By Jacque Talbot – @Jac_Talbot
ALTRINCHAM will set a new nadir if they lose at home to relegation rivals Worcester City this Saturday.
The rock-bottom Robins welcome 3rd-bottom Worcester to Moss Lane and are still looking for their 1st home win in the National League North this season – and only their 2nd league win overall.
Former Alty left-back Matt Doughty was assistant manager to Jim Harvey before taking over the managerial reins from him in December, but he hasn’t been able to inspire his side to a victory in the league, despite league performances gradually improving week by week.
The 35-year-old manager was initially optimistic about the team’s chances of pulling away from the relegation scrap but would have hoped for a better start than losing to Stockport County and FC United (twice) over the festive period.
Since then, Doughty has overseen 5 league defeats and 2 draws, and that awful run was topped up last week by a devastating blow in the Cheshire Senior Cup, in a humiliating, heartless 2-1 defeat to Hyde United.
Worcester have found themselves in a similar predicament, claiming their last league victory back in November against AFC Telford, while their last away win in the league came way back in September at Brackley.
This sets up Saturday’s contest as the perfect time for Alty to finally broke their home duck and, possibly, setting themselves up for a last-ditch fight in the quest for survival. By contrast, defeat could extinguish all hope, with noticeable pockets of fan disdain towards Doughty already starting to emerge.
Nevertheless, Doughty and his assistant Robbie Lawton are hopeful of remaining at the club next season, even if that were to be in the Evo-Stik Premier. But they need to start winning games, and Worcester at home is their best chance yet.
Meanwhile, the club will present the findings of their strategic review in the Community Sports Hall on Sunday (7pm). Fans are invited and will have the opportunity to put questions to the board.
Just 3 points separate CURZON ASHTON and FC UNITED in mid-table, and 12th-placed Curzon aim to build on last week’s 5-0 win over Alfreton away to 4th-bottom Gainsborough. FC, who are 14th, hope to bounce back from last week’s 2-1 defeat at Stockport County as they visit 10th-placed Gloucester City.
STOCKPORT are away to Kidderminster while fellow promotion hopefuls SALFORD CITY host AFC Telford. STALYBRIDGE CELTIC’s home match with Bradford Park Avenue was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.