Phil Parkinson urged Altrincham fans to turn The J.Davidson Stadium into a fortress after the Robins finally brought a run of six successive away games to an end with a narrow defeat at Eastleigh on Saturday.

A round trip of 420 miles to the south coast and back represented the longest of Alty’s away-day journeys, and though promotion-chasing Eastleigh shaded it 3-2, there was plenty to hearten Parkinson as he prepared to welcome Southend United to The J.Davidson on Non-League Day this coming Saturday.

The Alty boss sprang to the defence of keeper Ollie Byrne for letting a back-pass slip past him for Eastleigh’s opening goal, as he said: “That’s the best we have played for a long time, particularly in the first half.

“I don’t know how they have scored three goals against us, because it wasn’t warranted.

“We dominated for long spells and missed three really good tap-in opportunities.

“We should have drawn the game, and it would have been no surprise if we’d won, given the chances we had.

“We made a mistake for the first goal, but if you’re going to play out from the back, rather than just be an A to B team, that sort of thing can occasionally occur.

“It can happen that a player is not in position to receive a pass. It’s not an Ollie Byrne thing. It happens in the Premier League and to the best teams in this division.

“Now I can’t wait to spend some time at our home ground.

“It has been gruelling, really tough. It feels like I’ve lived on a coach for the past month.

“We’ve got five home games still to come, and I hope our fans will make it a fortress again on Saturday.

“The lads have had an amazing season so far, so let’s help them make the town proud by finishing higher than anyone expected.”

Robins midfielder Josh Lundstram played the full 90 minutes on his international debut as England C beat Wales C 1-0 with a goal from Barnet’s Ryan De Havilland at Alty on Tuesday night.