View From The Dugout

View From The Dugout: Mixed fortunes in the Cup, but we’re feeling positive ahead of league return

By Phil Parkinson at

I was disappointed to go out of the Integro League Cup on Tuesday night at the second round stage. Leading 3-2 with just a minute of added time to play, we conceded a goal that certainly looked well offside and then lost 5-4 on penalties.

The positives were Josh Hancock’s hat-trick and the performance of Connor Hampson at centre back but some of the young lads, who had performed so well against Ashton United in the first round and in the Cheshire Senior Cup against Chester, didn’t do as well at Mossley.

We are back to Evo-Stik Premier League action today, travelling to Derbyshire for the second successive Saturday to take on Mickleover Sports. Last Saturday’s Buildbase FA Trophy 2-0 win at Alfreton was a terrific performance and we will be looking for something similar today.

Goalmouth action from the win over Alfreton

Mickleover will be tricky opponents. They are a bit inconsistent but very capable on their day.

They are quite dogged opposition but can play with a bit of style as well and they benefit greatly from the experience and quality of Pablo Mills and player manager John McGrath.

James Poole came off early in the win at Alfreton with a thigh injury and is not likely to feature today, but James Jones is available again, having recovered from his hamstring strain that he sustained at Sutton Coldfield a fortnight ago.

Today’s game is the last of Connor Hampson’s month loan spell from Stockport County, but I am delighted that we have been able to agree, with Jim Gannon, to extend his stay for a further month and Connor will be with us until the New Year at least, which is great news, as he has fitted in really well and Lewis Short is not likely to be ready for action for a little while yet, with his calf injury.

More action from the win at Alfreton

Training on Thursday night was particularly positive and it was good to have Sean Miller and Josh Amis, who are both out on loan at Colne, involved. Sean looked very sharp and with Mason Walsh being suspended after today’s game, having been sent off for two yellow cards at Mossley, Sean will be back with us next week and available for the home game with Shaw Lane. Josh Amis still has a couple of weeks of his loan spell remaining but he is very much part of our plans for the season and a player who I think can do a good job for Alty.

Laurence Taylor has gone to Hednesford for a month, which will be good for him to get some games for a team in our division and there is the possibility of one or two of the younger players going out on loan in the near future, as going out of the Integro League Cup means that first team opportunities are likely to be very limited for some of our younger players that are coming through.

Photos: Jonathan Moore