Sport & Leisure View From The Dugout

View From The Dugout: Great to make Cup progress… but now for three massive league games

By David Prior at

The latest column for Altrincham Today from Altrincham FC manager Jim Harvey…

I was very pleased to make progress in the FA Cup last Saturday, but I’m not kidding myself that everything in the garden is rosy… it clearly isn’t and there is a lot of work to be done and a long way to go between where we are and where we are aiming for.

We were very poor in the first half and Matlock deserved their lead and were in charge of the game. A second goal would probably have killed us, but Damian Reeves has come up with a terrific goal to equalise before half-time and keep us alive in the competition – he showed great control, the ability to turn quickly and then pull the trigger… excellent!

Football is a strange game sometimes because Matt Doughty and I were thinking of taking Sean Miller off at the interval but less than 10 minutes later, he has given us a two-goal cushion by making good runs and having a go, something that was very sadly lacking from his performance in the first half.

Even at 3-1, Matlock came back well at us as they threw caution to the wind in the closing stages of the game, missing a few good chances and a penalty.

We will play Lincoln City at Sincil Bank in the first round. I watched the Imps beat Guiseley 2-1 in their FA Cup Replay on Tuesday night and they are a very hard-working, organised and physically strong side, who will provide very tough opposition when we travel there early next month.

Before that, we have three massive league games, starting with the visit of Telford on Saturday.

Greg Wilkinson in action against Morpeth

Greg Wilkinson in action against Matlock

Danny Hall is available for this game, which means that I will have a full squad to choose from, other than Shaun Densmore. We have signed Andy McWiliams from Bradford Park Avenue during the week, whilst Fabio Bassangue has departed.

Andy did well for me at left-back at Stalybridge and that is a position that we needed to fill, as Josh Doherty has returned to Leyton Orient following a successful one-month loan, during which we won four out of the six games that he was involved in. Josh has done well and looks to have a good career ahead of him.

Telford do not score too many, but are tight defensively and had a very important 1-0 win last Saturday against FC United of Manchester, which has moved them up the table five places, from 19th to 14th.

We need to be much quicker out of the blocks than we were against Matlock and if we can achieve that, then there is no reason why we can’t secure all three points against the Shropshire side and Bradford Park Avenue, who are at The J Davidson Stadium on Tuesday evening for a 7.45pm kick off.

Sean Miller on a run against Matlock

Sean Miller on a run against Morpeth

Images: Michael Ripley