Altrinhcham 1 Barnsley 0: Reds crash out to non-Leaguers

FA Cup first round action from Altrincham. Photo: Dean Atkins
FA Cup first round action from Altrincham. Photo: Dean Atkins

National League outfit Altrincham piled the intense pressure even further onto Barnsley manager Lee Johnson thanks to a shock FA Cup first round victory at rainswept Moss Lane.

Already on the back of a seven-match losing streak in Sky Bet League One, Johnson’s position as boss must now be in severe jeopardy thanks to Damian Reeves’ second-half winner.

Despite the 45 places between the two sides in the league pyramid there was precious little between them in a goalless opening half.

Sam Winnall saw an early shot blocked, but at the other end ‘keeper Adam Davies was forced to produce a superb flying save to keep out a superb 20-yard effort from Altrincham midfielder Jake Moult.

Reds skipper Alfie Mawson curled a smart effort narrowly wide after half-an-hour, but Johnson’s men were making hard work of the tie at that stage.

The visitors went close a couple of times in the run-up to the break, with Winnall forcing ‘keeper Tim Deasy into a fine near-post stop and Josh Scowen firing wide.

Disaster struck for the Reds exactly 60 seconds after the restart. Altrincham went in front when Damian Reeves pounced on a rebound after Davies could only parry Ryan Crowther’s shot.

It was ‘game on’ now for the Reds, and they did almost respond just a few minutes later when sub Lloyd Isgrove fired wide from just 12 yards.

Winnall then flicked an effort into the side-netting as the visitors began to look desperate.

Sub Conor Wilkinson managed to scoop a disappointing effort straight at the grateful Deasy, and it was beginning to look like Altrincham’s day.

It certainly did when sub Conor Hourihane watched on in agony as his curling free-kick clipped the top of the crossbar before going behind.

Reds boss Lee Johnson had made a couple of changes, one enforced as Swindon loan striker Michael Smith was ineligible.

In came the fit-again Marley Watkins, while youngster George Maris was handed a start.

Southampton loanee Lloyd Isgrove dropped to the bench, where he was joined by Conor Hourihane after injury.

Altrincham (4-4-1-1): Deasy; Sinnott, Havern, Leather, Griffin; Moult, Lawrie, Richman, O’Keefe; Crowther; Reeves.Subs: Rankine, Clee, Heathcote, Bowerman, Swift, Williams, Stouppis.

Barnsley (3-5-1-1): Davies; Roberts, Mawson, Nyatanga; Wabara, Scowen, Pearson, Maris, G Smith; Watkins; Winnall.Subs: Townsend, Bree, Isgrove, Wilkinson, Hourihane, Jackson, White.

Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear).