (capt.) 4. Adam FARLEY
    5. Paul COX 5. Gary TALBOT (capt.)
    6. John KNAPPER 6. Steve HAWES
    7. Paul ESHELBY 7. Ian CRANEY
    8. Craig HOPKINS 8. Jason GALLAGHER
    9. Ian HELLIWELL 9. Alex HAY
    10. Glenn KIRKWOOD 10. Richard LANDON
    11. Mark CLIFFORD 11. Stuart SCHEUBER
    . Paul CHALLINOR 12. Phil POWER
    . Jamie CLARKE 14. Barry CROWE
    . Andy KIWOMYA 15. Eddie TURKINGTON
    . Jamie WHITEHEAD 16. Danny MURPHY
    . Jamie POPPLETON 17. Otis THOMAS

    After an indifferent first-half, Altrincham went behind after 41 minutes when Kirkwood was pushed over in a goalmouth melee. From the resulting penalty, Knapper beat Coburn easily. Altrincham stepped up a gear in the second period and dominated play until they equalised after 79 minutes through substitute, Otis Thomas following an impressive build-up. Ilkeston then belatedly came back into the match but the home side were lucky to be able to fight another day when Landon's superb strike from 20 yards bounced down off the crossbar in the 90th minute.
    Altrincham were without the suspended Glendenning and the injured Furlong, whilst Danny Murphy was only fit enough to figure as a substitute. The recovering Eddie Turkington joined Murphy, Crowe and Power on the bench. With five subs permitted in the Trophy, Youth Team player Otis Thomas, fresh from his trial at Bristol City, was also on the bench. For Ilkeston, former Moss Lane favourite Chris Timons was the captain, whilst Chris Gordons replaced the previously ever-present Andy Love in goal. Acting manager John Helliwell was in Ilkeston's starting line-up but the recent arrival of John McGovern has stymied the managerial ambitions which Helliwell had voiced in the match programme.

    The game off to a lacklustre start, a level from which it rarely rose during the first half. Altrincham's first sniff of goal coming after three minutes when Hay headed wide following good work by Craney. The towering Kirkwood was soon involved at the other end and his side won a corner off the chest of Scott (4 mins). Kirkwood and Eshelby then combined well but the former delayed too long in shooting, yet still won a corner. Although a home player won the ball from the corner-kick, the referee, Ms Rayner spotted an offence. Ilkeston began to gain the upper hand as Cox's ball forward to Gould needed a timely interception from Porter for Altrincham. The next threat came from one of Clifford's long throws, which Helliwell headed over the bar (9 mins). Altrincham gained some respite when Hawes was fouled in midfield. From a resulting Altrincham throw, Porter, Scheuber and Hawes combined to get the ball up to Gallagher who was fouled by Clifford and he then reacted by pushing the Ilkeston man. Ms Rayner booked both players (13 mins). Following a harsh free-kick award against Talbot, 35 yards from his own goal, Cox's free-kick came off the same Altrincham man for Ilkeston's third corner of the game (14 mins), which was headed clear by Gallagher. There was then a stoppage for treatment to Middleton off the ball. Altrincham's attempts to get into the match came to naught when Landon appeared to be lent on and pushed over as he went forward but no free-kick was given (17 mins).

    Altrincham won their first corner after 17 minutes when Hay attempted to latch onto a Coburn clearance but the ball ran off Timons. Hawes's corner could best be described as awful; very low and lacking direction. Shortly afterwards Hay emerged limping from a touchline chase for the ball before Helliwell sprang the offside trap, but Talbot cleared his resulting cross. However, Ilkeston came straight back and Cox's header hit the crossbar but only after a foul had been committed on Coburn and a free-kick awarded to the keeper. Hay was still troubled by his leg (20 mins) before Scheuber was flattened in a tackle which the referee chose to ignore. Offsides and free-kicks for petty offences peppered the first half and the game had little flow. Both sides lacked any significant presence on the flanks and passing movements were scarce. Porter, who had another good game, stopped a move by Knapper and Eshelby. However Gary Talbot then jumped in far too early for a header and the ball by-passed him. As Eshelby advanced through the middle, Coburn was quickly off his line to make a fine save, the ball looping off the keeper and over the bar (24 mins). Coburn punched the resulting corner clear to Hopkins, whose firm shot ended up being deflected for a throw. Following another long throw from Clifford, the ball fell for Kirkwood, whose scissor-kick only found Coburn's arms (25 mins) as Ilkeston continued to have the better of the game. A lengthy stoppage was now necessary as Scott was down with a head injury; Ms Rayner restarted play with a bounce-up. The unfortunate Scott was soon in the wars again when from the next move his attempt to get onto the end of a ball in the Ilkeston penalty box ended with his sliding into the hoardings behind Gordons's goal.

