ALTRINCHAM won 2-0 at Stafford Rangers to get their own back for their embarrassing home defeat by Boro on the opening day of the season.
The Robins showed their attacking prowess in the East Midlands on Saturday, with second-half strikes by Jordan Hulme and Ben Harrison sending the league leaders 10 points clear of Grantham Town in the Evo-Stik Premier.
Manager Phil Parkinson: “We were away from home and had to weather the storm. We aren’t just going to roll people over, we knew it would be hard
“Stafford (who are 18th in the table) aren’t doing anywhere near as well as what they should be. They were desperate to get a win and what a great result it would have been had they beat Altrincham, who are top of the league.
“But my lads showed great determination and grit, and second half we were superb. Any win away from home is huge but winning today is a fantastic response (to losing 3-0 on the opening day).”
Alty keeper Tony Thompson was called into action after just 2 minutes as Massiah McDonald was clean through on goal but the Robins’ shot-stopper managed to block the forward’s goal-bound effort with his feet.
Moments later Stafford had two more chances but neither managed to get past the clutches of Thompson.
The first half was frustrating for Alty as Stafford did have more clear-cut chances and, being more accustomed to the bobbly pitch, it was evident they were used to the conditions. Neither team could grab the game by the scruff of the neck, with a typical ‘end-to-end’ pattern of play.
Just before the break, Alty had their best chance of the first half on the break. Hulme pulled the ball back into the path of James Poole, whose right-footed effort went over the bar.
But the Robins broke the deadlock in the 68th minute through Hulme, with a carbon copy of his goal in last week’s 1-0 win at Farsley Celtic.
The former SALFORD CITY striker rounded Adam Whitehouse in the Stafford goal and tapped the ball into an empty net for his 19th league goal of the season.
Then on 77 minutes, Harrison sealed all three points for the Robins. After a corner was cleared by the Stafford defence, the ball was put back into the area by Simon Richman and it found centre-half Harrison, who slotted the ball past Whitehouse with his left boot.
That made it 7 wins from 8 league games for the runaway leaders and Alty have another trip to the Midlands this Saturday to face mid-table Stourbridge.
Elsewhere in the Evo-Stik Premier, STALYBRIDGE CELTIC remain 2nd-bottom after a 2-2 draw at Buxton. First-half goals by Liam Dickinson and Jordan Chappell put Bridge 2-0 up, only for Jack Broadhead and Ryan McDermott to bring the Bucks level after the break.
ASHTON UNITED drew 1-1 at Witton after Mark Lees’ early opener was swiftly cancelled out by Steve Tames. Ashton are now joint-4th and host Stafford this Saturday while Stalybridge welcome Grantham to Bower Fold.