Phil Parkinson made an impassioned plea for unity after Altrincham followed up their first win of the season with their first league defeat on the road since January at Brackley Town on Saturday.

The goals flowed freely in a 3-2 victory over Alfreton a few days earlier, but they proved harder to come by in Northamptonshire, as Brackley went ahead in the first half and survived a John Johnston penalty miss to hang on for the points.

While admitting last season’s play-off semi-finalists have yet to hit peak form, Parkinson backed them to turn the corner and insisted a united front would make it happen all the sooner.

“The players are devastated and are trying to find reasons why we haven’t won that game,” said the Alty boss, whose side face Darlington at home on Saturday.

“We are not quite getting the rub of the green at the moment, with things like the save from JJ’s penalty.

“I’d never attach any blame to anyone brave enough to step forward and take one, but if it goes in, everyone goes away feeling different.”

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