Harrogate Town went down to a close 2-1 defeat at the new look CNG Stadium.The newly levelled pitch survived a pre match downpour and stood up well to the rigours of ninety minutes football.
Town kept the same line up that was successful at Hinckley.
The visitors were the first to settle and only a superb block from Shane Killock prevented them from taking a first minute lead.
However,with only four minutes on the clock ,Duncan Watmore picked up the ball in midfield,advanced,and lashed a thirty yard screamer past Jose Veiga.
Town retaliated strongly and Adam Nowakowski’s centre caused a collision in the Alty defence in which Nicky Clee was concussed,causing him soon to be withdrawn from the visiting attack.
Town,prompted by Adam Bolder and Paul Bolland in midfield,began to dominate and after Chib Chilaka had shot across goal,both Paul Beesley and Luke Dean forced Stuart Coburn into diving saves.
Town forced four successive corners and from one both Alan White and Chilaka had shots cleared off the line.
After 47 minutes,Altrincham only half cleared a Bolland free kick,the ball was quickly played back in to Chilaka and he lashed it past Coburn to equalise.
Town,roared on by a large crowd,pushed forward,but this left them vulnerable to swift Alty counter attacks.
A mazy run by Watmore saw him beat three defenders and soon afterwards Veiga was called into action to tip Damien Reeves’s drive over the bar.
Dean and Chilaka shot across goal,but the visitor’s unmarked Ryan Brooke squandered an excellent chance when he headed sub James Lawrie’s free kick wide.
With less than 15 minutes to play Reeves broke clear and although Veira parried his goalbound shot,the ball broke to Simon Richman who scored via the inside of the post.
Town searched hard for a second equaliser,but it was Alty’s James Lawrie who had two late chances to increase their lead,firstly being denied by Killock’s timely tackle and then shooting wide.
Town are looking a stronger,more cohesive unit than last season and a good campaign looks in prospect.
Town 1 Veiga 2 Samuels 3 Merris 4 Bolder 5 White 6 Killock 7 Nowakowski (Meechan 77) 8 Bolland (c) 9 Chilaka 10 Beesley (Allan 66) 11 Dean (Youhill 88)
Subs unused 14 Bloomer 17 Stimpson Bookings Bolland,Dean
Scorer Chilaka Town Man of the Match Dwayne Samuels