AFTER making nine changes in midweek for a league cup tie at Mossley, Altrincham Phil Parkinson reverted to his strongest available line-up for a first-ever meeting with Derbyshire club, Mickleover Sports, in the Evo-Stik Premier Division and it paid dividends with a 2-1 away win.

As has become a regular pattern recently, Alty scored the opener inside the first 20 minutes and they were two up by the half-hour mark and seemingly heading for a comfortable victory.

But Mickleover came into the game more in the second half, their robust approach earning them a late goal which forced Altrincham into some last-ditch defending in the closing stages.

The afternoon had started with John Johnston getting up the left flank from where his low shot was fumbled by home keeper Lewis King.

The ball fell to Tom Peers and the Alty striker put his side ahead in the 18th minute.

Altrincham's second, scored in the 29th minute, also owed much to a deflection from the home side.

This time it was Shaun Densmore's shot which came off an opponent to Jordan Hulme.

From right of goal, Alty's joint leading scorer cleverly converted his half-chance with a shot from an acute angle which rolled into the net off the back post.

Mickleover did hit the Alty goal frame with a thunderous shot before half time but the visitors retained their two-goal lead.

Mickleover were more of a threat in the second half, nevertheless, Alty had chances to wrap the game up, with Peers twice being put through on goal but failing to capitalise.

Alty keeper Tony Thompson made a couple of useful stops towards the end but his time-wasting earned him a booking as well as the ire of the home team.

But Altrincham hung on for all three points ahead of their vital clash with Shaw Lane on Saturday at the J Davidson Stadium.

The Barnsley outfit are just three points behind Alty with two games in hand so this fixture will be a proverbial six-pointer.

ALTRINCHAM: Thompson, Densmore, Hampson, Hannigan, Harrison, Moult, Johnston, Harrop, Hulme, Peers, Hancock. Subs: Jones, Bembo-Leta, Walsh, Sheridan, Deasy.