ALTRINCHAM head to Brackley Town today (3pm) as they look to build on the dramatic victory in midweek.
John Johnston's late winner five minutes from time saw The Robins pick up their first three points of the season at home to Alfreton Town on Tuesday night and boss Phil Parkinson will be hoping that that victory is the one that will spring the season into life.
His side have a chance to pick up two wins on the bounce against a Brackley side that have won one, drawn one and lost two of the four games that they have played thus far.
Late drama was present in their last game too, with the Saints leading newly promoted Kings Lynn Town until a penalty awarded in added time allowed Adam Marriott to level for the Norfolk side. That wasn’t the end of it though as Brackley were awarded a penalty themselves almost immediately after the restart, but Shane Byrne’s spot kick hit the crossbar & the referee blew the full-time whistle seconds later.
However, Brackley showed last season just how strong they are and after a 3rd placed finish in the National League North before losing on penalties to Spennymoor Town in the play-off semi-final, at the same time that Alty were suffering the same fate at Chorley. They are highly fancied to be in and around the promotion picture once again under manager Kevin Wilkin.
The two sides met twice in the league last campaign, picking up a victory a piece. The Robins picked up a 2-1 victory at St James Park before Christmas with goals from Simon Richman & Andy White before it was the turn of Brackley to pick up a 2-1 away win at the J. Davidson Stadium in April with a late winner when a Tom Hannigan back pass bounced cruelly past a distraught Tony Thompson.
Postcode (for Sat Nav): NN13 7EJ
Those travelling via public transport may be best getting the 10:27am CrossCountry service from Manchester Piccadilly to Banbury station.
There is no railway station in Brackley but Banbury town centre is a short walk away from the station and the 1:30pm number 500 bus service will the take supporters from their town centre to within touching distance of the ground.
The bus is scheduled to arrive at the Southfield Primary School stop, which is a five minute walk from the ground, at approximately 2:03pm.
Concessions, over 60s & Students: £8
Family ticket 2 adults 3 children £30
Live Commentary on Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, and the broadcast starts at 2.40pm.
The match commentary sponsor is Kids Disco Parties.
The commentator is Mark Simpson & the match summariser is Brian Flynn.
You can listen to Radio Robins in any of the 5 following ways:
a) Visit our 'MatchCentre' and click the 'Radio Robins' tab in the 'Brackley' match where the Mixlr player is embedded and just press play
b) The Radio Robins website www.radiorobins.com. Open the page in any web browser and the broadcast should start automatically.
c) Download and install the Mixlr app on Android devices from the Google Play Store - start the app and search for 'Radio Robins'.
d) Download and install the Mixlr app on Apple devices from the Apple Store - start the app and search for 'Radio Robins'.
e) There is a temporary WIX website at https://rr5977.wixsite.com/radiorobins
*Max attacks .. Max Harrops strives for an equaliser for Alty, but to no avail. Picture by Jonathan Moore.
It was a frustrating afternoon for Altrincham as they ran out 1-0 losers to promotion hopefuls Brackley Town.
Within the first five minutes, centre-back Tom Hannigan went into the book for Alty.
Despite the card, the Robins started well for the first 10 minutes, having plenty of possession.
Brackley were solid at the back, clearing several of Altrincham’s chances early on.
It was the hosts who almost took the lead in the 25th minute, when some good play down the left allowed James Armson to cut inside and fire a shot just wide of Steven Drench’s goal.
Just four minutes later, Brackley took the lead. An unstoppable 25-yard strike from Shane Byrne hit the inside of the post and went it.
The rest of the first-half faded out, with minimal chances for either side, and after one minute of added time, the referee blew his whistle.
Alty started the second-half strongly, with John Johnston going close early on.
However, the 53rd minute almost saw the Robins go two goals behind. James Jones lost control of the ball, gifting possession to Lee Ndlovu, whose resulting shot went straight at Drench.
Phil Parkinson made his first change of the game four minutes after - Josh Hancock made way for Max Harrop.
Only a minute later, Sean Williams had Alty’s best chance to equalise, but his 20-yard effort went wide.
With 25 minutes to go, Brackley forced Drench to make a double save - the first with his feet from Matt Lowe’s effort and the second from Ndlovu’s poor back-heel.
Alty went up the other end a minute later, and, after some good play near Brackley’s box, Jordan Hulme was brought down inside the area. The Robins were duly awarded a penalty, but Johnston's kick was saved by Lewis.
Parkinson made his second change of the game in the 68th minute, Simon Richman coming on for Conor Branson.
A minute later, new loan signing Ashley Hemmings beat his man down the left and found space for a shot that went wide.
In the 73rd minute, Williams tried his luck again. This time he was forced on to his left foot and fired wide.
Four minutes later, Harrop went close to equalising with an effort that forced Lewis to make a good save.
Altrincham’s final substitution came following this chance - Hemmings was replaced by Tom Peers.
With just over 10 minutes to go, Brackley made their first change of the game - Armson made way for Fairlamb.
The 81st minute saw the second yellow card of the game, with Brackley captain Gareth Dean being booked for arguing with referee Kristian Silcock.
Richman looked to make the game level a minute later, but his left-footed effort was scooped over the bar.
Alty went close again in the 86th minute. When Connor Hampson’s shot was saved by Lewis, Hulme tried to tap in the rebound, but the keeper beat him to it and Brackley were awarded a free-kick.
Johnston switched flanks when Hemmings was brought off and found space after cutting inside, only to fire just wide.
Brackley made their second change of the game - experienced midfielder Carl Baker came on for Glenn Walker.
The last minute of normal time saw Drench make a good save from a Byrne effort and Brackley make their final change, Tendai Daire replacing Matt Lowe.
The referee added a minimum of four minutes, but Alty couldn’t find an equaliser.
The final whistle blew with Altrincham losing away in the league for the first time since January.
The Robins play Darlington at home next Saturday - kick-off is 3pm at The J.Davidson Stadium.
Brackley Town goal - Shane Byrne (29)
Altrincham yellow card - Tom Hannigan (4); Brackley Town yellow card - Gareth Dean (81)