Blues boss bullish after Altrincham win

Gainsborough Trinity v Altrincham. Trinity player Shane Clarke G120128-6b
Gainsborough Trinity v Altrincham. Trinity player Shane Clarke G120128-6b

Trinity boss Steve Housham was bullish about his sides chances of promotion after watching them dispose of fellow play-off chasers Altrincham, 2-0.

The Blues entertained the Robins on Saturday intent on ending the visitor’s four-match unbeaten run, while looking to extend their own run to three games without defeat.

Gainsborough Trinity v Altrincham. Trinity player Leon Mettam scores G120128-6e

Gainsborough Trinity v Altrincham. Trinity player Leon Mettam scores G120128-6e

And they certainly had their work cut out keeping Altrincham hotshot and leading Blue Square North marksman Damian Reeves quiet.

The striker had netted in all but one of his side’s last 16 league games but Trinity’s centre-back pairing of Luke Waterfall and Man of the Match Andrew Boyce kept him in check throughout.

In fact, it was Leon Mettam at the other end that was proving a more potent threat in attack in the place of the injured Ryan Kendall

So much so, he forced Alty skipper Shaun Densmore into a rash challenge inside the penalty area with only 90 seconds on referee Adrian Holmes’ watch.

Designated spot-kick taker Paul Connor, fresh from his successful conversion against Histon the previous Saturday stepped up, but this time his weak effort was parried to safety by Joseph Collister in the Altrincham goal.

Fortunately for Gainsborough it failed to disrupt their lively start, and Kevin Sandwith was next to be superbly foiled by Collister after being allowed to venture half the length of the field unchallenged on 19 minutes.

However, the breakthrough the hosts duly deserved did come just minutes shy of the half-hour mark.

Jonathan D’Laryea’s defence-splitting pass found Mettam and with only Collister to beat, he confidently slotted past the debutant stopper in the 28th minute.

Housham admitted after the game, the only disappointment at the half-time interval was that his side were not further in front for their efforts.

He told the Standard: “We said at half-time the only down side of the half was the fact we weren’t three or four nil up because that’s how well we played.”

“Okay we missed a penalty but in the first 10 minutes we had four clear cut chances to really take the game to them (Altrincham). We just kept going for the 90 minutes that was the pleasing thing, we never switched off and it was a great three points in the end.”

A rejuvenated Altrincham appeared after the break, but they still had no answer to the pace of Mettam and he could have doubled his and Trinity’s tally within minutes of the restart.

Home custodian Michael Emery was a virtual spectator in the first-half but he did well to fist Jack Redshaw’s strike onto the post in the 54th minute.

Then Ryan Williams’s deflected strike on 61 minutes dispelled any lingering doubts Housham might have had with the game at 1-0, as Trinity opened up a two-goal advantage over their Greater Manchester counterparts.

Substitute Lewis McMahon and Connor spurned chances late in the game but Housham was delighted with the way his side acquitted themselves over the 90 minutes.

“It (the win) gives us a bit of breathing space but I was delighted with the overall performance from the first whistle. We deservedly got the result the performance showed,” he added.

“We kept our shape and our discipline, something we’ve been working on a lot recently and we got our rewards with Ryan Williams’ goal.”

“If you look at the results over the last few weeks, it’s a tough league but it just needs someone to put that run together and who knows it could be Gainsborough Trinity’s year. We’ll give it a right old go.”

Only one point now separates the teams occupying the four Blue Square North play-off places after Trinity’s win.

Two away trips await the Blues in the next fortnight when they travel to Worcester and then Gloucester.