The year may have ended on a losing note for Phil Parkinson, but that did nothing to dampen his spirits as he predicted a bright future for Altrincham in 2021 and beyond.

In the final match of a challenging but highly successful 2020, Alty twice fought back from two-goal arrears but just failed to salvage a point in a 3-2 defeat at FC Halifax Town.

They had late penalty appeals waved away, despite the referee awarding Halifax a spot-kick for a similar incident in the first half, and suffered more frustration in the last minute when substitute Ryan Colclough missed from close range.

But Parkinson was full of praise for his players as he reflected on promotion to the National League earlier this year and the impact they have since made in a division packed with full-time clubs.

“Disappointed as I was with the result, I was really pleased with the performance,” said the Alty manager. “I enjoyed watching us. We had that bit about us, where we were able to retain the ball and look a goal threat, and when we play like that, we will score more goals.

“But you can’t legislate for conceding the way we did. They had three chances, maybe four maximum, and scored three goals. It wasn’t massive defensive mistakes, and their finishing was clinical, but you can’t do that away from home and expect to get something from the game.

“We nearly did, though. I thought we were well on top and well ahead of them in how we were playing, and there were certainly moments when we could have drawn level, with the penalty appeal and Ryan’s opportunity.

“I didn’t think either penalty shout was a penalty, theirs or ours, but theirs was given and ours wasn’t. It’s that inconsistency that angers people, but we’ll have to take it on the chin.

“I can’t be too dejected, because it has been a fantastic year, and I am happy and really excited about being at Altrincham as we head into the New Year.

“There is so much positive stuff going on behind the scenes, as well as what you’re seeing on the pitch. Everyone is absolutely bubbling about where this club can go, and I am really looking forward to seeing how far we can progress over the next year or so.”