Altrincham striker Tom Peers celebrates

Evo-Stik Premier – Altrincham face midfield dilemma ahead of big week for league leaders

ALTRINCHAM have a midfield dilemma heading into a big week for the Evo-Stik Premier leaders.

The Robins host 9th-placed Buxton on Saturday looking to extend their run of 8 straight league wins at home. Last Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Lancaster City made it a whopping 28 goals during those 8 games, while they’ve conceded just 3. On Monday night Alty visit joint-2nd Shaw Lane, who are just 3 points behind along with Warrington Town, before they return to FA Trophy action next Saturday.

However, they’ll have to do without captain Jake Moult for the 2 league games after he was sent off in last Saturday’s FA Trophy win over Clitheroe. The Robins led 1-0 after John Johnston’s 54th-minute shot slipped through the away keeper’s hands when play was stopped on 62 minutes.

Moult felt he’d been elbowed in the face and a foul wasn’t given so he complained to ref Kristian Silcock. And his comments were so strong that Silcock showed the midfielder a straight red card. But at least it didn’t cost them on the day as Tom Peers came off the bench to bag a late brace and seal a 3-0 victory.

Assistant manager Neil Sorvel felt it was just a mere blip of frustration from Moult, saying “he’s frustrated with it”. Simon Richman is also suspended for the Buxton game and Sam Sheridan is injured so Sorvel added “It’s not ideal but we’ll get on with it”.

There is hope Laurence Taylor will be fit again in time, but if not, striker James Poole filled in at centre-midfield alongside Max Harrop on Saturday. “They sat in there as a two and were really reliable and disciplined,” said Sorvel. “They did a really good job.”

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Pictures courtesy of Michael Ripley Photography

After Monday’s FA Trophy draw was made, many thought the Robins would be facing Shaw Lane twice in 6 days as they had a replay against Evo-Stik North side RAMSBOTTOM UNITED. But a late goal by Sam Heathcote, who left Alty for the Rams in the summer, took Tuesday night’s replay into extra-time. Jerome Wright, who left Alty this summer before he’d even played a game, then bagged a brace before Phil Dean sealed an impressive 4-1 win for the Rams and a trip to Alty next Saturday, November 11. Progression from the 2nd Qualifying Round is worth £4,000 to each side in FA prize money.

A Liam Dickinson brace set STALYBRIDGE CELTIC on course for a 5-1 win over Prescot Cables in their replay – and a boost of £3,250 for getting through the 1st Qualifying Round.

Celtic aim to take another step away from the bottom of the Evo-Stik Premier this weekend as they host mid-table Mickleover before they welcome Rushall Olympic in the Trophy next Saturday.

League rivals ASHTON UNITED are also through after beating Frickley 4-1 and they visit Warrington in the next round. The Robins followed that up with a 3-0 home win over Matlock on Tuesday night, putting them within 3 points of Shaw Lane and Warrington before they visit mid-table Coalville this Saturday.

Evo-Stik North side DROYLSDEN won 3-1 at league rivals Ossett Town to earn a winnable tie away to Evo-Stik South side Stamford. Droylsden are 8th in the league and are away to mid-table Colwyn Bay this Saturday.