GAINSBOROUGH Trinity got the perfect revenge against Altrincham and the league’s top scorer on Saturday, with three points and a clean sheet.
The Blues produced a solid display to contain Damian Reeves, the man who hit four against them on the Northolme earlier this season, in a 1-0 win underpinned by the performance of goalkeeper Jan Budtz.
The two play-off chasing sides played out a goalless first half, with the home team having more of the ball.
Trinity however had the two best chances midway through the half, Darryn Stamp firing a shot wide when it looked easier to score, before Trinity captain Michael Leary hit the bottom of Stuart Coburn’s post with a fine shot from distance less than a minute later .
Alty then created their best chances of the half, forcing the excellent Jan Budtz in the Gainsborough goal to come quickly off his line an deny Ryan Brooke b, efore getting his body in the way again to thwart an effort from Altrincham’s debutant midfielder Jordan Sinnott.
The Moss Lane men pressured as the first half drew to a close but the Trinity defence held firm to see the sides go in level at the break.
Gainsborough started the second period in the ascendancy but it was Altrincham who were creating the chances.
On the hour mark Bradley Barraclough replaced Craig Nelthorpe for Trinity as manager Steve Housham tried to swing the game in his favour.
ltrincham introduced Duncan Watmore, who went on an impressive solo run, ending with his cross in the hands of goalkeeper Budtz.
As the game entered the latter stages tricky winger Nicky Clee had a shot saved well by Budtz.
Moments later Trinity raced up to the other end and broke the deadlock.
Replacement Barraclough capped a fine move when he made space inside the area and calmly placed the ball beyond the Altrincham goalkeeper into the far corner with a neat finish.
Altrincham reacted to the goal by introducing Carl Rodgers and James Lawrie in place of Jake Moult and Sinnott, and minutes later Jonathan Williams replaced Jamie Yates for Trinity as they looked to hold on to their narrow lead.
The home side created a few chances whilst trying to level the match, the best of which clipped the outside of the Trinity goal with a volley by Lawrie from the edge of the area.
Referee Mr. M. D’Aguilar brandished cards as tackles flew in on the slippery surface, Leary and D’Laryea the players cautioned.
Four minutes of added time were indicated by the officials, Altrincham won further corners but Trinity held firm, and will feel they deserved the clean sheet.
Budtz was a deserving Man of the Match following a string of fine saves throughout the match, defender Scott Leather received the home side’s award in a match where the defences took centre stage.
Altrincham: Coburn, Densmore, Doughty (Watmore 65), Lacey, Havern, Leather, Sinnott (Lawrie 74), Moult (Rodgers 74), Brooke, Reeves, Clee. Not used: Reid.
Gainsborough Trinity: Budtz, Roma, Young, Waterfall, Hone, Leary, D’Laryea, Nelthorpe (Barraclough 59), Knowles, Stamp (Connor 67), Yates (Williams 77). Not used: White, Kazkach.
Bookings: Leather 49; Waterfall 38, Leary 72, D’Laryea 82, Williams 86.