Phil Parkinson hailed a "genius" goal by recent signing James Hardy as Altrincham ended a winless four-game run in emphatic fashion at The J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night.

After two draws and two defeats, Alty needed to get their Vanarama National League campaign back on track, and they did it in style with two goals from Josh Hancock and a brilliant solo effort by Hardy in a 3-0 win over King’s Lynn Town.

Attacking midfielder Hancock now has 11 goals to his name this season, but it was the dazzling footwork that enabled England C international Hardy to open his account for the Robins, a month after joining from AFC Telford United, that caught the eye of Alty boss Parkinson.

"James did everything I asked of him," said Parkinson. "There was a touch of Lionel Messi about a run he went on in the first half, and there were flashes of that throughout the game.

"For the chance he took in the second half, I can only describe it as genius ankles, the way he got through that crowd of players. I don’t know how he did that. I told the lads before the game there are shirts up for grabs, and he did enough to keep his.

Josh Hancock celebrates his and Altys second goal against Kings Lynn Town.

Josh Hancock celebrates his and Alty's second goal against King's Lynn Town.

"I had a chat with Josh the other day to make sure he was ok, because he seems to be carrying the load for goalscoring this season. He is looking like the player we’ve seen here for the past couple of seasons, and I can’t wait for our fans to be allowed back in, so they can see him performing like that at this level.

"I thought it was a really good end-to-end game. Don’t forget, King’s Lynn won our league at a canter last season, when we were both promoted from the North division, but we got our rewards for being positive and were well worth the victory."

Elsewhere, Alty have signed a four-year kit deal with sportswear giants Puma that will take effect at the start of next season and boost the club’s revenue streams.

"This is a really exciting development that is very much in keeping with the board’s forward-thinking approach to taking the club as far as we can," said Alty co-chairman Lawrence Looney. "We are talking about one of the world’s largest and foremost sportswear manufacturers, and it says everything about the direction we are going in that we are aligning ourselves with them for the next four years."