View From The Dugout

View from the Dugout: We can continue the excellent away run that we’re enjoying

By Phil Parkinson at

It’s only the first day of September but today we make our third trip up to the North East in 22 days. It’s been a happy hunting area for us so far with a remarkable 4-4 draw at Spennymoor three weeks ago followed by a superb display in a 3-0 win at Darlington last Saturday.

Today, we face our longest away league trip of the season as we travel to Northumberland to take on Blyth Spartans. They’ve had a bit of a strange start to the season but probably produced the most eye-catching scoreline in the Vanarama National League North to date, when they hammered Chester 8-1 at Croft Park three weeks ago.

Watch highlights from our victory against Darlington:

Neil Sorvel and I are very familiar with playing Blyth from our time at Nantwich and whilst it’s a hell of a long way to go, it’s a place that I like to visit. Alun Armstrong always gets his team playing the right way and he is blessed with lots of talented players.

They have a particularly impressive front line with Dan Maguire, Robbie Dale and Jarett Rivers all being players capable of winning the match on any given day.

Like us, they have experienced injuries in recent weeks and we were hit with a big blow this week when Ben Harrison suffered a reoccurrence of his knee injury, playing for the Reserves on Tuesday night at Denton.

We don’t know yet, whether this means that he will need an operation, which was the subject of a lot of discussion when he originally sustained the injury against Shaw Lane in March. It’s certainly not good news for Ben and I am personally gutted about this setback for him.

Watch highlights from the game against Guiseley:

Connor Hampson (broken hand) and John Johnston (hamstring) will not be travelling today but will be making a contribution to the development of Altrincham Football Club by attending both the Mini-Kickers Session in the Community Sports Hall and the Alty Juniors Under-6 Saturday Club training session at Blessed Thomas Halford School.

There is better news on Tom Peers and Simon Richman, who have both been struggling with muscle problems during the last fortnight or so. Both Tom and Simon trained on Thursday night and are very likely to be available today.

Brendon Daniels has returned to Port Vale, following his one month loan and both Lloyd Bannister and Bay Downing are going out on loan to get game time and improve match fitness. Lloyd is going to Ramsbottom United whilst Bay is heading South to play for Salisbury City.

We had a good bank holiday weekend taking four points from a possible six in our games at Darlington and at home to Guiseley. We go up to the North East very confident that we can continue the excellent away run that we’re enjoying.