Robins look to push on this Saturday after a frustrating draw

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Despite playing against ten-men for over an hour, Altrincham were held by highflyers Hartlepool United to a one-all draw at the J Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night. 

“We should’ve got more than a point from the game,” said Parkinson. “I’m just frustrated [that] with the pressure we had on their box that we couldn’t get that winner in the end.”

For the opening 20 minutes Hartlepool controlled possession and commanded the majority of the chances. 

“The way we started, they were well on top, and eleven vs eleven it didn’t look too good for us,” stated Parkinson.

But before the visitors could make the most of their dominance with all 11 men, on 23 minutes the referee abruptly sent off Lewis Cass for a high challenge on Matty Kosylo.

Lewis Cass is sent off after 23 minutes.

“He was [the referee] quite sharp on his decision,” said Parkinson. “I didn’t see many from Hartlepool complaining.”

Hartlepool responded well to going a man down and even managed to take the lead 10 minutes later. Luke Molyneux’s cross set up Ryan Oates in the six-yard box, who duly converted his effort in the midst of a goal mouth scramble. 

The visitors maintained their supremacy for the remainder of the first half until the ever-present Ryan Colclough put the hosts level during added time. Ben Killip looked to have initially saved Colclough’s long-range shot until the goalkeeper fumbled the ball at his near post and into the net. 

Killip spills the ball into the net to make it 1-1.

This changed the complexion of the second half and gave Altrincham the momentum to dominate proceedings.

“When you’re at eleven vs ten, the dominance we had… we’re really disappointed that we didn’t come away with three points,” said Parkinson.

Like Altrincham’s previous encounter with the County Durham contingent, the Robins squandered multiple chances to take all three points. 

“We could’ve had six points against Hartlepool this season,” added Parkinson. 

And although Parkinson was ultimately disappointed with the result, the Altrincham boss caveated his frustration with an upbeat remark.

“Would you have [taken] a point against Hartlepool, who are one of the favourites for the championship? You probably would,” said Parkinson.

The outstretched Tom Peers goes agonisingly close to making it 2-1.

Altrincham travel down to Hampshire this weekend to take on Aldershot Town in the National League.

One concern for Parkinson is Montel Gibson, who took a knock on Tuesday night and could be unavailable for this weekend’s fixture.

“Gibson slightly twinged his knee…so he had to come off,” stated Parkinson.

Even if Gibson is out for Saturday’s encounter, Parkinson tempered any suggestion that his side will set up differently against Aldershot.

“We never set up any other way, we set up to try and win every game,” said Parkinson. “We never set up to try and keep the other team out.”

Yusifu Ceesay tries to pull off an acrobatic effort.

Setting up positively, though, may not be the right strategy for all future encounters, with Parkinson suggesting that Altrincham’s approach may change for certain fixtures. 

“There’s not really a kind of home and away tactic we have,” said Parkinson. [But] maybe that’s something we have to do, like Hartlepool did [on Tuesday].”

And Robins top goal scorer, Josh Hancock, is likely to be available for selection against Aldershot after a successful screening earlier on in the week. 

“Hancock has had a scan, he’s clear so he’ll be available if he trains well on Thursday,” added Parkinson.

If you would like to watch Altrincham’s encounter at Aldershot this Saturday at 3pm, follow the link to be directed to the streaming details: https://www.theshots.co.uk/shots-tv-live-altrincham-fc-h/.

Photos: Mike Ripley & Jonathan Moore

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