Phil Parkinson apologised to the travelling Altrincham fans after two defensive lapses in as many minutes cost the Robins a place in the FA Cup first round proper at Gateshead on Tuesday night.

After dominating the opening exchanges, in their fourth qualifying round replay on Tyneside, Alty gifted the home side a 33rd-minute lead and were found wanting again moments later to fall 2-0 behind.

Though Marcus Dinanga reduced the arrears soon after, with his fifth goal in five games, the Robins could not force their way back on terms and missed out on the chance of a home first-round tie with League Two leaders Stevenage.

“We were on top but were punished for two drop-offs, which has been a bit of an Achilles heel for us this season,’”said Alty boss Parkinson. “Cup success is something this club has been built on, and this defeat will have ramifications for certain people.

“I expected us to come here and win, and we did enough to have won. Conceding two goals, the way we did, so close together is not acceptable, and we have to do something about that. I felt we had got on top of the problem, but it has happened again.

“I didn’t feel we were in any danger, bar those two moments, but that has been the story of our season. I feel angry. I feel down for our fans. I know how much they were feeling, like we were, that this could be the start of a good cup run.

“I can only apologise to those fans who have been behind us and have stood by us. They face a long journey home now, and my words won’t make that any easier, but I can assure them the lads are devastated, because they know how much a cup run means to the club and the fans.”

Alty are away to Torquay United on Saturday in a National League fixture that is being shown live on BT Sport, and the club are screening it in the Community Sports Hall. Details of admission are on the club’s website.