Rival boss Anthony Johnson threw his weight behind Matt Doughty’s claims to continue as Altrincham manager after admitting luck had played a part in the game that finally relegated the Robins at Moor Lane on Saturday.

Johnson readily conceded his Salford City promotion hopefuls could easily have been trailing 2-0 after surviving the first of three strong Alty penalty appeals in first-half stoppage time. To add insult to injury, Salford equalised with a hotly-disputed spot-kick early in the second half and went on to complete a 2-1 win that sealed The Robins’ fate.

With Alty inviting applications for the manager’s job Doughty must now wait to see if he is kept on but Johnson spoke up for him. He said, ‘When you look at the chances Alty had in the first half and their shout for a penalty just before half time, we were lucky to come in only 1-0 down. If the Alty lads had played like that all season and put that much effort in, there’s not a chance they’d have been relegated.

The way they battled, picked second balls up and did the basics and the way they were set up by their management team, they would have had no problems whatsoever.’

Doughty (right), whose side face Brackley Town at The J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday (3pm), explained why he still hopes to get the nod from Alty’s board. He said, ‘The main feeling is one of immense sadness for everyone connected with the club. It’s not nice being part of something like this, and it is a really sad day.

But I know I am good enough to do the job, especially with the response I’ve had from the players since taking over. Anyone who has watched our games will have seen signs of improvement, signs of fight from the players and signs of something positive starting to take shape. The likes of Shaun Densmore, Jake Moult, Gary Jones and Simon Richman are right behind me and I am convinced we can recover and come back stronger'”.

Source: www.messengernewspapers.co.uk

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