Phil Parkinson issued an impassioned rallying cry to his Altrincham players after a second straight win breathed new life into their Vanarama National League play-off hopes.

Fresh from beating King’s Lynn Town 3-0, Alty turned on the style to win 1-0 at Maidenhead United and not only keep the play-off places in sight but offset the loss of three points after the National League decided to expunge Dover’s results.

The ruling was a blow to Alty, after their win on the south coast prior to Dover’s withdrawal from this season’s competition, but Parkinson struck an upbeat note as he reflected on his side’s current form and whether it might yet take them into the top seven.

“The first half at Maidenhead was as good as we have played all season,” said the Alty boss. “Are the play-offs a realistic target? You’d say probably not, but you’ve got to keep dreaming, you’ve got to keep believing.

BELIEF: Alty boss Phil Parkinson praised his team’s battling qualities

BELIEF: Alty boss Phil Parkinson praised his team’s battling qualities

“Don’t give up, don’t stop, keep pushing, because who knows what might happen? Other teams could have a downturn or be hit by injuries or games piling up, so if we can hit a consistent run of form and keep the pressure

on, who knows? It’s very fine margins, but this team never lets me down, and any fans worth their salt know it never lets them down, either, so my message would be stick with us and stay behind us.

"It’s a tough league, a slog at times, but we enjoy it because we love working for this football club.”

After dominating the first half but missing some clear-cut chances, the breakthrough came in freakish style, as a Maidenhead defender swung wildly at a low bobbling corner by Ryan Colclough and completely missed it, allowing it to sneak in at the near post.

“We could have had a goal-of-the-season contender in the first half when James Hardy combined brilliantly with Josh Hancock, who should have scored, then Ryan hit the bar with the rebound,” said Parkinson. “The brand of football we were playing in the first half was a joy to watch, so it was a bit strange to win it with the scruffiest of goals.

“We needed both sides of our game, as I always knew we would against a team like Maidenhead. Some of our interplay when we were on top was fantastic, and when they put us under the cosh a bit in the second half, we dealt with that superbly as well.”