The Harriers clinched their place in the play-offs with this emphatic 4-1 win at relegated Altrincham today and now we have two games left to ensure we keep the second place spot we find ourselves at now or go on and finish top if we can win both and Fylde lose both of theirs. That still looks very unlikely though with them saving face yet again thanks to a referee handing them an in-ordinate amount of added on time. Today he gave them eleven minutes to rescue their game after trailing 1-0 to Bradford for ninety seven minutes.
If we don't manage to do either then the lowest we can go to is down to fourth place and allow Halifax and Chorley to climb above us.
With Arthur Gnahoua back from injury todays game at doomed Alty started with the Harriers running riot yet again and had already seen a couple of chances skied over before the sixth minute when we took the lead through a free kick routine that was both idiotic and sublime in one go. James McQuilkin and Elton N'Gwatala both stood over the ball and as Elton set up to take it McQuilkin pushed him away then sent the ball looping into the back of the Robins net. Elton himself should have scored our second goal a minute later but his wildly struck shot went way over the bar.
The action calmed down a little then and Altrincham came into the game a little more without ever really threatening Sam Hornby in the Harriers goal. Elton, again, saw a shot go the wrong side of the woodwork but not by so much this time and then the home side drew level.
The ball was punted upfield by Micah Evans to the ever dangerous Damian Reeves out wide. He collected the ball and then fired the ball home, on the angle, through a ruck of players to give them a faint hope of possibly getting a point from the game.
At the re-start Reeves, again, went close to adding a second goal as Altrincham came out all guns blazing and then at the other end Arthur Gnahoua, looking a little off the pace due to his time out injured, tested Stuart Tomlinson in the Robins goal but the burly keeper saved it easily. This half became a less equal affair with the home side capitulating completely once we had scored our second goal.
Ryan Croasdale had just struck the woodwork with a fierce shot that ricocheted around the goalmouth minutes before Joe Ironside added our second and his fifth goal in seven games. The ball had been played in and Jordan Tunnicliffe, on the edge of the box, rose to head it down but as it hit the ground in front of the goal Ironside got to it first and swept it home to give us the lead once more.
Ten minutes after the goal we bought on Emmanuel Sonupè in place of the tiring Gnahoua and within a minute of his arrival he came close to opening his account with us with a well struck shot that went just over the bar. With the pace of Sonupè now at our disposal we began to carve the Robins open continually and our third goal was one to equal our first in terms of sheer audacity.
Keith Lowe played a beautiful cross field ball to Ironside who then flicked it on to N'Gwatala with his head. Eltons ball in was headed away by a defender but only as far as Sonupè who the volleyed the ball against the crossbar and straight up into the air to land at the feet of Zaine Francis-Angol. He played the ball forward to Andre Brown (on earlier for Daniel Nti) and he swivelled round and fired the ball superbly
into the far corner of Tomlinsons goal.
We were now home and dry with all three points but we weren't going to stop there. Ten minutes later Sonupè claimed his first goal ever goal at professional level when he put away our fourth goal of the day when Tomlinson spilled the ball from an Ironside shot.
We decided enough was enough for forlorn Altrincham and spent the remainder of the game toying with them and generally running the time down.
We're away from home again at Gainsborough next Saturday and with them not wanting to join Altrincham in being relegated they'll be fighting for all the points they can get. It's going to be a tougher game than today but if we aim to finish in second place we have to go out and make sure we win it.