View From The Dugout

View from the Dugout: We need to get back on track to keep up play-off push

By Neil Sorvel at

Assistant manager Neil Sorvel writes for Altrincham Today…

We were encouraged with Tuesday night’s performance, despite going down 2-0 at home to a strong Spennymoor side.

We identified their three key threats in Mark Anderson, Rob Ramshaw and Glenn Taylor and whilst James Jones and Tom Hannigan did a really good job on Taylor, the leading scorer in the Vanarama National League North with 19 goals, who didn’t really get a sniff all night, Anderson and Ramshaw have scored the two goals with decent finishes.

Highlights from the midweek defeat to Spennymoor:

In the previous two games against FC United and Bradford, we didn’t have the greater share of possession, which is unusual for us, whilst on Tuesday night, we got back to having more of the ball and the first 35 minutes were particularly encouraging, although we found things more difficult in the second half when we looked less likely as the game wore on.

Yusifu Ceesay, who is on loan from Blackpool until the end of the season, started his first game on Tuesday and he looked bright and threatening in the 1st half. He is a confident and unpredictable player and if we can get him facing the opposition goal more, he will be a real threat to opposing defences in our remaining matches.

Highlights from last Saturday’s draw at home to Bradford:

Today we take on Curzon Ashton, who are one of the league’s form teams, having taken 13 points from their last six games, which has put them on the fringe of the play-offs.

We are still hanging on to a play-off spot but having taken just one point from our last two games, at home to Bradford and Spennymoor, we need to get back on track today, particularly with two more home games to follow against Chester and Blyth Spartans. When you are going through a bit of a sticky patch, you have to keep working and playing your way through it and that’s what we will do.

Josh Hancock celebrates his goal against Bradford Park Avenue Pic: Jonathan Moore

Curzon are a good counter-attacking side with pace in wide areas and they like to play, so it should be an interesting and entertaining game and certainly one that we are more than capable of winning, providing we make sure that if we do have a lot of possession, that we don’t lose the ball in poor areas and that we lock down their counter attack.

Max Harrop is unlikely to be involved today, having come off with a twinge at the back of his knee on Tuesday and we are expecting to add a forward to the squad during the middle part of next week.

John Johnston on the ball against Spennymoor in midweek Pic: Michael Ripley