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Mixed fortunes for Alty stars as Robins get their rhythm back with six-goal win

Alty will look to keep Tuesday night's form going with a trip to Boreham Wood on Saturday.

Altrincham have experienced mixed fortunes on the international front, with defender Jake Cooper primed for his first England C cap on Tuesday but vice-captain Isaac Marriott forced to pull out of the squad through injury.

In what was a bitter blow for Alty midfielder Marriott, who described his first-ever inclusion in an England squad as "a proud moment", he was forced to withdraw after picking up an injury at the end of last Saturday's home game with Woking that is still being assessed by the club.

But that was offset by news that England C boss Paul Fairclough had drafted in Alty's in-form centre-back Cooper for the friendly with Wales C at Llanelli FC's Stebonheath Park stadium on Tuesday, kicking off at 7.45pm.

Alty's Jake Cooper has been drafted in to the England C squad

The Robins centre-back had a spell on loan at Darlington last season but has made a starting place his own at The J.Davidson Stadium, usually alongside the equally-impressive Lewis Baines, during a campaign that has seen Phil Parkinson's side feature prominently in the play-off places.

Reflecting on the kudos for Alty of having two players selected for England in quick succession, coach Neil Sorvel said: "When you look at how both Isaac and Jake have performed on a consistent basis this season, no-one could possibly quibble with their inclusion in the England squad, and it's great for the club as well as an honour for the lads.

"It's just really unfortunate for Isaac that he picked up that injury and has had to withdraw because he was buzzing at the prospect of winning a cap. But conversely, it's brilliant for Jake that he has now been called up, and there's no question it is thoroughly deserved after the season he's had so far."

Alty returned to the play-off places with a thumping 6-1 win over York City on Tuesday night, and they will be hoping to remain in the top seven with a positive result on Saturday away to a Boreham Wood side who are accustomed to being in the play-offs themselves but have struggled uncharacteristically this season.

"They haven't done as well as they would have liked, but they have players with masses of experience who have been with them for a number of seasons, so we are expecting a really tough encounter there," added Sorvel. "There is a lot of physicality in their ranks, but they are capable of playing some good stuff as well.

"They have kept the nucleus of the side together from recent play-off campaigns, and they will be desperate for points to put more distance between themselves and the relegation places, so we are going to have to be at our best.

"We should go there in a positive mood, though, after last Tuesday, when there was an element of getting our rhythm and groove back. Our attacking play really came to the fore, and we were delighted with the victory and the goals we scored."