A FEW well-chosen words at half time had the desired effect as Altrincham staged yet another stirring fightback to salvage a point from the long trip to Aldershot on Saturday.

A goal by Toby Mullarkey just before the break gave Alty renewed hope after they had trailed 2-0, but it was what happened in the changing room moments later that transformed the pattern of the game and led to a grandstand finish, as Ryan Colclough made it 2-2 and Ben Pringle was denied a last-gasp winner by a brilliant save.

“Aldershot had been on a bit of a purple patch, so you’ve got to give them the credit they are due, but we’ve got so much quality in our team, and I was really disappointed to concede two goals under very little pressure,” said manager Phil Parkinson.

“It was down to lapses in concentration, but after a few little words at half time, we really turned up in the second half and could easily have won in the end.

“Toby’s goal was a lifeline that gave us a bit of a platform for the second half, but Neil Sorvel and I weren’t happy at half time and neither were the players.

“It wasn’t tearing paint off the wall. The hairdryer was last week, and rightly so, but this was just a case of pointing out what they weren’t doing right and what was needed to rectify it.

“It was all positive, and they took on board that they had to move the ball a lot quicker and to the right place.

“We’ve got some very influential players, and as soon as we started giving them the ball to their feet, they started influencing the game.

“Ultimately, we got our reward for being positive, and much as we were close to winning it in the final few moments, you would have to say it’s a decent point after a round trip of nearly nine hours to a team who have been going well.’

On-loan Stoke City midfielder Adam Porter made an impact as a 70th-minute substitute, and Parkinson added: “We had a little chat after the previous game, and he was brilliant, so mature for his age at just 19.

“He has quality in abundance, a great range of passing and ability to receive the ball in any situation, and he is getting closer to bridging the gap between youth and senior football.”