A point eluded Altrincham in agonising fashion against Wrexham, but there were still plenty of pointers on a record-breaking evening that underlined how the professional era under Phil Parkinson is increasingly capturing the imagination of the local community.

A stirring, spirited Alty performance before a nationwide TV audience went unrewarded when a last-gasp Wrexham goal gave the National League title favourites a 2-1 win at The J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday.

But, behind the scenes, there was a buzz of excitement among Alty bosses at the sight of almost 5,000 fans packed into the ground, most of them roaring the Robins on and cheering at the end in recognition of their sterling efforts.

Record receipts were generated by the biggest crowd Alty have had for a league game since 1968, when they hosted a Cheshire League title decider against the now defunct Macclesfield Town.

As further evidence they are moving in the right direction, Wrexham, renowned for their away support, were outnumbered two-to-one on the Moss Lane terraces and seats, with no fewer than 3,215 home fans amongst a remarkable attendance of 4,865.

Alty are away to Bracknell in the FA Trophy on Saturday but then have two more massive home league games against Bromley, on Tuesday (7.45pm), and Woking, on Saturday, February 18 (3pm).

Acknowledging the turnout as a sign Alty are increasingly becoming a focal point of the local community, director Rob Esteva said: “To see the town of Altrincham turn out in such numbers and get behind the team meant everything to us.

“We are constantly striving to create the best product we can on and off the pitch, and hopefully everyone at the Wrexham match will want to get along to the Bromley and Woking games, because they promise to be just as entertaining.

“Phil and Neil Sorvel have a style of play that is exciting to watch.

“It’s a question we ask ourselves when looking to recruit a player - would we pay to watch him? We want to entertain, so let’s keep packing out the stadium.”