NEIL Sorvel hailed a Max Harrop-inspired Altrincham fightback that saw off a spirited Sutton Coldfield Town side and turned the screw on their title rivals at The J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday.

Belying their lowly position in Evo-Stik Premier, Sutton Coldfield deservedly went in front early on before finally succumbing to Alty's never-say-die attitude, as Max Harrop equalised from long range and John Johnston converted a late penalty for a 2-1 win.

Reflecting on the likely impact on those looking for a chink in the Alty armour, assistant-manager Sorvel said: "It wasn't our greatest performance, but it was important to get over the line because it sends out a message to the teams chasing us.

"Everyone looks for results elsewhere when their game has finished and it can have an effect on you.

"I remember at Nantwich last season, we were chasing Blyth for top spot and it just demoralises you when you look to see how they've got on every time and find they've won again.

"We asked the players for a quick start but, in fact, we made a terrible start.

"Max Harrop was the only one really at it in the first 20 minutes, and that was another great strike from distance for the equaliser.

"Early on, when we were nowhere near, he was the one getting on the ball and trying to get us playing.

"Some of his switches of play were fantastic and he has been near-enough perfect since moving into that central role."

Shaun Densmore hobbled off with a knee injury in the first half, and Sorvel added: "Dens just opened his knee out a bit in a tackle.

"He tried to persevere with it but had to come off. We'll see how he does during the week, but we hope he should be okay for Saturday's game at Ashton United.

"Tom Hannigan is getting there as well and was potentially fit enough to have been on the bench against Sutton Coldfield."