Altrincham were the victim of a third consecutive defeat on Saturday where they were beaten by three goals to two against Boreham Wood.
The game was once again rearranged to Broadhurst Park due to flooding at the J Davidson Stadium. And like their previous game at FC United of Manchester’s stadium, they started brightly and full of energy.
Yet on 30 minutes the Robins found themselves in a precarious position: 2 nil down and a man down, with Connor Hampson picking up a second yellow card inside half an hour for an alleged late challenge on Kane Smith.
“I thought we started really well, [we] conceded against the run of play. But that’s the way it’s going at the moment,” said Parkinson.
Parkinson was incensed with the referee’s decision to send Hampson off, as many on the Altrincham bench thought the red card was harsh.
“It was not a sending off. He [the referee] even said Connor won the ball so I don’t understand why he’s given a free-kick,” added Parkinson.
Altrincham’s predicament was worsened on 48 minutes when the extremely skilful Corey Whitely, who proved to be a constant thorn in the Robins’ side all afternoon, made it 3-0 with a crisp volley from 20 yards.
“We can’t keep conceding [at least] two goals a game,” said Parkinson. “And we can’t keep conceding the goals that we are.”
At this point in the game, many feared that Boreham Wood would go on to get five or six goals. Yet remarkably the Robins regained momentum and clawed two goals back in the final 30 minutes.
“[I’m] pleased with the character, which has never been in doubt with this group of players,” added Parkinson. “To come back from 3-0 down to 3-2 was a good achievement, but it doesn’t mean anything as you get zero credit for it.”
After another disappointing defeat, Altrincham look to bounce back and reverse their plight in form on Tuesday night when they take on Chesterfield at the Technique Stadium. But Parkinson has a few points to contend with before their midweek encounter.
“We’ve played almost an entire game with ten men. [There’s] a lot of niggles and knocks at the moment,” added Parkinson.
Ryan Colclough is a particular injury concern for Altrincham, after he took an early knock on Saturday and forced Parkinson into a substitution.
“We’ll see how he settles down. He’s had a spate of injuries and he knows his body, hopefully [the substitution] was a bit precautionary,” added Parkinson.
What is more concerning for Parkinson is that morale is substantially lower than it was only a couple of weeks ago. His side have gone from flying high in the play-off spots to finding themselves in the midst of a mini rut.
“This always had the potential to happen where we all feel top of the world, where we think what a great result…there’s such fine margins in games,” stated Parkinson.
The management will take respite from the fact that Altrincham have already proven they can reverse poor form this season. After all, it was victory against Chesterfield in November that turned around their fortunes.
But Parkinson will know that if the Robins are to get anything against another professional outfit, they will need to step up a gear.
Photos: Mike Ripley & Jonathan Moore