LEE Sinnott saluted Altrincham's persistence and self-belief after a dramatic last-gasp goal from Simon Richman lifted them into the Blue Square North promotion play-off places at Moss Lane on Saturday.

Ten-man Vauxhall Motors' uncompromising approach looked like denying in-form Alty a fourth straight league win until summer signing Richman sparked frenzied celebrations with a close-range finish in the fifth and final minute of added time.

“We tried to keep playing the right way and did not panic, which was pleasing,” said Alty boss Sinnott. “The best approach, when time is running out, is always to keep playing your football, remain positive and hope it will be enough to open the door for you. Sure enough, Simon was in the right place at the right time.

“I was pleased for him, after the stop-start season he's had with injury, and that was further evidence that he can make a favourable impression for us.

“I said to Simon and Jack Redshaw after the game that the one thing you want from your subs is for them to make an impact, and they certainly did that.

“Jack looked very lively, and when you consider he'd had only one training session with us, it was some start. I believe there's a lot more to come from him.

“I bet our supporters wondered what to expect when he went on, because he's not exactly the tallest. Yet the first thing he did was get a shot in on target, and I think that sent out a message of what he's all about.”

Alty face a promotion battle at Stalybridge on Saturday, and Sinnott, who hopes Nicky Clee and Damian Reeves shake off knocks in time, is relishing the challenge.

“This is a big weekend coming up, when you consider Hyde take on Guiseley, as well as our game,” he said. “I can see comparisons between us and Stalybridge. We both like to get the ball down and play and we both have strikers who have been knocking in the goals.

“It is down to us to try and make sure we do our job better than they do theirs.”