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Stand-in Wilson hailed as Robins face defining Easter double-header

Alty are in action against Kidderminster Harriers today and Oldham Athletic on Monday.

George Wilson has been credited with minimising the impact of inspirational midfielder Isaac Marriott's injury absence ahead of a potentially defining weekend for Altrincham's hopes of reaching the promotion play-offs.

As feared, Alty vice-captain Marriott will miss the rest of the campaign and is now setting his sights on being fit for the start of next season after undergoing successful surgery on an ankle injury picked up against Woking earlier this month.

It's a significant setback that could have left a gaping hole in the centre of Alty's midfield, but Wilson has stepped in alongside Elliot Osborne and played a key role in ensuring the Robins remain in contention for a top-seven finish.

Snapped up from Southern League Premier Division Central side Coalville Town last summer, it was meant to be a gradual learning process for the former Loughborough University student in his first season in the Vanarama National League.

But he found himself in the thick of the action following Marriott's injury and has emerged with honours, going into crucial Easter weekend games away to Kidderminster Harriers this afternoon and at home to Oldham Athletic on Monday, both games kicking off at 3pm.

Alex Newby celebrates his opener against Gateshead last week

Speaking after a 4-1 win over Wealdstone that lifted the Robins back into the play-off positions, manager Phil Parkinson said: "That was a vital three points, and full credit to George for the way he has stepped into the breach. He was superb again, and the excellent goal he scored was the icing on the cake.

"He is proving himself a very capable understudy to Isaac, and that has been so important. He is equally adept as Elliot at switching the play, getting on the half-turn and driving the team forward. We're really lucky to have found him when we did - I say lucky, but a lot of hard work went into that.

"Elliot has taken him under his wing and helped him kick on, and the way they have played together and the levels they have shown has made it a seamless turnaround with Isaac missing."

Former Derby County and Hull City manager Phil Brown recently took over at Kidderminster, and Parkinson is expecting a tough test for his side this afternoon.

"He has got them fighting tooth and nail, and they look a different animal, but we have got something to fight for as well. We are fighting for a play-off place, and if it's going to be a war of attrition, we have to be ready for it."