PHIL Parkinson was left rueing two ‘criminal’ defensive lapses as Altrincham’s recent momentum was brought to a halt by a frustrating 2-1 defeat against National League strugglers Southend United at The J.Davidson Stadium.

With Alty trailing 2-0, Parkinson made a couple of changes at half time, and a few heated observations, leading to a marked second-half improvement as Ryan Colclough had a penalty brilliantly saved and Dan Mooney reduced the arrears.

But an equaliser proved elusive, and unhappy Alty boss Parkinson knew where the blame lay for a defeat that took some of the impetus out of an outstanding 4-1 win at Weymouth and 2-2 draw at leaders Chesterfield.

“We can’t keep conceding goals the way we are doing,” he said. “There is zero pressure on our goal, and we concede twice. It’s criminal to allow that to happen, and it has to stop if we are thinking of getting anywhere near the play-offs.

“You just can’t do that. It’s all down to concentration, rather than teams cutting us open, and that was even the case at Chesterfield, where we conceded two cheap goals before coming back for a draw.

“Until we put that right, it’s going to be a common theme, and it’s going to cost us.

“We deserved at least a draw, based on possession and chances, but you can’t keep giving teams a leg up in this division.

“The second half was much more like us, but it shouldn’t need a few choice words at half time for that to happen.

“If the penalty had gone in, we could have got back to 2-2, but it takes a lot of bravery to step up and take one and credit to the keeper for a great save.

“We’ve only ourselves to blame, and when we head to Aldershot on Saturday, we have to make sure the concentration levels are back up to where they should be, or we will be punished again.”

Meanwhile, the Robins have been drawn away to National League rivals Notts County in the third round proper of the FA Trophy with the tie at Meadow Lane scheduled for Saturday, December 18 at 3pm.