ALTRINCHAM are hopeful of making a decent run in this season’s FA Trophy as they enter the competition in top form.
After suffering successive relegations, the Robins started slowly in the Evo-Stik Premier as manager Phil Parkinson’s new-look squad needed time to gel.
Now they have hit their straps, though, rising to the top of the table. And they went 3 points clear of Shaw Lane and Warrington Town with a 4-0 home win over Lancaster City on Tuesday night.
Despite leading through James Poole’s superb opener, Alty responded to a call for more urgency at half-time and they delivered, claiming 3 goals in the last 16 minutes through Jordan Hulme (pictured celebrating his goal above), Simon Richman and John Johnston.
That made it 8 home wins in a row in the league but the Robins know they are a prized scalp, not just in the league but in the cup too. In the FA Trophy’s 1st Qualifying Round on Saturday they host a Clitheroe side which is in the bottom half of the Evo-Stik North and will be looking to pull off an upset.
“The quality wasn’t there in the 1st half, and it was frustrating to watch,” admitted assistant boss Neil Sorvel. “You can’t be on it every minute of every game, but our passing wasn’t as slick as normal. We had a lot of the ball but moved it too slowly. Everything was loose.
“The message at half-time was to speed everything up, be quicker and sharper with our passing. Move the ball quicker, and if we are getting in behind them, make sure it goes where we want it to.
“It was getting cut out too much in the 1st half, and they were coming back at us, so it was important we tidied that up. You could see the difference in the 2nd half, and there were some nice little moves for the goals.
“It is a little early to be looking at the league table, but we are where we would like to be, and the challenge now is to maintain our level of performance and try to stay there. We are there to be shot at now. Everyone wants to beat the top team, but we just have to make sure we are ready for that challenge.”
A last-gasp equaliser by ex-Alty striker James Walshaw meant ASHTON UNITED had to settle for a 3rd straight 3-3 draw away to Farsley on Tuesday night.
Matt Chadwick and Jack Dyche put Ashton into an early lead and although Chadwick’s 12th goal of the season made it 3-1 on 52 minutes, Farsley fought back with 2 goals in the last 12 minutes.
The Robins edged above Buxton into 7th and host Frickley in the FA Trophy while lowly league rivals STALYBRIDGE CELTIC are away to Prescot Cables.
DROYLSDEN are away to an Ossett Town side which is just below them in the Evo-Stik North table while league rivals MOSSLEY host Lancaster City and RAMSBOTTOM UNITED hope next week’s FA Cup tie with League Two Mansfield proves a distraction for their hosts, Shaw Lane.
Picture courtesy of Michael Ripley Photography