ALTRINCHAM went promotion crazy as the club’s biggest gate for more than 30 years cheered them over the line in the most dramatic finish imaginable to their play-off final against Guiseley.
With 4,632 crammed into the J.Davidson Stadium, manager Lee Sinnott sent on substitute Greg Wilkinson in the dying seconds of extra time, specifically to take one of the penalties that seemed sure to follow.
Exactly 22 seconds later, the midfielder coolly slotted home the winning goal with his first touch of the ball to send the crowd wild and Alty into the Skrill Conference Premier.
“You could not have written the script any better than that,’ beamed Alty chairman Grahame Rowley. ‘Everyone was waiting for penalties, and that’s why Greg was sent on. What happened after that was just unbelievable.
“In all my years with this club, I have never known anything like it for sheer drama. Of course, we all fondly remember being promoted at Stoke’s Britannia Stadium in 2005, but doing it at our own ground before such a massive crowd, with the late drama and celebrations that followed, put Saturday out on its own for me.
“We are looking to build the club up as much as we can, and it is important to keep the momentum going, after what we’ve done this season. Full credit to Lee for that. We were at a low ebb when he took over, after being relegated, but we have improved year on year and have now been promoted.”