Sinnott Speaks: So pleased our last-minute derby win gave fantastic fans something to cheer

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Altrincham FC manager Lee Sinnott will be giving us the inside track on the Robins’ return to the Conference. Here’s his latest column for Altrincham Today.

A lot of boxes were ticked in Tuesday night’s dramatic victory over Macclesfield, most notably our first clean sheet of the campaign and putting on a show in a local derby that means a hell of a lot to our supporters.

The performance and result in losing 4-0 against Welling on Saturday hurt me personally, because of the belief I have in these players. Right from the first whistle on Tuesday night, they were at it.

Sometimes, local derbies can be a let-down and a bit boring, but this one was on a knife-edge for the whole 90 minutes. Both teams had opportunities, with one falling for Damian Reeves in the first half and Stuart Coburn making a great save not long before we scored.

And, of course, the goal that settled it in the last minute was a wonderful strike from James Lawrie. Full credit to James, he caught it so sweetly on the volley, and it was a goal that deserved to win any game. It was a tight encounter that could have gone either way, but I don’t think anyone can question our right to the points.

[blockquote]I said to the players afterwards that praise was as fitting tonight as criticism was on Saturday[/blockquote]

The support from the fans in a great crowd of over 1,800 was fantastic, really helping to make it a great night, reminiscent of Brackley in the play-offs a couple of years ago and the Promotion Play-Off Final win against Guiseley at the end of last season.

Turning up in such numbers, getting behind the team and creating such a vibrant atmosphere and, finally, celebrating a late winning goal like that made it a memorable night.

No-one likes being beaten four or five nil, but they have been patient, and I’m so pleased we gave them something more like it against Macclesfield. Hopefully it was worth it.

I thought it was such an exciting game, and, of course, it was rounded off by a wonderful goal. I said to the players afterwards that praise was as fitting tonight as criticism was on Saturday, but we move on to the Halifax game now and make sure we focus on that.

I do believe in these players, and if they show the fight that was evident against Macclesfield, the talent will shine through. The physical and mental requirements are a lot greater than last season. The Vanarama Conference is a big step up from the Vanarama Conference North, but we know what is needed and have formulated a plan to meet the challenge head-on. If we focus on that, we will move forward and progress.

Watch James Lawrie’s stunning 30-yard volley that won the match

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