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Hednesford Town 2 Altrincham 2
ALTRINCHAM went into this first leg of the promotion play-offs semi-final in the Midlands with an unchanged side.
The Robins, who had finished the league season in third place were facing fourth-placed Hednesford, who had secured a win and a draw against the Robins in the league earlier this season.
Altrincham started the game well and took a deserved 14th minute lead.
The goal came when Nicky Clee gained posssession on the left and, without hesitation, got in a low cross which a stretching Damian Reeves converted. It is the third season in a row that Reeves has scored 20 or more league goals for Alty.
However, twenty minutes later, Hednesford scored with their first real threat to the Alty goal. Danny Glover fed Alex Melbourne who slotted the ball across goalkeeper Coburn from inside the box.
The visitors continued to play the better football but they fell behind after 57 minutes to a spectacular goal out of nothing. Town's Danny Glover, who had scored a fine goal against Altrincham for his previous club, Worcester City, earlier this season, looped in an unstoppable effort from wide on the left of goal.
But the visitors responded well. A Walshaw header came back off the bar but then, on the hour mark, Jake Moult played a ball into the box which Walshaw headed home to make it 2-2. Alty had other chances to win it, but they also had to clear a Hednesford effort off the line as the home side ralleyed in the closing stages.
The second leg is at the J. Davidson Stadium, Moss Lane, this Saturday at 3pm when a bumper crowd can be expected to help Altrincham reach the play-off final, where the oposition would be either North Ferriby United (away) or Guiseley (at home) in a one-off clash.
Altrincham: Coburn, Densmore (capt), Griffin, Moult, Havern, Leather, Lawrie, Richman, Walshaw, Reeves, Clee. Subs: Marshall, Doughty, Wilkinson, Perry and Saunders.