MATCH REPORT: Altrincham 2-0 Bradford (Park Avenue)

It became seven defeats in eight for an Avenue side falling increasingly into relegation as playoff chasing Altrincham deservedly ran out 2-0 winners at Moss Lane.

Avenue hoped to lean on the reverse fixture between the two sides — a 2-0 victory at Horsfall Stadium — but Altrincham came out a completely different outfit compared to the side that the Avenue saw just six weeks ago.

But it was a case of the same old for Avenue, as once again, they conceded in the first minute of the game. That makes it three times in their last five that they have conceded in the first five minutes with manager Mark Bower admitting that the slow starts are unacceptable as it leaves them “chasing the game”.

Avenue never really gained focus from the first whistle, and 45 seconds in, after some brilliant work down the right hand side of the Avenue area from Jordan Hulme, he managed to whip in a pitch perfect cross to Josh Hancock, who kept his composure to slot the ball home and inflict another disastrous start on the visitors.

It took a long time for Bradford to wake up and get any kind of foothold in the game as Altrincham dominated possession. Nicky Clee had a shot that went just over, before another brilliant chance fell his way.

Ryan Hall played a wonderful diagonal ball to new signing Stelios Demetriou, Demetriou then sent in a ball which looked begging to be slotted home, it landed to Clee at the back post but unfortunately he couldn’t get it under control and the ball hit his hand leading to an Altrincham free kick.

The first half then got even worse for Bower’s side as Altrincham went two ahead, this time through Jordan Jones heading home from another Jordan Hulme assist.

Coming out of half time, Avenue’s performance steadily improved but they didn’t do too much to test the Altrincham goalkeeper. Tom Clare came on for Ryan Hall on 55 minutes and did cause some problems for the Altrincham defence. The best chance of the half came when Ryan Hurst raced into the box from the left and had his shot well saved by Thompson, the rebound then fell high to Clare but he couldn’t quite get enough on the ball to force it in.

Altrincham looked happy to sit on the ball and not do too much more as time ran out, while Avenue struggled to do much with the ball when they did have it.

This result leaves Avenue falling further and further to the bottom of the table with relegation looking more likely as the weeks pass by while Altrincham continue their march towards the playoffs.