Altrincham's bosses have vowed to address the mounting pitch problems that are threatening to cast a shadow over the team's push for an historic promotion to the Football League.
An outstanding 1-0 win at Solihull Moors last Saturday lifted the Robins into fourth place in the Vanarama National League, but frustration followed three days later when heavy rain caused the postponement of their home game with Dorking Wanderers due to a waterlogged surface.
It was the third postponement because of an unfit pitch at The J.Davidson Stadium in the space of two months, and the club responded by issuing a statement that acknowledged the need for action to produce a playing surface more suited to manager Phil Parkinson's preferred style of play.
"We are aware that we have had a level of postponed games that is beyond what we or our supporters expected this season," said interim chief executive Sam Mackenzie. "It is also clear that the state of the pitch in general is not as it should be.
"We are currently without a full-time groundsman, but we have engaged two superb groundsmen on an interim basis who are working in tandem to drive a pitch improvement programme to get us to the end of the season. And in that time, we will carry out a thorough review of what we will need to overhaul during the close season, with active support from the companies we worked with in 2021.
"A Phil Parkinson team needs the best possible playing surface, and we have worked hard over the last few seasons to satisfy this criterion. But we always have to balance the budget across all lines of our business. And we were especially sensitive to the needs of the team in January, coming through the month with a strengthened squad, as Alex Newby joined us permanently.
"We have invested in building one of the most exciting squads in the National League, but we know we must make progress with the pitch and more broadly in the stadium as a whole. We now need to determine what the balance will be in coming seasons, between on and off the pitch (and indeed the pitch itself) and ensure that we can achieve the level of investment needed to make this happen."
In a timely boost for Alty, ahead of Saturday's first-ever home league fixture with Rochdale, in-form central defender Jake Cooper has pledged his future to the club by becoming the latest player to sign a new contract.
"Talks started a few months ago, and it has been a pretty straightforward process really," he said. "I have really enjoyed my time here, since arriving from Rotherham United, and I'm delighted to have signed a new deal.
"The gaffer has shown faith in me from the beginning, and I feel I am performing well. It helps that the team are going great guns as well, but I do feel confident in my own ability every time I step on the pitch, and that is important."