View From The Dugout

View From The Dugout: Can some home comfort bring us that elusive win?

By David Prior at

The latest column for Altrincham Today from manager Matt Doughty, as told to Jacques Talbot

After three away games, we are back at home today for the first time in three weeks.

Once again we face a team who are in the mix for a play-off spot and Halifax visit us in good form, having taken 10 points from the last 12 available.

Damian Reeves is available again, having recovered from the illness that forced him to miss last Saturday’s 4-1 defeat against the runaway league leaders, AFC Fylde… a game in which the main difference between the two teams was Danny Rowe, whose two goals took his tally to 38 for the season!

The Alty players shake hands before their game against Manchester United Under-18s on Tuesday

The Alty players shake hands before their game against Manchester United Under-18s on Tuesday

3-0 down inside half an hour, James Lawrie gave us a lifeline with a goal just before half time and if Andy Owens had scored with a great chance after about an hour, we would have been right back in it, but Fylde scored again with about a quarter of an hour to go and that was that.

Nicky Clee and Gary Jones were injured in the first half of that game, but both are available today, but Tom Hannigan broke down after a few minutes at training on Thursday with a recurrence of the hip injury that he sustained at Chorley and he is almost certain to be missing today.

Alan Goodall will be aiming to get a full game under his belt for the reserves today, so he should be back in contention for next Saturday’s trip to Darlington.

The Man U goalkeeper flaps at the ball as Alty score

The Man U goalkeeper flaps at the ball as Alty score

Following the midweek friendly fixture against Manchester United, which we won 2-1, I released Tomi Adeloye who, after a decent debut against Gainsborough three weeks ago, didn’t do enough to justify me retaining him in the squad, which leaves us a bit short of striking options.

I have tried to bring two players in on loan this week but neither have proven successful. An indication of how difficult it is to attract players to a club that is struggling as badly as we are, is that a striker with a Football League club opted for a loan move to a club playing in a lower league than us, because they are doing well in their league and I suppose you can’t really blame him for making that decision.

Our position at the foot of the table, 17 points from safety, is so bad, that there is no point in focusing on bridging that massive gap. We need to win a league game, first and foremost, then go from there… hopefully, we can do just that this afternoon.

Manager Matt Doughty (left) at the final whistle

Manager Matt Doughty (left) at the final whistle

Pictures: Michael Ripley