ALTRINCHAM are up and running in the Vanarama Conference after winning their first-ever game against Bristol Rovers with an all-round team effort that Lee Sinnott hailed as 'outstanding'.

Sinnott challenged his players to 'ask questions’ of teams in non-League football's top flight, and an outplayed, outfought Rovers were stumped for an answer, as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat.

"It is about ticking boxes, and it’s pleasing that we are already doing that," said the Alty manager.

"What we have seen in our three games so far is progression, and that is important, because if you are stagnating, you end up scratching your head a bit.

"But we did things better in our second game, compared to the opener at Aldershot, and against Bristol Rovers, we did things better again.

"Of course, it is pleasing to see points on the board, but it is also important to see that continuing improvement.

"Bristol Rovers arrived here as a big club at this level, but we concentrated on what we are about, and our efforts were rewarded. Deservedly so, too, because it was an outstanding all-round team effort, so much so that I can’t really single out any one individual.

"They all played their part, and what we are seeing is we can ask questions of teams in this division, which is what I wanted at the outset."

While there were jubilant scenes at the end, Sinnott insisted he and his players would be keeping their feet on the ground, as they prepared for Saturday’s trip to Southport, followed by a Bank Holiday Monday home game against Gateshead.

"I’m not getting carried away, no chance," he said. "I’m not saying we are going to do this or that, but I am pleased to see we are learning game by game. We are in a new environment, and we are becoming accustomed to it.

"There have been plenty of positives, but I’m not ignoring any mistakes we’ve made. I always analyse every minute of every game, and if there are things we’ve got wrong, we will work on them.’

Shaun Densmore is missing with a broken toe this weekend, but Tom Marshall has been cleared to continue playing, despite breaking a bone in his hand.