LEE Sinnott was left to rue missed chances after Altrincham passed up the opportunity of a 100 per cent return from their Christmas programme at The J.Davidson Stadium on Sunday.

After defying Arctic conditions to return from Chester with an impressive 2-0 win on Boxing Day, Alty reverted to type by failing to punish lesser opposition and slipping to a 1-0 home defeat against struggling Nuneaton.

It sent Alty into the New Year still glancing anxiously over their shoulders after a start to the season in which they have toppled some of the Vanarama Conference’s leading lights but faltered in the role of favourites.

"The message going into the New Year is that we have to be more ruthless," said Alty boss Sinnott. "We have made progress on and off the pitch during 2014, and we must look to keep that momentum going.

"There have been some great performances and great results, but it is frustrating when you look at the imbalance between our points tally against top-half teams and those lower down.

"You look at the points that have slipped away against teams like Alfreton, Southport, Telford and now Nuneaton, and there should be so much more distance between us and the danger area.

"Consider games in their entirely, and we have created openings against just about everyone. That was certainly the case against Nuneaton, and the lesson is, you can’t afford to pass up gilt-edged opportunities.

"They were on a silver platter, but there is merit in the fact that they were there, begging to be taken. They are being created. If someone told me before a game we could have four gilt-edged chances but would concede one scrappy goal, I’d take that every time, because you would expect one or two of ours to be snapped up.

"That’s the one thing we need to remedy, heading into the New Year. We need to develop a ruthless streak to finish teams off when they are at our mercy."

Alty launch their 2015 programme against Chester at The J.Davidson Stadium on New Year’s Day.