Altrincham took all three points away from the Horsfall Stadium with a 4-2 victory as Bradford (Park Avenue) slumped to their second successive defeat in The Skrill North.
The home side took an early lead with a goal from Nicky Boshell. Celebrations were then cut short as Altrincham’s Damian Reeves snatched the equaliser. Jordan Deacey made the score 2-1 in favour of the home side, but a second goal from Reeves saw the scoreline level before Greg Wilkinson and Nicky Clee’s second half attempts secured a win for Lee Sinnott’s men.
Avenue were without their striker Alex Davidson and left-back Martin Drury, but their absence went relatively unnoticed in the opening stages as the home side took the lead with just two minutes on the clock as Boshell smashed a volley into the top corner.
After ten minutes, Altrincham’s winger Clee latched on to a through ball on the left before pulling back a low cross to Wilkinson, who blazed wide from the edge of the box.
The visitors then grabbed the equaliser after Avenue’s James Knowles was unable to control a long range free kick, slipping the ball into the path of Reeves who fired home from close range.
The home side regained the lead as Deacey latched on to a loose ball before slotting into the bottom corner from the six yard line.
But, for the second time in the game, Altrincham were quick to respond with a goal of their own. A hopeful ball over the back of the Avenue defence found the former Avenue striker Reeves, who picked it out of the air with an exquisite first touch and calmly dispatched the equaliser past John Lamb.
After the break, the visitors created the first chance as left back, Matt Doughty, chipped a delicate pass to the chest of James Walshaw who turned sharply and released a shot just wide of the target.
Avenue midfielder, Deacey, then broke with a positive run down the left flank before offloading to Paul Walker, but his crisp volley narrowly went wide of the post from 20 yards.
Ten minutes later, Altrincham took the lead after Wilkinson’s long range shot took a deflection off Knowles, and Lamb was unable to change direction as the ball trickled into the net.
With 20 minutes remaining, Avenue boss, John Deacey, replaced Simon Lenighan with Chib Chilaka to boost his side’s attacking options. However, the away side extended their advantage as Clee curled a 30 yard free kick over the wall and into the corner to secure three points for Altrincham.
John Deacey praised his team’s performance and is hoping for a positive response on Saturday against Harrogate Town in the Third Round Qualifying of the FA Carlsberg Trophy:
“The performance was good, I thought it was an even game all the way through, but we’ve just got to pick ourselves up and go again but I cannot knock the effort.”
Avenue captain, Nathan Hotte, was disappointed with the result but remains optimistic his side can put an end to their recent poor form:
“I thought we played alright but once again we’ve conceded four goals so it’s always going to be hard. We’re not having a problem scoring but we just seem to concede. Hopefully we can start picking up results again.”