ALTRINCHAM lifted themselves into the top half of the National League North table with a deserved 3-0 home win against local rivals Ashton United.

With midfielder Sean Williams sidelined by a fractured toe, James Poole made his first league start of the season after injury. But he had to limp off after just 25 minutes after injuring himself in a tackle.

By then, Alty were already a goal ahead, scored in the 13th minute.

Right-back Andy White had got free into the box and although his effort was beaten out, John Johnston was on hand to net the rebound.

Ashton, with former Alty midfielder Sam Sheridan impressing, saw plenty of the ball but scarcely threatened the Altrincham goal throughout the match,

Eight minutes after the interval Altrincham doubled their lead when a foul on Max Harrop gave them a free kick on the left. From this, Johnston's low set-piece went into the net off an Ashton defender.

Substitute Owen Dale, whose loan spell from Crewe was extended last week, added a third goal in the 88th minute with a low shot from just outside the penalty area.

The Robins make the lengthy trip to Hereford FC on Saturday.

Altrincham: Thompson, White, Hampson, Jones, Hannigan, Moult, Johnston, Harrop, Hulme, Poole, Hancock. Subs: Dale, Peers, Richman, Densmore, Wynne.