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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

28 March 2023 Venue J. Davidson Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Match Reports

Altrincham 0-2 Notts

Langstaff breaks club record in huge win

28 March 2023

Macaulay Langstaff set a club record of 40 goals in a season as we secured a big victory at the J Davidson Stadium.

The forward capitalised on a sleeping home defence to make history with a finish following a quickly-taken free-kick.

Archie Mair then played the role of hero, superbly saving a penalty to preserve our first-half lead.

And Ruben Rodrigues made no mistake with a penalty of our own in a dominant second half as we returned to the top of the table.

Luke Williams made two changes to the side that demolished Scunthorpe three days earlier.

With Sam Slocombe continuing to struggle with the injury that saw him replaced by Mair in that match, the young keeper kept his place between the sticks.

The other change came in midfield, with Sam Austin replacing Jim O’Brien.

Having only recently returned from international duty, Tiernan Brooks and Jodi Jones were on the bench alongside O’Brien, Richard Brindley and Frank Vincent.

We made a threatening start to the game, seeing shots from Austin, Rodrigues and Kyle Cameron all being deflected wide inside the opening 11 minutes.

Penalty appeals were then waved away when Rodrigues went down under a challenge in the area.

But the referee was in no doubt that the playmaker was pulled back 20 yards out shortly afterwards, awarding us a free-kick which would lead to the most bizarre goal of the season so far.

With both sides still setting themselves, John Bostock took it quickly – playing the ball to the unmarked Langstaff in the area as Altrincham’s defenders were left standing and watching. The striker made no mistake.

Our hosts’ tempers were flaring and, after they’d committed a foul on Rawlinson near our corner flag, the big defender saw yellow for his part in an altercation in the aftermath.

Frustratingly, Altrincham were then given a route back into the game when Regan Linney broke the offside trap and went down under Cameron’s lunging challenge in the area.

It was a huge moment for Mair in front of a healthy away contingent and he rose to the occasion, diving full stretch to his right and pushing Linney’s penalty wide.

And, minutes into the second half, the same end saw more penalty action as Aaron Nemane’s attempted cross was handled just inside the area.

The hosts did their best to put Rodrigues off but he made no mistake, notching his 17th goal of the season.

That proved to be Rodrigues’ final notable action as he soon made way for O’Brien, who went on to play a sensational, all-action role in a dominant second period.

Palmer saw a shot saved, Bostock had a promising effort blocked and Austin fired the ball over as we patiently pursued a third goal.

With Vincent on for Nemane, Chicksen had switched to the right and he exploited two good openings in quick succession – his first cross for Langstaff being intercepted, and his second not quite being turned home by Bostock at the back stick.

For all our dominance, 2-0 remained a vulnerable scoreline and hearts were in mouths on 80 minutes when the hosts bundled their way into the area and skimmed their first shot of the half off the top of the bar.

But it was only to be a fleeting sight of goal for Alty – and Langstaff so nearly rounded off the night by breaking the National League record for goals scored in a season, only to see his 90th-minute effort dip on to the top of the crossbar.  

STARTING XI: Mair; Cameron, Bajrami, Rawlinson (Brindley 68); Chicksen, Nemane (Vincent 73'); Bostock, Palmer, Austin, Rodrigues (O'Brien 55'); Langstaff

UNUSED SUBS: Brooks, Jones

BOOKINGS: Rawlinson 27', Cameron 31'

ATTENDANCE: 2,011 (638)

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