New signing Elliott Durrell pressed his claims for a starting place after another telling substitute’s appearance as Altrincham defied the elements and a Blyth Spartans side fighting for their lives at windswept Croft Park.

The livewire attacker marked his Alty debut by winning and converting a penalty shortly after coming on at Spennymoor last week, and he made an even more dramatic impact after entering the fray in the second half at Blyth.

The outcome was still in the balance, following free-kick specialist Josh Hancock’s first-half opener, but Alty could breathe easy after Durrell doubled their lead with an assured finish less than a minute into his second Robins appearance.

“Elliott’s first touch after going on was to get the ball out of his feet, and his second was to finish in emphatic style, which was really pleasing,” said assistant manager Neil Sorvel after a 3-0 win that included Alty’s fifth penalty miss of the season, this time by Jordan Hulme.

“He’s been on the pitch for just a few minutes twice now and scored each time, so that is a really positive start for him in Alty colours. It was a fantastic goal at Blyth, but he is a confident lad, which he showed with the penalty against Spennymoor.

“It’s a concern when you miss that many times from the spot, because it can prove costly. If Elliott is on the pitch, he is confident enough to step forward, but it is something we need to look at and address, going into next weekend.”

Alty have the ideal opportunity to reinforce their promotion credentials on Saturday when they face leaders King’s Lynn Town at The J.Davidson Stadium (3pm).

“People may have been looking at them to have a wobble at some point, but they haven’t,” added Sorvel. “They have been really consistent, and it’s nice to see another footballing side doing well. It is going to be a tough game, but we are looking forward to it and more than capable of meeting the challenge.”