Allison hat-trick halts Alty
The highlight of many highlights in this pulsating contest was Scott Allison’s hat-trick which effectively condemned title favourites, Alty, to an empahtic defeat.
A wonder goal and two tap-ins, after 23, 68 and 85 minutes, made up Allison’s fifth hat-trick for the club, his second in the league.
But Altrincham, who played the entire second half with ten men, contributed in what was a fine advertisement for Northern Premier League football.
Max Harrop’s uncharacteristic wild challenge on Anthony Wright just before half time resulted in him being sent off. He certainly isn’t the type of player who would deliberately cause harm to an opponent but, by the same token, Wright wouldn’t try and hoodwink the referee. It was a dangerous challenge and had to be punished.
Harrop was jeered as he left the sodden pitch but, five minutes earlier, had received generous applause from the Borough Park faithful after his stunning goal had restored parity. A great first touch set him up perfectly and his left foot sent the ball crashing past Aaran Taylor and into the net.
Reds had gone in front after twenty three minutes with a wonder goal of their own. James Earl floated the ball towards the area, Sam Joel won the header and the ball fell to Allison whose left foot volley screamed past Tim Deasy into the Derwent End goal.
Then came the incident which tarnished a thrilling first half but, thankfully, both sides quickly got on with the job in hand afterwards.
By half time, Reds were back in front and the shock was the goal came via the penalty spot. Josh Calvert appeared to be held down in the area by a purple-shirted defender and the man-in-charge, much to Workington’s dread, pointed to the spot. Conor Tinnion was the latest appointed to the job nobody wants but placed the ball to Deasy’s left to restore the one goal advantage.
The Robins, with nothing to lose, came out with a purpose after the interval and deserved their second equaliser after sixty five minutes. A poor defensive header fell kindly for Jordan Hulme and, the man who scored the winner for Salford in the play-off final last year, rounded Taylor to make it 2-2.
Thankfully, Altrincham wilted soon after getting back on terms and, for the first time, Reds made the one man advantage count.
They took the lead for a third time just three minutes after Hulme’s well taken goal. Tinnion cleverly scooped the ball over the visitors back line and Allison’s first touch took the ball past the stranded Deasy and into the vacant net.
Sam Joel hasn’t had the best of starts to the season but looked more relaxed on this occasion and fully deserved his goal after seventy five minutes. A wonderful flowing move involving David Symington, Allison and Joel culminated in the latter making it 4-2 with his first of the campaign.
A neat one-two between Allison and Joel resulted in Reds being awarded a second spot-kick after Ben Harrison tripped the Barrow blond. Tinnion stepped up once more, chose to go the same way but Deasy guessed right and blocked the ball. He couldn’t hold onto the ball and the alert Allison gleefully slammed the rebound home to complete his threesome.
For the first time in weeks, David Hewson had a smile on his face at the post match inquest.
“I am delighted for the dressing room, the boys certainly deserved that and from first whistle to last we were magnificent. Altrincham are a great footballing side and the way they play gave us the license to do the same,” he beamed.
With the game played in torrential rain throughout, both teams deserve credit for their efforts in testing conditions, as does Jeff Curwen for preparing and repairing a surface fit for purpose.
Workington Taylor, Simpson, Symington, Wordsworth, Calvert, Wright, Earl, Holt (Smith, 57), Allison, Joel, Tinnion. Substitutes – Ryan, Douglas, Mellen, Fowler (not used).
Altrincham Deasy, Bembo-Leta, Densmore (Short, 55), Hannigan, Harrison, Moult, Johnston, Sheridan, Hulme, Hancock (Peers, 75), Harrop. Substitutes – Jones, Poole, Thompson (not used).
Referee Shane Sugden, Bishop Auckland
Bookings: Earl, Wordsworth (Workington), Densmore, Hulme (Altrincham)
Red card: Harrop (Altrincham)