PHIL Parkinson tipped Stockport County for promotion after Altrincham found themselves on the wrong end of another derby drubbing at The J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night.

Hammered 5-1 at Edgeley Park on Boxing Day, Alty fared only marginally better in front of a sell-out 3,900 crowd as County put four goals past them before substitute A-Jay Leitch-Smith reduced the arrears in added time.

A rueful Parkinson admitted there was a ‘huge disparity’ between the two clubs as he joined in the widespread praise for opposite number Dave Challinor’s promotion-chasers.

“They are relentless, like a machine, and if they maintain that momentum and keep hitting those phenomenal levels, I can see only one outcome for them at the end of the season,” he said.

“There is a huge disparity between the two clubs at the moment, and when you look at them, it’s like you’re playing a team from a different league.

“It was a better performance than we put on at Edgeley Park, but they are ruthless.

“They are very powerful and strong, and they’ve got technically gifted players.”

Fans’ favourite Jordan Hulme is back at Alty on loan for the rest of the season from AFC Fylde but had to settle for a place on the bench after going straight into the starting line-up at Barnet last Saturday.

“I would love to have brought Jordan on, but he was feeling his groin after playing the full 90 minutes at Barnet,” explained Parkinson.

“We are all hurting and feeling low, but all we can do is keep plugging away at what we do.

“We are pushing these lads to the absolute limit and can’t ask any more of them.

“We aren’t used to losing games, but we are doing everything we can on the training pitch and in terms of recruitment to put things right.

“It will turn, if we stick together and keep believing.”

Alty are away to Grimsby on Saturday, and Parkinson added after the Stockport defeat: “It will be tough again, but we are more than up to the challenge.

“Hopefully we can start turning some of these performances into positive results.”