Altrincham boss Phil Parkinson's verdict on how his side pushed Portsmouth to FA Cup limit

Altrincham boss Phil Parkinson told of the gut-wrenching pain of late FA Cup heartbreak.

Sunday, 1st December 2019, 1:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 1st December 2019, 3:55 pm

Parkinson admitted to being floored in painful fashion by the late, late goal which wrecked his side’s hopes of a replay after Saturday’s 2-1 loss.

The National League North side deserved at least a replay for their toil against a side three divisions above them at Fratton Park.

Alty hit the post, created chances aplenty and had a strong first-half appeal for a penalty turned down against Pompey.

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Parkinson felt that pain acutely after going within a whisker of forcing a replay, after Josh Hancock’s 83rd-minute penalty cancelled out Ben Close’s second-half opener.

But the Robins’ boss took solace from the quality of his side’s performance as they more than punched their weight against the Blues.

Parkinson said: ‘I'm extremely proud and I'm struggling to talk to be honest, it shows how emotional the FA Cup is, I feel like I've had my guts ripped out of me.

Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson

‘To come away from Portsmouth, I shake my head at the words I'm about to say, we've let them off the hook right at the death with 10 seconds to go.

‘The players felt we could have gone on to win the game let alone draw it.

‘There was perhaps a little naivety on our part, we should have kept it in the corner but I can't fault the players 1 to 11 to compete with a team that have won this competition and been in Europe this was the toughest draw we could have had and to go so close, it's soul destroying.’

Parkinson felt his side was hard done by as striker Jordan Hulme wasn’t given a penalty after going over Oli Hawkins’ outstretched leg in the first half.

The dangerous striker was left fuming as the ref waved play on and Parkinson felt his striker was hard done by.

He added: ‘I thought it was a stonewall penalty on the far side.

‘The referee said he thought he dived but he's certainly not going to dive when he's going through because the next time he did it he hit the post.’