Phil Parkinson labelled Altrincham’s second successive defeat “a reality check” after they were outplayed by National League leaders Barnet at The Hive on Saturday.

A worrying first-half injury for recent signing Olly Crankshaw set the tone for a frustrating afternoon in North London as the Robins found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline a week after losing 2-1 at home to Bromley.

Alty boss Parkinson pulled no punches as he said: “When you come to Barnet, particularly when they are flying at the top of the league, it’s a really tough ask to get anything, and unfortunately we were found wanting.

“We didn’t deserve anything and were beaten by the better team in every department.

“Everyone can see the giant strides the club have taken and the investment made in players, but this was a bit of a reality check about what we are up against and where we are.

“I have said all along there is a huge gulf in this division.

“We are trying to bridge it and we’re making progress, but we’re not quite there yet.

“Everyone was getting excited about the play-offs before these two defeats, but, for me, the objective was always can we improve on where we have been, can we break into the top 12?

“We are massively improved on last season, and we are bridging gaps all over the place, but it is a long-term project.”

Alty, who are away to Wealdstone on Saturday, are anxiously awaiting a verdict on the extent of winger Crankshaw’s knee injury after being hit by the loss of in-form striker Regan Linney for several weeks with a knee ligament problem.

“It will be a major blow if Olly faces a spell out on top of losing Regan for a period of time,” added Parkinson.

“But teams go through these times of injury setbacks, and you have to get on with it.”