    Altrincham's Craney was fouled as he sought space on the edge of the Ilkeston box, giving the visitors a free-kick opportunity from a central position. Landon struck the ball firmly into the base of the defensive wall and although the resultant cross clearly was headed out by Gould, Ms Rayner awarded a goal-kick (32 mins). Altrincham now began to enjoy a little more possession, though none of it was particularly productive. However, the tall Kirkwood and Helliwell combination were still proving awkward for the Alty defence and first Coburn had to kick clear from Helliwell. Then Kirkwood got the better of Talbot but, under pressure from Farley, mishit his shot high and wide from the corner of the box. Farley had an impressive game whilst Talbot was a mixture of authority and errors. Hawes, Talbot, Scheuber and Porter combined to feed Hay who won a throw from his left-wing cross (37 mins). However, Ilkeston were soon at the other end, and Talbot fouled Helliwell to concede a free-kick on the halfway line. Farley once more cleared the ball and from the follow up he won a goal-kick for his side. However, Ilkeston's centre-back, Timons showed no affection for his former team-mate Jason Gallagher when he flattened him on the half-way line (39 mins). After Hawes's free-kick, Porter put in a cross to the back post with which Scott connected at full stretch but he could not direct his effort properly. After a Craney, Porter and Landon thrust had been broken up, Ilkeston won a throw on their right, off Farley, half way inside the Altrincham half. Helliwell knocked on the throw to Kirkwood who went down in a flurry of players. Ms Rayner had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and the Altrincham protests were fairly muted, though it was difficult to see who had perpetrated the offence and the referee spoke to no one other than Hawes after the award. Knapper put the ball to Coburn's left as he dived to his right to put Ilkeston ahead. Before the interval whistle there was time for Hawes to find Landon's head with a cross but the striker's effort was too high (42 mins). Porter also set up Hay on the edge of the box but, although the striker made space well, his left-foot shot was high and wide (44 mins). On balance, Altrincham could not feel too aggrieved at trailing but, in truth, the first half was hardly a vintage performance from either side.

    Altrincham made a double substitution at half-time; Power and Murphy coming on for Hay and Scheuber. Within seconds Power had been fouled and although Gordons made a hash of his punch from Hawes's free-kick, the keeper was lucky in that the ball dropped back to him and he was able to kick clear on the edge of his box (46 mins). Altrincham immediately started to play in more determined mood than in the first half. Power and Landon attempted to combine before Murphy was the object of a foul on the left. Hawes fed Power from the free-kick but Power went down in the box, recovered his footing and the ball, which then came to Craney, whose shot was hooked wide. Power took exception to getting nothing for his fall in the box and within three minutes of coming onto the pitch was booked (48 mins). It was not long before another Ilkeston name was also in the book when Kirkwood committed a bad foul on Farley (52 mins). Power, who was showing early determination, worked a cross to Landon but the striker's header, under pressure, was only at half strength and dropped for Gordons (52 mins). A minute later Knapper was also booked for dissent after a foul on Gallagher. Altrincham now produced the best passing move of the game so far, with Farley, Gallagher, Craney, Scott and Power all involved, before Gordons punched out Hawes's cross (55 mins). Altrincham came close again when Craney let in Scott whose shot off the outside of his right foot was narrowly wide of goal (55 mins). Scott and Gallagher then went up the right but only won a throw before Porter was fouled on half-way. Next, Hawes got Scott into the right hand corner area where his tussle with Timons was ended by an award in the Derbyshire side's favour (59 mins). Scott soon did better, however, but his fine cross skimmed off Power's head to the keeper. Altrincham were now in control and their determination was epitomised by two rasping tackles in quick succession from Porter as Ilkeston attempted to get out of their own half. Middleton showed his side's frustration with a dreadful lunge which led to a bit of a fracas yet the ref gave only a bounce-up. Another strange refereeing decision gave Ilkeston a free-kick which was taken too quickly and Coburn allowed the ball to enter his net as he knew it would be ruled out (66 mins). The ball was then taken off Gallagher's toes as he prepared to shoot before the impressive Scott was replaced, either for tactical reasons or because of his earlier injury, by striker Otis Thomas (68 mins). Otis, only 17, had just returned from a trial at Bristol City, and his only previous first-team game was as a playing sub in the Cheshire Senior Cup at Northwich this season.

