The latest column for Altrincham Today from Altrincham FC manager Jim Harvey…
I was so pleased to get our first league win at Stalybridge last Saturday.
The goals came in the last few minutes of a tight game and I was delighted for Sam Patterson and Greg Wilkinson, who have both done very well for me in recent weeks.
The travelling support was excellent, particularly the vocal encouragement in the second half and that definitely helped to lift the players, who finished the game more strongly than our two previous games.
We are certainly on an upward curve with three wins from the last four games played in the league and FA Cup and two clean sheets in the last couple of games.
It’s back to cup action this week as we welcome Matlock Town to the J Davidson Stadium for an Emirates FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round game. If we can progress, then we will be in Monday night’s televised draw for the First Round Proper, when the Football League Clubs enter from League One and League Two.
The Gladiators are a good side and will be full of confidence after recent successes in both the cup and league. They defend well and have some dangerous forward players – I was certainly impressed with Marc Newsham, Marcus Dinanga and Ted Cribley when I saw them make it through to Saturday’s tie by beating Workington 3-1 in a replay in Cumbria 10 days ago.
We will have Andrew Dawber and Tom Hannigan available, although Danny Hall is still out with an injury that is causing him a pain in his back and groin.
Josh Doherty is available for his last month before his loan period from Leyton Orient is up.
One player leaving the club is Callum Charlton, who has been released.
I’m very hopeful that we will have a new signing today, a left sided defender with a lot of experience in our league. He is not cup tied so could play a part on Saturday.
The FA Cup means that it’s seven substitutes and with just Danny and Shaun Densmore not available, we should be able to field a strong starting XI and bench, which is good news.
It’s a massive game for both clubs, with a winner’s prize of £12,500 up for grabs… I am sure that come three o’clock on Saturday afternoon it will be Robins Ready & Gladiators Ready!
Pics: Gavin Rathbone