View From The Dugout

View from the Dugout: Last week a disappointment, but time to refocus on play-off push

By Phil Parkinson at

Altrincham FC manager Phil Parkinson with his latest column for Altrincham Today…

Following the disappointment of going out of the Emirates FA Cup last Saturday at Stockport County, we are back in Vanarama National League action again today as we welcome Ashton United to the J Davidson Stadium for a 3pm kick-off.

We dominated the game for 40 minutes at Edgeley Park, but Stockport scored with their first real opportunity and that seemed to change the complexion of the game completely.

Watch highlights from the game at Edgeley Park:

Within minutes, we suffered a further blow as Sean Williams had to come off with what has turned out to be a broken metatarsal, which will keep him out of action for about six weeks. That was a real blow as Sean had been running the show to that point and has been a big plus for us in recent games.

We never really got going again in the second half which was very frustrating, particularly as there were almost 700 Alty fans there… a quite amazing turnout.

Some of the amazing Robins following at Edgeley Park

Our FA Cup run means that we have only played two league games since September 15th, but now we have two home games in Vanarama National League North in four days and we really need to continue the momentum that has seen us win our last three games played at the J Davidson Stadium, particularly as we are just five points behind Telford United, who are in the final play-off spot. We also have a game in hand, so there is a good opportunity here for us to get towards the play-off mix.

Today’s opponents, Ashton United, were promoted with us from the Evo-Stik Premier Division last season and we had three tremendous games with Jody Banim’s side that produced 17 goals. Despite losing some very good players in the summer, they have surprised a few people and are just two points behind us in the league. Both teams have been involved in games that have had plenty of goals this season with the 24 games played between the two teams producing 92 goals, which is not far short of four goals per game.

Jordan Hulme on the ball at Stockport

Ben Harrison has gone out on loan this week to Trafford and played the majority of their game on Tuesday night… hopefully he will get plenty of playing minutes during his time at Shawe View.

As committed commercial supporters of Altrincham Football Club, Smart Storage have decided to launch this year’s Christmas Toy appeal at today’s game, which they are sponsoring, and we are hoping as many Robins fans as possible are able to bring a toy or gift with them to drop off inside the ground before kick-off and give the initiative a bumper start.

Pictures: Michael Ripley