    Alty now had a 3-4-3 formation as they sought the equaliser. Otis Thomas's first contribution was a weak shot from the edge of the box (69 mins) but Murphy now began to get into the game, cutting in from the left and unleashing a shot which the keeper clutched to his midriff. Next, Power won a corner as Altrincham dominated play and this was followed by another, soon after, won by Hawes off Eshelby (72 mins). Gordons stifled the resultant move but needed a word from the ref to persuade him that as he lay on the ground he was not really injured but rather time-wasting. Clifford made a rare foray for Ilkeston but his good run ended with a woeful cross. Even worse followed a minute later, when Clifford fed Kirkwood. The latter's shot was simply awful, going ten yards wide. Ms Rayner chose to ignore what looked like a bad challenge on Power, who needed treatment for a head injury (75 mins). Ilkeston now replaced Clifford by their number twelve but this did not stop Altrincham's dominance of the game. A Gallagher run up the right was stopped as all of the visitors' efforts threatened to come to nothing. However Coburn started what was to be a thirteen-pass move from one end of the pitch to the other and which ended in a firm shot from Otis Thomas. His shot looked goal-bound but took a large deflection off a defender and looped into the Ilkeston net for a deserved equaliser. From Coburn the ball had passed via Hawes, Farley, Craney, Farley, Hawes, once more, then Gallagher on the right, on to Thomas, back to Hawes, to Craney, then Thomas again exchanged passes with Craney before firing home from the left edge of the box (79 mins).

    However, the goal stung Ilkeston back into action and they soon won a corner on their left. Coburn punched it out and the resulting shot was well wide. Further home pressure came to nothing before a sweeping 30-yard pass by Landon let in Thomas who won a corner for Altrincham (86 mins). Porter's inswinging corner found Landon in space but his header was over the bar. Altrincham pressed for the winner but were caught offside (88 mins) before Ilkeston won a corner which Coburn only half-punched clear. The visitors won a late free-kick for a foul on Murphy. Hawes chose to play the kick, from a position on the left, short and inside to Landon. Landon got hold of the ball superbly and blasted a fine shot at goal from a central position, some twenty yards out. The ball cannoned off the cross bar but bounced back into play and was cleared. Thirty seconds later Ms Rayner blew the final whistle to send the teams to a replay at Moss Lane on Tuesday evening.

    After a disappointing first half, Altrincham were a much improved side in the second period and dominated possession until Ilkeston made a belated flurry after the equaliser. Farley, Porter and Scott all played well at the back, whilst Hawes and Craney worked hard in midfield and Gallagher made some good forward movements. Landon showed that despite his lack of pace, he can play perceptive passes as well as hit shots cleanly. Power showed commitment especially in the earlier portion of the second half. However, the player who will probably remember this match with the most pride was Otis Thomas whose involvement in the build up and execution of the equaliser underlined the promise which Youth Team manager George Heslop had spotted in him earlier in the season.

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