August is a distant memory at Moss Lane

It proves a disappointing trip to Moss Lane for Leamington and their fans.
It proves a disappointing trip to Moss Lane for Leamington and their fans.
  • National League North
  • Altrincham 5 Brakes 0

Leamington boss Paul Holleran said a drop in standards was to blame for his side’s humbling at Moss Lane this afternoon.

The visitors went into the game in sixth place in the National League North on the back of three successive wins.

However, a five-star display from Altrincham got September off to the worst possible start and left Holleran a frustrated man.

“There’s been a couple of decisions that have certainly not gone our way today which hasn’t helped us,” said Holleran.

“But in certain situations we can do better and I think at 3-0, you’ve got a good possession side that are full of beans and we looked deflated which is disappointing, and the two goals at the death are disappointing, so it’s a bad day all-round.

“It’s the first time this season that the players have dropped their standards and this is what happens in this division if you do - we know what happens, and the late goals were so sloppy.

“It’s very frustrating.”

Holleran named the same starting XI that had kicked off against Blyth the previous Saturday while welcoming Jordan Murphy back into the squad after the on-loan Solihull Moors man had completed his three-match suspension for his red card at Boston.

Toby Mullarkey got an important touch on Jack Edwards’ nod-on, with Josh March lurking with intent inside the box, before Sean Williams’ low drive proved straightforward for Jake Weaver to field.

The hosts believed they had two good shouts for a penalty within a matter of seconds, one shot being blocked and Weaver making a very good block from the other.

The home side’s bright start was rewarded in the 14th minute when a fine ball out to the right cut out the challenge of Cieron Keane, the ball being driven low across the box by Andy White for Jordan Hulme to slide in at the far post.

The Robins were forced into two changes inside the opening half-hour. Firstly, when Yusiu Ceesay, a former team-mate of March at Alvechurch, went down awkwardly with no one near him and was subsequently carried off on a stretcher. Simon Richman then replaced Connor Hampson after the left-back received lengthy treatment in his own half.

Leamington almost capitalised immediately, Kieran Dunbar cleverly making space for himself inside the box off a lovely flick from March before cracking a low shot against the near post, Callum Gittings stinging the palms of Tony Thompson with the follow up.

Dunbar came close again when his low deflected effort was parried by Thompson, who did well to get hold of the ball with Edwards closing in.

Brakes had arguably had the better of proceedings since the goal but they gave themselves the proverbial mountain to climb as they went in two goals behind at half-time, Johnston being given time to lose the ball and get it back again before delivering a great cross for Josh Hancock to head home.

The second half almost began on the worst possible note for Brakes when Ashley Hemmings bent a rocket of a shot towards goal that crashed back off the underside of the bar with Weaver statuesque on the other side of his goal.

Altrincham were clearly boosted from doubling their lead before the interval and extended it further following a debatable free-kick awarded on the right edge of the Leamington box on the hour-mark. The ball was played in low and Gittings bundled it into his own net by for an unfortunate own goal.

Holleran responded by introducing Ravi Shamsi, Murphy and Gift Mussa in the following ten minutes but the fresh legs failed to spark any life into Leamington.

Efforts from March and Murphy flew high and wide amd the visitors’ misery was compounded in the final minute when Alty substitute Tom Peers slotted home a low right-wing cross from close range, followed by Hancock slamming in a fifth with the last kick of the game.

Altrincham: Tony Thompson, Andy White, Connor Hampson (Simon Richman 29), James Jones, Toby Mullarkey, Jake Moult, Ashley Hemmings, Sean Williams, Jordan Hulme (Tom Peers, 76), Josh Hancock, Yusifu Ceesay (John Johnston, 20). Subs not used: Max Harrop, Conor Branson.

BRAKES: Jake Weaver, George Carline, Cieron Keane, Joe Clarke (Gift Mussa, 69), James Mace, Jack Lane, Kieran Dunbar (Jordan Murphy, 61), Callum Gittings, Josh March, Jack Edwards, Kaiman Anderson (Ravi Shamsi, 61). Subs not used: Connor Taylor, Jamie Hood