Sinnott Speaks: Away joy at last… and now we must wipe away the bitter memory of Braintree

Southport FC vs Altrincham FC
Vanarama National League Fixture
Date: 31st August 2015
Venue: Merseyrail Community Stadium, Haig Avenue
Final Score: 3-0 
Copyright Michael Ripley Photography
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Altrincham FC manager Lee Sinnott gives us the inside track on the Robins’ progress this season in the Vanarama National League. Here’s his latest column for Altrincham Today.

We finally won on our travels for the first time this season with a 1-0 victory at Boreham Wood on Saturday and whilst that didn’t improve our position in the league, it gives us a four-point advantage over Ian Allinson’s team who are just one spot below us in 20th place in the Vanarama National League.

Michael Rankine confidently despatched a penalty, awarded in the 11th minute after Ryan Crowther was tripped in the box and it’s the first spot kick that we have converted since the season before last… hopefully, it will not be too long before we add to that tally.

We created some good chances, mainly in the second half, but at 1-0 you are always wary and a wonderful strike in added time by their substitute, Junior Morias, hit the post and fortunately the headed rebound went over, meaning that we had not only won but also achieved our first clean sheet of the campaign.

We had 60 travelling fans in a small crowd of less than four hundred and they really made themselves heard and that was appreciated by all of the players.

Ryan Crowther takes on two players in the home defeat to Braintree
Ryan Crowther takes on two players in the home defeat to Braintree. Images: Michael Ripley

After a midweek without a game, we have two home games in four days that represents the start of a 15-day period that brings five league games in total.

Barrow, our visitors on Saturday, have settled into the league quite well following their promotion as champions of National League North last season and Halifax have just appointed the former Oldham Athletic boss, Darren Kelly, as their new manager, with Jim Harvey as his assistant.

So we can expect two challenging tests, yet both games give us the opportunity to wipe away some of the bitter memory of the 4-0 defeat at home to Braintree a fortnight ago… although I have to say, that I think that game will stick with me for a very long time.

On the injury front, my captain, Shaun Densmore, and Nicky Clee may be available, depending upon how they react to training on Thursday night, although Michael Rankine, who has led the line magnificently this season, is a doubt with a back problem.

Looking at Barrow’s record to date, I think that we can expect a tight game, where the first goal, as ever, will be very important. There should be a good atmosphere, with a strong travelling contingent coming down from Cumbria, so we will need all of our fans behind us again this weekend.

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