Phil Parkinson saluted a ‘fantastic’ performance by a patched-up, understrength Altrincham side after they went agonisingly close to upsetting the odds before a bumper crowd in their live televised game against Solihull Moors at The J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night.

With injury and illness decimating the Alty squad and forcing Parkinson to rush loan signings Tom Walker and Barry Baggley straight into the starting line-up, home fans in a remarkable attendance of 3,683 may well have feared the worst.

But Fleetwood Town midfielder Baggley made it a dream debut by firing the Robins in front in the first half, and with Stockport County winger Walker also featuring prominently, Parkinson’s makeshift side looked on course for an unlikely win in front of the BT Sport cameras.

Solihull turned it round with two second-half goals, but Alty still nearly salvaged a point, as Baggley and then Tom Peers went close in the last five minutes.

“I thought the lads were fantastic,” said Alty boss Parkinson. “We asked them to give everything, and they certainly did that. We had to throw the two new lads straight in, but it was a great debut by both of them that just showed the quality we’ve brought in.

“We had reserve team lads on the bench which meant we didn’t have the depth we needed for changing the game late on, and we were up against a Solihull team with riches beyond our wildest dreams.

“But the fact is, their keeper was the defining factor and the main reason they have left here with the points. His saves decided the outcome and stopped us getting what we deserved.

“The lads were top drawer, and everyone at the club should be really proud of the way they applied themselves throughout.

“Josh Hancock was top class, and I thought he and Tom Peers gave us a real platform. Tom was outstanding, and if he keeps playing like that, he will start every week.

“It was a phenomenal, unbelievable attendance, especially when you consider Solihull brought very few, and while I wish we could have given them a win, the players certainly gave it their all and couldn’t have done any more.”

After losing 2-1 at Eastleigh last Saturday, Alty are on their travels again this coming Saturday, as they visit Woking in the National League.