Altrincham’s players ‘executed a tactical masterclass’ to beat holders FC Halifax Town with 10 men and book their place in the fourth round of the Isuzu FA Trophy in a rearranged tie at The Shay on Tuesday night.

Originally scheduled for last Saturday, torrential rain led to a postponement that delayed Alty’s bid to avenge last season’s agonising semi-final defeat, when Halifax equalised with virtually the last kick and went through to a Wembley final in the ensuing penalty shoot-out.

It was worth the wait, though, as Phil Parkinson’s side made light of a contentious straight red card for defender Sam Roscoe in only the 25th minute to force a 0-0 draw and then held their nerve in the shoot-out that followed, as keeper Ethan Ross brilliantly saved one of Halifax’s kicks and left-back Eddy Jones unerringly converted the one that sealed a 6-5 win.

“Having Sam sent off so early, and facing the holders with 10 men for so long, made it really difficult,” said Alty boss Parkinson, whose side are home to AFC Fylde on Saturday. “You could tell Halifax were desperate to get through, so we have done exceptionally well to come out the other end the way we have done.

“I thought the referee made the decision to send Sam off really early and didn’t give himself time to think. He deemed it a straight leg challenge - in other words, a leg-breaker - but it wasn’t. Sam has come across their lad, who has nicked it away. A yellow card was the worst it should have been.”

He added: “It was a real tactical masterclass that the lads executed brilliantly, and I was ever so proud of them for beating the holders in circumstances like that.

“It shows how much these lads have grown over the last couple of seasons. We are a growing force in our division, and we want to continue that and keep picking up results like this.

“Against all adversity, we have knocked out the holders, and that’s a real feather in the players’ caps.”