Sinnott Speaks: An up and down week, but we’re still moving in the right direction

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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.

There’s no column from Lee this week, so instead we’re printing his post-match reaction after Tuesday’s defeat at Woking.

“I thought we rode our luck a bit for the first 15 minutes. It was as if one or two were still on the bus, but we grew into the game after that, and I would sum it up by saying we were ok-to-good with a few things we did, but a couple of other things prevented us pushing on from there. Their first goal, for instance. We didn’t defend it well enough, the way it travelled through the near post and into a dangerous area. A similar thing happened earlier on, so you have to say we didn’t heed the warning. For the second goal, it was a nice ball threaded through a gap, but we have been cutting those out recently.

If we had shown some of the forward play that has been evident of late, we could still have taken something out of the game. I’m not going to try and make a case for saying we could have won it, but you can argue we could have had something to show for our efforts.

Not least when you consider how Tom Marshall had a goal chalked off just before half-time, when it was still scoreless. As we came out for the start of the second half, the fourth official told us the referee had disallowed it because there was contact between Tom and the keeper but neither had actually touched the ball.

That implies Tom just careered into the keeper, which isn’t exactly how I saw it, or how Tom did, for that matter. He said he got a touch on the ball, and it’s clear it came off him and went in. He’s also adamant he didn’t foul anyone, but what can you do? Generally, I just think keepers get a bit over-protected.

Overall, I felt we were good in some areas but not others. We were very much in the game, though. You can go to some places and not be in it, but that wasn’t the case here. In fact, one of our best spells was after their first goal, when we had a go at them and threatened a couple of times.

Below: Highlights from Altrincham’s 2-1 win over Kidderminster on Saturday

Woking are a good team, very good going forward, hence their position in the table. So it perhaps shows the progress we are making that we are a bit disappointed at not taking something off them at their own ground.

You can see some of our attributes shining through. Much as Tols and I want to see us at the top of our game every time, and get frustrated when we’re not, I don’t want to put too much undue pressure on the players. I get frustrated because I want to see points on the board every game, but you have to take a step back, look at it logically and accept it can’t happen like that.

The important thing is we are continuing to move in the right direction. What I particularly liked against Wrexham and Kidderminster was the way we came back after going behind. We weren’t prepared to settle for just getting back on level terms. We wanted to win it, and that got us over the line each time.

Kidderminster are another good side, very strong and very sharp, but we played good football in pockets, and those pockets were enough to bring us two goals and an excellent three points. The good parts against Woking weren’t enough, but we are still learning and still striving to improve.

The idea when we took over was to turn draws into wins and losses into draws, and we are beginning to see that happening. It certainly has, often enough, in the last few games.”

As an injury update, ahead of Saturday’s game at Forest Green Rovers, Lee added: “We need to check on Stuart Coburn later in the week after he needed treatment in the second half. He just opened out a bit, clearing the ball, and he may have tweaked his groin. Everyone else is ok, except for Nicky Clee, who was playing with his little lad the other day and stubbed his toe, which has set him back a bit. He needs some training under his belt as well, so we are probably looking at the FA Trophy tie against Macclesfield or, more likely, the game after that.”

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