Altrincham v Wealdstone in Vanarma National league

Wealdstone end run of defeats against a frustrated Altrincham side

Altrincham 0, Wealdstone 1

Olufela Olomola, 47’

Wealdstone picked up a much-needed victory on Tuesday night, ending a run of five straight league defeats, away to an Altrincham side who were made to pay for missed chances. 

The Robins were punished for a poor first half performance when Olufela Olomola scored the winner in the 47th minute, poking home a low driven cross from Giovanni McGregor. 

Altrincham were left frustrated at the full-time whistle, not only by their lack of conviction, but by a controversial performance by referee Greg Rollason who turned down no fewer than three strong penalty appeals. 

Ryan Colclough bearing down on goal. Image: Jonathan Moore

“First half we were absolutely abysmal, reflecting the officiating throughout the game”, said Alty manager Phil Parkinson. “As bad as we were, I think we should have had one or two penalties in the first half that for me were stonewall.

“The chances shouldn’t hit the goalkeeper; the ball should be in the back of the net. I’ve come out in front of the cameras and defended the players, but I can’t for the first half.

“(Wealdstone) get lots of credit for digging deep and getting a result but they should never have won the game; we should’ve drawn easily with the chances we had but we didn’t because our finishing was so poor.”

The hosts had the first chance when Josh Lundstram blasted over the bar following some good build-up play around the 18-yard box just two minutes into the contest. 

Just a minute later, there were huge calls for a penalty as Egli Kaja was brought down by a Wealdstone defender inside the box. 

The challenge sparked protests that could be heard all around the ground; however, the referee Greg Rollason was having none of it as he waved play on. 

Wealdstone reacted on 16 minutes when Deji Elerewe’s soaring header was deflected just over the bar from a McGregor corner. 

The Stones came close to breaking the deadlock just after the half-hour mark as a Charlie Barker’s cross-shot took a freakish deflection off Eddy Jones which looped over an outstretched Ollie Byrne in goal and on to the crossbar.

Just seven minutes later, Wealdstone threatened again when Micah Obiero raced forward on the counter-attack as the Stones outnumbered Alty in defence. Despite having McGregor in support, Obiero decided to go alone and had his fierce effort saved by Byrne.

Conn-Clarke on the ball against Wealdstone. Image: Jonathan Moore

As the half-time whistle went, the Alty faithful were visibly not happy with the ref, who was greeted by a wall of boos as he headed down the tunnel. Both managers would’ve gone into the dressing rooms with very different pep talks following a strong finish to the first half for Stuart Maynard’s Wealdstone.

Two minutes after the break, The Royals took the lead when McGregor put in a great cross for Olomola, who beat his man to poke it past Byrne, giving Wealdstone a deserved lead. 

The hosts responded quickly as Ryan Colclough attempted to bend one in with his right from 25-yards out, but it was fractionally wide, clipping the right-hand post and going out for a goal kick. 

Ten minutes later, it was Colclough causing trouble again. This time, he was denied by what looked like a clear trip inside the box. However, despite the home fans in a crowd of 1,262 screaming for a penalty, the referee thought otherwise. 

Colclough after being tripped in the box. Image: Jonathan Moore

Alty continued to bang down the door and came close again when substitute Marcus Dinanga’s intended pass was deflected into the path of Ross Barrows who smashed his shot directly at the keeper in the 77th minute. 

As pressure continued, so did the missed chances. Dinanga failed to convert what seemed like a definite goal when he put wide a low cross from Eddy Jones inside the six-yard box. 

Colclough had the beating of two Wealdstone defenders, setting up the final chance of the game, as he laid the ball off for Ben Pringle, who was twice denied by the hands of Howes, who saw out the game for the visitors.

Following a mixture of missed chances and controversial officiating, it was frustrating evening for the home side who drop three points for a second game running. As for Wealdstone it could turn out to be a pivotal win in their season as the break the spell of poor results.