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View from the Dugout: We expect a response today after inept Bank Holiday defeat

It was a crazy bank holiday weekend really.

Altrincham FC vs Darlington FCrNational League North FixturerDate: 24th August 2019rVenue: J Davidson Stadium, Moss LanerAttendance: 994rFinal Score: 1-1rScorers: Jordan HulmerCopyright Michael Ripley Photographyr

Today’s column is from assistant manager Neil Sorvel…

It was a crazy bank holiday weekend really.

Despite playing with 10 men for more than an hour last Saturday against Darlington, after Tom Hannigan was sent off, we managed to get our noses in front through a Jordan Hulme goal and then held on quite comfortably for half an hour, before Steven Drench had the huge misfortune to rupture his Achilles and Darlington equalised from a free kick in the third minute of added time when we were down to nine men… it almost felt like a defeat after a really good performance from the point that we were reduced to 10 men.

Watch highlights from the Darlington draw:

We then put in an inept performance at Boston on Bank Holiday Monday and ended up with just one point from the weekend, when we were really looking for four.

The game was played in a temperature of over 30 degrees  and we were tired from Saturday, but I never felt that we were right from the off, although we had two good chances in the first half hour.

Tony Thompson made a great save to deny Dominic Knowles to keep the score at 0-0 but we knew that the first goal was very important and we conceded twice in the last few minutes of the first half and we were always up against it from that point. We improved marginally in the second half before the third goal killed the game as contest and things went even further downhill from there.

John Johnston on the ball against Darlington Pic: Michael Ripley

We take on Farsley Celtic today at the J Davidson Stadium at 3pm and they will be quite pleased with their start to the season, having won the Northern Premier League last season. Like us, a year ago, they have experienced a bounce going into a new league with a very similar squad to last season and our former goalkeeper, Elliott Wynne, has played every game to date.

We expect a response from the 5-0 defeat to Boston and I am sure that we will get it. The last time we played Farsley at home was on the back of a very disappointing FA Cup defeat against Shildon and we answered the critics with a terrific 6-0 win, so we know that we have the capability to get our league campaign back on track today.

Goalmouth action against Boston Pic: Jonathan Moore

Josh Hancock was able to take part in the latter stages of Thursday night’s training session. He is touch and go for today, but should be OK for Tuesday night’s trip to Southport.

Jake Moult played a full 90 minutes for the reserves on Tuesday night, having played 20 minutes at Boston the previous day and is available again, following his hernia operation.

Tom Hancock starts his three-match suspension for his sending off at Darlington and we are very pleased to have brought Yusifu Ceesay back to the club, on loan until January. Yusif is unpredictable and did very well for us in his loan spell in the final three months of last season, so he really adds to our attacking options.

Top picture: Michael Ripley