Updated: Saturday, 20th April 2019 @ 3:28pm

Non-league Matters: Altrincham players geared for promotion push after play-off place secured

Non-league Matters: Altrincham players geared for promotion push after play-off place secured

By Matt Davies

Altrincham’s players are ready and raring to go ahead of Tuesday’s play-off semi-final first leg against Brackley Town.

After securing a play-off place with a game to spare, Alty now face the prospect of a further three matches if they are to be promoted this season.

Captain Shaun Densmore feels they are prepared for the challenge ahead and said it is now up to the players to finish off their good work.

“We’ve done the first step by making them, now we need to go one further,” he said. “No matter who it was going to be, Guiseley or Brackley, they are different propositions.

“Brackley are a bit more direct whereas Guiseley like to play, so we know what we are going to expect.”

The Saints put four past the Robins on the opening day of the season but the Alty full-back insisted his side have come a long way since then.

“We’ve become a lot more solid as a unit,” Densmore explained.

“If you look back over the last 20-25 games we’re going into the play-offs in good form.

“In the first few games we conceded eight or nine goals but since then we’re only conceding ones and twos – we’ll take that solidarity into the play-offs.”

It is not just Altrincham’s defence that has impressed this season either, as the sixth goal against Droylsden marked their 100th in the league this season.

Young forward Duncan Watmore has netted 14 times so far this campaign and after sitting out the Droylsden victory is raring to go.

“I love it here, I’m contracted to next season and we’re just looking to the play-offs now,” he said.

“Now we’ve got Brackley, I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. But we’re going to have to beat whatever is in front of us if we are to progress.

“Tuesday is important, we’re the inform team and I’m looking forward to it.”

Alongside Watmore, the Robins possess the league’s most potent finisher, as Damian Reeves has so far netted 36 in the BSB North – and 41 for the season.

Alty’s star striker is expecting a tough game against Brackley but, like Densmore, knows Lee Sinnott’s squad have the capabilities to see the job out.

“We’ve played 40 odd games up to now and the lads have to pull themselves together and dig it out for another two or three,” he said.

With the home leg of the play-off tie first up, Reeves knows the players will have to be at their very best, if they are to take a lead to St James Park.

“Especially with it being a home leg we would like to get an advantage but it doesn’t always happen like that,” said Reeves.

“We’ve got to perform ourselves – we can’t say we’re going to do this, that, or the other and then go out there and not perform.

“As long as we perform to what we know we are capable of then we know we’ve got a really good chance.”

Should Altrincham beat Brackley, they will face the winners of Guiseley and Halifax Town in the play-off final on Sunday May 12.

Picture courtesy of GRPhotography, with thanks

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