Aldershot Town 3 Altrincham 1
THREE months after the euphoria of winning promotion in dramatic fashion, Altrincham experienced the reality of life at the highest level of non-League football during this trip to Hampshire in the Vanarama Conference, on Saturday.
The Robins started well enough against an Aldershot side which had just managed to avoid being relegated after starting last season with a 10-point deduction.
But the visitors fell behind in only the 10th minute when the Shots made progress on the right and, benefitting from a rebound off Alty's Mike Williams, Aldershot's leading striker, Brett Williams, scored despite appeals for offside.
The Shots made it 2-0 after 34 minutes, when Scott got free on the left of goal and his low pass inside was met by the unmarked Roberts, who made no mistake.
So, Alty trailed 2-0 at the break having played some good fottoball but having lacked the incision to break through the Shots' rearguard.
Altrincham made a double defensive change at the interval as left-back Adam Griffin and left-sided centre-back Mike Williams gave way to centre-backs Scott Leather and Tom Marshall.
That signalled a change from a back four to a back three, with Densmore and Clee now deployed as wing backs.
However, Aldesrshot penned Alty back from the second-half resumption and, after several corners, they made it 3-0 in the 51st minute.
Alty defended a hit-and-hope low cross from the right touchline poorly, allowing the ball to bounce across the goalmouth to Scott, who beat Coburn.
Some hope was restored when a smart move up the middle ended with Gillespie's excellent feed for Clee, who scored with a low shot across the keeper from left of goal.
There was still more than half an hour left. But it was Alty's Stuart Coburn who had to make several impressive saves to prevent any further scoring, with Gillespie's effort, which just cleared the bar being Alty's best effort.
ALTRINCHAM Coburn, Densmore (capt), Havern, M Williams, Griffin; Richman, Lawrie, Cavanagh, Clee; Gillespie Reeves. Subs: Leather, Marshall, Wilkinson, Perry, Crowther.
Altrincham are at home against Bristol Rovers on Saturday.