PHIL Parkinson admitted his Altrincham players had exceeded expectations and produced the 'perfect response' after returning to winning ways at fellow promotion candidates Farsley Celtic on Saturday.

Stung by a shock New Year's Day home defeat to Witton Albion that ended a long unbeaten Evo-Stik Premier run, Parkinson's table-toppers bounced back in impressive style with a thoroughly-deserved 1-0 win.

"Farsley are a very strong, very well managed team, so it was always going to be a mammoth task trying to take all three points," said the Alty boss.

"I would have taken a draw before the game, just to get back to basics in terms of keeping a clean sheet after shipping four goals for the first time since September.

"It was massive for us to show the solidity that was so evident today, and we also showed we can score in a very tight game away from home.

"The lads absolutely exceeded expectations because, while Farsley were on the back of a huge, morale-boosting win, we were on the back of an unexpected 4-3 home defeat.

"The players did the hard yards really well, and credit to them for that."

Jordan Hulme scored for the seventh league match running with a coolly-taken winner that owed much to assistant-manager Neil Sorvel's input.

"It was a meticulous finish," said Parkinson.

"We have been working with Jordan on his one-on-ones, and that is all down to Neil.

"Some of the stuff he does with the lads is fantastic, and you are seeing the fruits of his labour, where he has pulled Jordan and the other strikers to one side and worked with them on situations like that.

"We recognised we had been a bit wasteful in one-on-ones, but I can't remember Jordan missing one since Sorvs has done that work with him, so full credit to Neil and full credit to Jordan for buying in to what we are asking him to do.

"He has been the difference in so many games this season."

Alty progressed to the next round of the Cheshire Senior Cup with second-half goals from John Johnston and Tom Peers in a 2-0 win at local rivals Northwich 1874 on Tuesday.

Johnston cut in from the left to open the scoring with a rising drive into the top far corner, while Peers slotted past the keeper after being played through soon after.