Altrincham will play their seventh consecutive away game today when they travel down to London and take on newly promoted Wealdstone FC.
“It would be nice next week to not have any travelling,” said Robins assistant manager Neil Sorvel. The strain of longer and more frequent travelling has not been evident so far – the Robins have looked competitive and robust in their opening league fixtures.
Since their disappointing FA Cup exit against AFC Fylde, Altrincham rebounded strongly with a hard-fought draw under the lights against Hartlepool and a first win of the season down in Dover.
“We’ve been competitive in every game which has been pleasing. We’ve not looked out of our depth so far,” said Sorvel.
On Tuesday night, Altrincham added to this uptick in form with a 3-0 win in the 1st round of the Cheshire Senior Cup against Barnton.
It provided an important opportunity to rotate the squad; a chance for the management to inject some fresh blood into the starting eleven.
“[It was] a useful workout, an opportunity to get some minutes into some lads that haven’t played so much,” said Sorvel.
Focus will revert back to the Robins’ league campaign today, where Altrincham will hope to capitalise on their growing confidence and add some more points to the board.
Once again, the part-timers will have to construct something special if they are to get anything from Wealdstone. Having won their previous three games, the home-side sit just one place off the play-off spots.
According to Sorvel, Wealdstone are symbolic of the type of tough opposition his side will face this season. “It’s a definite step up from the Conference North, how teams are set up and how organised they are,” said Sorvel.
Wealdstone have been lethal in front of goal this season; they are joint-second top goal scorers in the division, only bettered by league leaders Torquay.
Their backline is permeable to goals however, having haemorrhaged 15 goals in six games, the third most in the National League.
“[Wealdstone] are reminiscent to us in previous games, we’re always top scorers but probably conceded too many,” added Sorvel.
The Robins will look to exploit the host’s defensive woes through new signing Fisayo Adarabioyo. Sorvel and Parkinson will have been encouraged when the striker picked up his first goal of the campaign against Dover in only his second start.
Altrincham’s defensive fibres have also been recently strengthened with the signing of highly rated Billy Sass-Davies from Crewe Alexandra. The central-defender will be available for selection for today’s fixture and is almost certain to replace the injured Toby Mullarkey.
“I’m sure it will be a good game; they [Wealdstone] try and play the right way,” added Sorvel. With new additions and an increase in form, Altrincham will look to use this game as a necessary stepping stone to progress and move up the league table.
Photos: Michael Ripley