Altrincham FC manager Lee Sinnott gives us the inside track on the Robins’ progress this season in the Vanarama National League. Here’s his latest column for Altrincham Today.
Our FA Trophy First Round tie against Leamington was called off on Saturday morning due to a waterlogged pitch and was re-arranged for Tuesday, and whilst a 1-1 draw was not an ideal result, I reminded the players after the game, that they are not out of the competition. We are very respectful of Leamington, but I have no qualms about going down there to finish the job.
I thought our application was good, and over the 90 minutes, we played some nice football through the first couple of phases, the back third and middle third.
Watch highlights from the 1-1 draw against Leamington:
All that was missing was a bit of fortune when you consider we hit the post twice, had a shot that was about to cross the line until backspin stopped it in its tracks and another couple that were blocked from close range.
Adam Griffin knows that he should have done better for the equaliser. I have been in the same situation myself, where you are the defender on the halfway line while your team-mates are in the opposition area, ready to attack a corner.
As the keeper catches the ball and prepares to clear it, you are aware of space behind you and the fact there’s an opposition forward wanting to exploit it. It was a low trajectory from the keeper, and Adam has looked at it and thought: “I don’t need to turn and run back with their forward. I can meet that ball full on and deal with it.” He has checked his run back towards his own goal, but then it has just gone a bit wrong.
It wasn’t his decision-making. I would have done exactly the same thing. But the idea, clearly, was to get something on the ball, and that’s where it didn’t quite pan out. That’s the one thing he got wrong, but these things happen.
We will play a lot worse than we did against Leamington and win, I’m sure of that. Some of the football we played was decent, and with a bit of luck, we would have had enough goals to have seen us through.
Shaun Densmore wasn’t quite ready for Tuesday and it does seem to be taking a bit of time getting over his medial ligament injury. He has had this same problem a few times, so there is a bit of scar tissue in there now. We won’t rush things, but he is close to being available again.
Tom Marshall could be just a month away from challenging for a place on the bench, so that’s good news, and Josh O’Keefe will complete his three-match suspension on Saturday and be available for the replay at Leamington on Tuesday night. It is good to see the numbers bolstered by players coming back.
On Saturday, we travel to face leaders Cheltenham Town, which goes without saying will be a difficult assignment. It’s the start of a very busy Christmas and New Year period during which we have five games in 15 days, so there are 12 league points and a place in the FA Trophy Second Round to play for over the next couple of weeks.