Phil Parkinson insisted there were signs of improvement from his Altrincham squad after they followed up Saturday’s low-key 1-0 win over Nantwich with an eventful 4-3 defeat at Curzon Ashton on Tuesday night.

The Alty boss described a disjointed performance at Nantwich as “extremely disappointing” after the Robins had to rely on two outstanding saves from Matt Gould to preserve a lead that came courtesy of a bizarre own goal, as a routine back pass slipped under the home keeper’s boot and trickled into the net.

All seven goals at the Tameside Stadium came in the second half, as Alty conceded two penalties but bounced back with goals from Curtis Miller and Tom Peers.

Curzon Ashton added two more goals before Jordan Hulme reduced the arrears near the end, but Parkinson could see promising signs after giving a run-out to trialists Joel Senior, Ashley Smith-Brown and Will Hall, as well as the impressive Miller.

“We are looking for improvement as we go along, and though we lost compared to winning on Saturday, results aren’t too important at this stage,” he said. “I was really disappointed on Saturday, but I could see improvements tonight, in the way all three goals came from open play and other aspects as well.

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“Young Curtis showed up fantastically well in the second half, the other lads got minutes in their legs and we can see what we still need to do to get up to speed.

“I still say we have come back at the right time, playing teams who are further on in their pre-season programme and therefore ahead of us in terms of fitness. We are going to face some tough, tight games in the National League next season, so this is good preparation for us.

“It’s also a great opportunity to have a proper look at one or two lads who want to show us what they can do. You see footage and hear good things, but you can only judge when you actually see them play. On top of that, we’ve had quite a big turnover of players, by our standards, with quite a few new faces. They have to get used to each other, and that doesn’t happen overnight. We are getting better and showing signs of improvement, and that’s the main thing.”

Winger Dan Mooney is doubtful for the league opener against Weymouth two weeks on Saturday after being stretchered off against Nantwich with what appears to be ankle ligament damage.