Injury-ravaged Robins look to take league form into Cup clash at Chester

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Altrincham will hope to emulate their impressive league form in the FA Trophy this weekend as they take on Chester FC in the 1st round at the Deva Stadium. 

The Robins will go into the fixture – which has been switched from the J Davidson Stadium due to a waterlogged pitch – full of confidence, having produced one of their most assured away performances of the season against Dagenham and Redbridge. “[I’m] absolutely delighted… I’m really pleased with the result,” said Parkinson. 

It was Altrincham’s first opportunity to play in front of a crowd since March 2020. Nevertheless, the vocal Dagenham and Redbridge fans failed to knock Altrincham off their perch; the Robins performed with composure and stuck to their possession-based instincts. “[In the] first half we showed what we were all about,” added Parkinson.

One player that caught the eye of the management was Yusifu Ceesay, who since signing for Altrincham on a permanent basis has not been playing to his potential.  

“In the first half I thought he was a real menace, he should’ve scored,” stated Parkinson. “He needed that performance. Because he’s not shown what he’s capable of yet and he did that today.”

Ceesay in action recently against Wrexham

Although Altrincham moved up to third after their victory, an air of unease hangs over the Altrincham management – the club find themselves embroiled in a desperate injury crisis.

This was exacerbated on Saturday after Altrincham were forced into making two substitutions because of injuries to Ritchie Sutton and Ryan Colcough. Sutton was substituted at half-time, after potentially breaking his toe. Colclough’s injury, on the other hand, could be far more serious. He was on the receiving end of a horrific lunging tackle, deep in Altrincham’s half. 

“It feels like a hard luck story, we’re showing real resilience to come to this level. I bet we’re still touching seven or eight injuries,” added Parkinson.

Parkinson’s distress was palpable in his post-match interview, and vented his frustration about the lack of protection the Altrincham players are getting this season. 

“I’m pretty emotional about it [Colcough’s injury] because I’m so frustrated with the amount of tackles. He’s potentially broken his tibia. I’m really frustrated that the referee or the officials have not seen that,” said Parkinson.

Ryan Colclough (seen here against Maidenhead) has escaped serious injury

A positive sign for the club is that Tommy Uda, Altrincham’s sports therapist, reported on Monday that Colclough is putting weight on his injured leg – a worst-case scenario looks to have been averted. 

Another problem to add to Altrincham’s woes is club captain and lynchpin of the midfield, Jake Moult, who is suspended for tomorrow’s fixture, after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against the Daggers. 

“He’s a big player for us, with the shortages, I’m going to be very busy on my phone, and it’s not always as simple as bringing players in,” said Parkinson.

On top of a worrying lack of squad depth, Altrincham’s record in the FA Trophy has been erratic in recent times. They have only made the second round four times in 15 years.

“We’ll try our best and we’ll go as strong as we can. But at this moment in time, we’re just going to be counting how many fit bodies we’ve got,” said Parkinson.

It’s a time of mixed emotions for Parkinson. But even during the club’s latest injury ordeal, Altrincham’s excellent league form means they are near the top of the tree this Christmas.   

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