PHIL Parkinson apologised to the match officials after joining his players on the pitch to protest over a last-minute penalty decision that denied Altrincham the chance to secure their first away league win of the season at Guiseley on Saturday.

Deep into added time, with the score locked at 1-1 after Alty had equalised from the spot through Josh Hancock, substitute Max Harrop burst into the Guiseley area, only to be stopped in his tracks by a sliding challenge that left him sprawling on the turf.

Referee Andy Sykes waved away frantic Alty penalty appeals, and when the final whistle sounded, seconds later, Parkinson marched on to add his voice to the complaints.

But after canvassing opinion in the dressing room, the Alty boss saw it differently and made straight for the referee's room to say sorry.

"I have spoken to the lads and they think it was a fair challenge," he said.

"From where I was, I felt their lad went through Max and then got the ball, but most of our players are saying it was a fair tackle.

"So I have been in to see the referee and linesman and apologised to them, as they took a bit of stick about it from us.

"I just told them I will disagree with you when I think you have got something wrong, but I have come in to eat humble pie, because you were right on this one, according to my players on the pitch.

"He just said thank you. To be fair, if it’s all right for us to criticise refs over a mistake, then, when I’ve got it wrong, I have to be big enough to take it on the chin and admit it to him.

"I did run on at the end, because it was the very last minute and I felt aggrieved.

"I didn’t shout and scream, but I did question the decision.

"The players did, as well, but when we got back in the changing room and talked it over, the majority felt it was the right call."

Alty are away at Southport in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round on Saturday.