CHRIS Senior has officially been recognised as non-League football's most lethal finisher on current form after being named Blue Square Conference player-of-the-month for February.

Altrincham's pacey striker made sure of the award by claiming his fifth goal in six February appearances, a crisp drive into the bottom corner to salvage a 1-1 draw in a lively Moss Lane encounter with Grays.

It extended his tally for the season to 14, all but one coming in the Conference, and earned him glowing praise from manager Graham Heathcote, who said: "Colin Little has always been our goalscoring mainstay but has had a difficult time of it this season, so we needed someone to step up to the mantle.

"Chris has done it superbly and grown in confidence from playing on a regular basis. We are a better side all-round these days, with more creativity from the likes of Tom Kearney, and Chris has benefited from that. You can't help wondering where we might be if Colin had been fit all season and able to develop a partnership with Chris. That could have made a significant difference.

'I know there was an expectation that we would beat Grays, because they are down near the bottom, but you have to remember they are full-time and have made a few recent signings, not least the keeper Glyn Garner, who had an excellent debut. It shows how far we have come that, as part-timers who have just been on the road to Eastbourne and Gateshead, there is a sense of frustration at not beating a full-time outfit."

Alty are reeling from the loss of key defender James Smith but have Peter Doran available after suspension for Saturday's game at AFC Wimbledon and have solved the mystery of Adam Carden's recent illness.

"James will be out for two or three weeks with a hamstring strain, which is a real blow, because he has been exceptional this season," said Heathcote. "It turns out Adam had a food allergy which left him feeling weak. He is allergic to wheat but at least knows now what he can and can't eat. He is fit and available again."