PHIL Parkinson described how defender Tom Hannigan was "devastated" at conceding a second-half penalty that stalled Altrincham's march towards the Evo-Stik Premier summit at Whitby Town on Tuesday night.

Hannigan has formed an imperious centre-back partnership with Ben Harrison in recent weeks but erred for once with a high challenge that allowed Whitby to equalise from the spot after James Poole had opened the scoring.

Alty still moved into second place and can go one better if they take advantage of leaders Shaw Lane's FA Cup involvement by beating Halesowen at The J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday.

Speaking after a hard-fought 1-1 draw, Alty boss Parkinson said: "Tom is devastated because he hasn't put a foot wrong for so many games, picking up man-of-the-match awards along the way, but one wrong decision has cost us.

"He only had eyes for the ball and didn't see the lad he caught, but it was high and a penalty.

"It was just really unfortunate, the position he found himself in, because I thought he and Ben Harrison were the big reason we looked so comfortable at the back.

"That moment apart, they were outstanding again.

"It's a big ask for lads with 9-5 jobs to come all this way on a Tuesday night and it did affect us, because we didn't control it from the front like we normally do.

"It was a bit of a sickener to let them back in it, but we showed resilience to come away with something when we haven't quite clicked as an attacking force."

Alty attracted a near-1,000 crowd to The J.Davidson Stadium on Non-League Day last Saturday after being selected by Fans for Diversity, an organisation backed by Kick It Out and the Football Supporters' Federation, to showcase and promote inclusion and diversity among clubs.

Alty's players responded with a 4-0 win against Rushall Olympic, and Parkinson said: "It was a fantastic day that will stay with me a long time – this is what Altrincham FC is all about."