Sinnott Speaks: FA Cup win is a huge boost, but time to refocus back on the league

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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.

I was delighted to get through last Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Chester by a 1-0 scoreline. We have suffered a bit in the Cup in recent years, with one or two results we are not proud of, so to progress is great. I thought it was an entertaining game, lots of end-to-end action and good value all round.

Watch highlights from the game:

It was a good save from the free kick that led to the goal, and if the keeper is going to parry it like that, who better to be on hand for the scraps than Reevesie? He’s a sniffer, isn’t he? I just thought from one to 11, plus the two subs who went on, we were superb to a man. Each played a different part, but it added up to a great performance and great result.

With regards to the penalty that was awarded to us and then rescinded, as soon as it was given, Steve Burr was up in arms about it on the Chester bench, and I can’t say I blame him.

I said to him straightaway it wasn’t a penalty. You could tell from the way the ball came out so fast that the keeper had got a solid contact on it. It depends what your integrity levels are like. I could shout and bawl and complain about it until the cows come home, but was the right decision arrived at? Yes, I would say it was.

Jordan Sinnott goes on a run down the wing
Jordan Sinnott goes on a run down the wing

But, what I mean about integrity is, shouldn’t the restart have been different? It was a 50-50 challenge, with the ball sliding out towards the touchline off the keeper, so logically it should have been a drop-ball there. Instead, the ball was given to their keeper on the edge of his area. Was that the right way to restart it? I’m not sure it was.

But, on the penalty, it was the right decision in the end. Perhaps you could say it was a brave decision, certainly a correct one, so I would commend him for that. I can’t get into the referee’s mind, so I can’t really comment on what made him change it. He made a bad decision and had players milling round him, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he wouldn’t have altered the decision anyway. We just don’t know, but when the incident happened, he should have taken himself away and thought about it for a couple of seconds before reaching a conclusion.

Alty celebrate Damien Reeves' winning goal
Alty celebrate Damien Reeves’ winning goal

Monday night’s televised draw was kind to us in that we are at home again against Barnsley, who are a big club and it’s only seven or eight years ago that they reached the semi-final of this competition, beating Chelsea and Liverpool on the way, so that’s a huge game to look forward to, but we have to get our heads back on the National League now and Saturday’s home game with Torquay.

They had a shocking afternoon, by all accounts, going out of the FA Cup at Basingstoke, but their league form since Kevin Nicholson took over a few weeks ago has been good and in my view, the game will be a close affair.

Pictures: Michael Ripley

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