The latest column for Altrincham Today from Altrincham FC manager Jim Harvey…
I was very pleased to make further progress in the FA Cup last Saturday with a 3-0 win over Morpeth Town.
As expected, the Northumberland side were decent opponents with some experienced and talented players. The game was in the balance at 1-0 with a quarter of an hour to go, but two further goals followed and we ended up comfortable winners. Despite scoring twice in the latter stages, I felt that our fitness levels dropped off a bit and we have tried to re-dress that this week, by concentrating heavily on the physical side of things in training on Tuesday.
Matt Doughty took that training session, as I went up to Cumbria to see our FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round opponents. Workington and Matlock had drawn 1-1 in Derbyshire on Saturday, but it was the away side who went through in the replay by a 3-1 scoreline.
Matlock, like Morpeth, look a good side, they have some impressive defenders and strikers and whilst it was a hell of a journey up there for a midweek game, it was worthwhile, as I have now seen first-hand what we will be facing a week on Saturday.
I was on my travels again on Wednesday night, as I went to see our Youth team in the FA Youth Cup at Southport.
I was really impressed with the skill level of the players, who have clearly been very well coached by Paul Fay and Adam Nuttall. It was a terrific display as we ran out 5-1 winners and now face Tranmere Rovers at the J Davidson Stadium in the last qualifying round. I think that there are a number of players in our Youth team who could go on to progress to the first team and that really bodes well for the future.
We are back to League action on Saturday, making the short trip to one of my former clubs, Stalybridge Celtic. I’m really looking forward to the game and it’s pleasing to be able to have more selection options.
Tom Hannigan returned last week but came off early in the second half with another problem with his knee. Pleasingly, he seems to have come through training well and I am hopeful of having him available for Saturday. Danny Hall is also likely to be fit, which means that we may only be without Shaun Densmore, who is still a few weeks away at present.
We’re up and running in the FA Cup, so I really do hope that we can get our first league win of the season at Bower Fold. It may well be a tense affair between two sides, currently in the bottom three, but I am quite happy with what I am seeing from the players at the moment and confident that improved results are on their way.
Pics: Gavin Rathbone