LEE Sinnott saluted an outstanding team performance and called for more of the same after seeing Altrincham hit the ground running on their eagerly awaited return to action on Tuesday night.

An eye-catching 7-1 scoreline completed a hat-trick of wins over Boston United this season and reinforced Alty’s hold on fifth place, at the start of what Sinnott considers a critical phase of their Blue Square Bet North campaign.

"I could not have wished for much better than that, after all the disruption caused by waterlogging and then snow over the past few weeks," said the Alty manager.

"You can do all the training you like, but you are always a little wary going into a game after a lay-off.

"I tried to simplify it for the players by telling them to show hunger and trust that would transform itself into energy and then into quality. They ticked all three boxes, and I was delighted. Take the goals out of the equation, and there was some outstanding football from us.

"It was so important to start back with three points, because we are entering a very busy month or so, where everyone will be jostling for position. With games coming thick and fast, you can get left behind, if you are not careful. Lose one or two, and you can be blown away, so it is essential we keep it going."

In-form midfielder Simon Richman matched Damian Reeves’ two-goal contribution with a double of his own and celebrated by signing an extended contract until the end of next season.

"He is not the first young player we have signed up, and it is an indication of the strategy I am trying to put in place, with the help of Grahame Rowley and Andrew Shaw," added Sinnott.

"When I first walked into the job, I made it clear I wanted to build something new, and that was always going to be dependent on not only having young talent but securing it for the good of the club.

"We will look after our young players, because we don’t want to lose them come the end of the season, when it tends to become a free-for-all at this level. It can be a little bit here-today-gone-tomorrow in this division, but we are looking to put building blocks in place and do what is best for our young players and the club. That is paramount."

Alty will again be without injured James Lawrie at home to Gloucester City on Saturday but hope Danny Hall recovers from a cut on his foot.