THE Cup exploits have been rewarding in every sense of the word, but Lee Sinnott has challenged his Altrincham players to make their Blue Square Bet North endeavours even more memorable, as they head into a season-shaping spell of eight games in December.

A 5-2 FA Trophy defeat at FC Halifax Town on Saturday marked the end of a lucrative seven-game run in the two main knock-out competitions, but, with two-thirds of their League programme still to go, and play-off places up for grabs, Sinnott was adamant Alty still had plenty to play for.

"We have been saturated with Cup games over the past couple of months, but the league is our bread and butter, and this is a really important time for us," said Alty’s manager, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Boston United.

"The FA Cup, in particular, was a great adventure, but we’ve got some catching up to do in the league now, and we need to try and build some momentum.

"We have to strive for the kind of consistency we showed in September and October, when we went on a nine-game unbeaten run. That’s what we have to get back to, and I firmly believe we have the quality to do it.

"What set us back a bit was losing three on the trot after the Cup win at Boston, when we had the chance to force our way into the play-off places. That was an opportunity that passed us by, but we must seize this one.

"I’m not going to say everything in the garden is rosy. There are one or two things that need ironing out. We are conceding too many goals, which is baffling when you look at the personnel in the team, but we will work on that."

Alty’s Trophy hopes were effectively ended by a stunning Gareth Seddon hat-trick inside 197 seconds just before half-time and red card for Danny Hall soon after.

"We started so well, and were a goal up early on, but it turned into a bit of a bizarre day,’ said Sinnott. ‘I don’t want to sound flippant, but we went Christmas shopping after 15 minutes. We just shut down, which was surprising and alarming. You can’t do that anywhere, let alone a place like Halifax. It’s a point I put to the players vigorously, and we must make sure we learn from it.’ Midfielder Carl Rodgers is likely to need another week to recover fully from his hamstring injury.