Phil Parkinson insisted a hard-fought point at The Shay represented a positive start to 2024 as Altrincham made light of their third red card in as many weeks to grind out a 0-0 New Year’s Day draw with FC Halifax Town.

Matty Kosylo was the latest Alty player to be dismissed, and Parkinson admitted discipline was an issue that needed addressing after the former Halifax attacker picked up a yellow card for dissent in the 38th minute and a second one for a rash challenge in the 56th minute.

But the Robins boss had nothing but glowing praise for the remaining 10 men as they stood firm to deny Halifax a winner and ensure Alty remained above their hosts on goal difference in sixth place.

“My overriding feeling straight after the game when I spoke to the players was (they had been) warriors, heroes, that kind of mentality,” he said. “To be able to withstand the amount of territory Halifax had for that length of time was no mean feat.

“I felt we were in the ascendancy in the first half, but it still goes down as a positive start to the year for us because it could so easily have gone the other way with the amount of possession and territory they had after we went down to 10 men.

“Matty knows he has let himself down and the team, and he has apologised. He plays on the edge, but unfortunately it has caught up with him.

“It’s a difficult moment for him, but we will stick with him, because he deserves our support for all the good work he does for this club on and off the pitch.”

After facing Halifax twice and second-placed Bromley over the festive period, Alty head into another massive test of their play-off credentials on Saturday when in-form Barnet, 12 points above them in third position, visit The J.Davidson Stadium (3pm).

“Barnet are going great guns, but we’ve got to show we are capable of coming through these tough challenges,” said Parkinson.