Phil Parkinson challenged his Altrincham players to make their mark in this season’s FA Trophy after they booked their place in the fourth round with a 1-0 win against Curzon Ashton at The J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night.

A 72nd-minute goal from Toby Mullarkey was scant reward for Alty’s dominance against their National League North opponents, but enough to secure a home tie with Wrexham or Scunthorpe United in the next round on Saturday, January 14.

For Parkinson, it was further evidence the switch to full-time status at the end of last season is paying dividends, as he reflected on the way his side made light of losing key midfielder Josh Lundstram to a slight hamstring injury shortly before kick off.

“It was a dominant performance from start to finish, and I was really pleased with the players,” said the Alty boss.

“We were on a hiding to nothing, because all we would have had thrown at us would have been “what’s the difference between the full-time team and the part-timers?”

“I’d like to think we have put that ghost to bed and people can see the difference.

“Their keeper was man of the match, and we could have been four or five up in the first half, never mind at the end.

“We unpicked them so many times, we should have been out of sight.

“This is a very difficult competition to win, when you look at some of the teams who tend to go all the way, but I’m desperate to do well in it.

“Whoever we are up against in the next round, we’re at home and will have a great chance.

“We feel we can be a match for anyone in this division, so we are really looking forward to it.”

Alty are home to FC Halifax Town on Boxing Day before travelling to the Shay on New Year’s Day (both 3pm), and Parkinson added: “Their season has reflected ours up to now, so these should be really good games to be involved in.”