Monday, September 27, 2010

McKenna quiet, FC United in cup joy

Source: MEN

Tony Glennon

Altrincham caretaker-boss Ken McKenna refused to be drawn on his Moss Lane job prospects despite seeing them given another boost.

The bottom-of-the-table Robins followed up their midweek victory over Barrow with a 2-2 draw at home to Grimsby, thanks to Shaun Densmore’s injury-time equaliser.

Chris Denham had netted Alty’s first leveller and, though they are still three points adrift at the foot of the table, their recent revival under McKenna means he remains in pole position to take the job.

But the former TNS chief insists he has still to give serious consideration to the possibility of becoming Graham Heathcote’s permanent successor, saying: “I have not had time to sit down and talk to the board about our respective aspirations.

“There will have to be a moment when that happens. First as Graham’s assistant and now, as caretaker-manager, I’ve been working on a week-to-week basis at Altrincham for more than a year so it won’t matter if it takes a little longer to sort things out.”

Alty trailed at the break to a 29th-minute Peter Bore goal but drew level eight minutes after the restart when Denham raced half the length of the pitch to equalise.

Keeper James Coates pulled off a string of fine saves to keep the Robins level but could do nothing to prevent Alan Connell restoring Grimsby’s lead 13 minutes from time.

But Densmore stooped to head home James Smith’s cross to secure a late point.

McKenna added: “We looked all-in as a part-time club that had played three hard games in eight days, but we badly wanted that late goal and it came.”

Meanwhile, Garry Flitcroft’s Chorley march on at the top of Evo-Stik North, thrashing Durham 5-0 to stay two points clear of Witton, who hit five against Ossett Albion.

Curzon Ashton beat Woodley 3-1 and Trafford won 3-0 at Wakefield. But Salford City and Radcliffe both lost.

:: FC UNITED boss Karl Marginson saluted his resolute Rebels after they claimed the scalp of Blue Square Bet North strugglers Gainsborough Trinity to advance to the FA Cup’s third and penultimate qualifying round.

Former Trinity striker Glynn Hurst was FC’s match-winner, scoring either side of half-time to secure an impressive 2-1 comeback victory after the Lincolnshire visitors snatched a 39th-minute lead.

Marginson, whose side banked £4,500 with the win, said: “In recent weeks, when we’ve gone behind, a one-goal deficit has quickly become two or three.

“But this time the lads kept playing without panicking and got their just rewards.”

Mossley were the area’s only other second qualifying-round winners, taking their Cup prize-money so far to £9,000 with Mike Oates hitting both their goals in a 2-1 win at Dunston UTS.

Tameside rivals Droylsden and Hyde must try again at the Butcher’s Arms tonight (7.45pm) after sharing in a goalless draw at Ewen Fields.

Meanwhile Stalybridge Celtic, Northwich Victoria and Warrington all face replays tomorrow night.

Bridge must travel to Alfreton after being held 1-1 at Bower Fold, Lee Elam netting the equaliser.

Andy Fowler and John McAliskey struck to secure Vics a 2-2 draw at Sheffield.

And Warrington will have home advantage against Bamber Bridge after a Tony Evans goal netted them a 1-1 draw.

Ashton United crashed out 2-1 to FC Halifax despite Lee Steele netting after just 25 seconds. Leigh Genesis lost 2-1 to Norton and Stockton, while New Mills went out 2-0 to Harrogate Town.