View From The Dugout

View From The Dugout: Cup test will show us how far we have really progressed

By Phil Parkinson at

We are in Buildbase FA Trophy action today, travelling to Derbyshire to take on Alfreton Town in the final qualifying round of this competition.

Having already beaten Clitheroe and Ramsbottom United at home in the first two qualifying rounds, today’s game should give us a good indication of how far we have progressed as we take on a team from a higher division, for the first time in a competitive fixture, since I have been the manager of Altrincham Football Club.

Alfreton lie 14th in the Vanarama National League North and come into the game on the back of a 2-1 win at Telford last Saturday. They are a big strong side that are very good from set pieces and quite a difficult to set up to play against, as they play variable formations from game to game.

Action from Altrincham’s 4-0 win at Sutton Coldfield last weekend

Brendon Daniels is certainly one of the players that we will need to be mindful of. We know him well from his days at Crewe Alexandra and he has scored one or two spectacular goals for Alfreton since joining them from AFC Fylde in the summer.

We will be fully prepared to deal with them however they set up and we are looking forward to this game very much. I am sure that we will have very good support, as we did in last Saturday’s 4-0 win at Sutton Coldfield, when it seemed as if we had well over a hundred who travelled.

It was very important that we kept the momentum going in the league and three early goals meant that there was never any real threat that we were going to give a chance to one of the teams behind us to close the gap at the top or even overtake us.

Alty had their eye on the ball at bottom club Sutton Coldfield

On a very good afternoon in the Midlands, it was disappointing that James Jones had to be withdrawn late on with a hamstring strain. James hasn’t trained this week and will not be available today.

Lewis Short is still out with a calf injury but it’s great that Tom Hannigan came through his game for the reserves last week and he is fit to play this afternoon.

Josh Amis played his first game for Colne last Saturday, alongside Sean Miller, who has done very well and scored three goals during his loan period and we are looking to extend this, probably on a rolling week to week basis, when his loan expires during the week.

Some of Alty’s travelling support in Birmingham

Pics: Tim Lloyd