It's Phil Parkinson versus Phil Parkinson as two managers who share a name clash after testing 1-1 draws on Good Friday.
After the mixed emotions of the Solihull Moors game, when a combination of excellent goalkeeping and denied penalty shouts brought Wrexham's winning run came to an end, but Stockport's defeat drew them closer to us in the title race, we immediately find ourselves preparing for a local derby!
This match brings to an end the remarkable run of 7 consecutive home games, and what an incredible experience it has been. Friday's 1-1 draw with Solihull Moors was the first time we failed to win during that sequence of matches, when for once we couldn't come up with the injury time winner we've become used to!
The key question for Phil Parkinson will be whether he'll look to rotate his starting eleven, which has remained unchanged throughout this run of home games. Liam McAlinden and Dan Jarvis have made decisive contributions from the bench in recent games, while the versatility of Tyler French means he could be used to give a number of players a break if required.
His namesake has done a fine job in the Altrincham dugout. They guarnteed another season in the National League on Friday, although in truth there was little danger of The Robins being dragged into the relegation scrap, especially since they turned around a mid-season slump in February.
A mid-winter run of 13 games without a win forced Altrincham to start looking over their shoulders after a good start to the season, but since mid-February they've banished such worries with six wins, two draws and two defeats.
The wins have tended to accumulate at home though. Altrincham's most impressive performance on the road this season probably came on the opening day, when they beat Torquay United, fresh from their play-off defeat.
Since then they've tended to punish sides in the bottom half of the table away from home, with their only other win against a top half side coming at Dagenham. They have the worst away defence outside the bottom seven, but should not be underestimated. They've lost just one of their last 8 games, and on Friday emerged from a tough game against Halifax with a point.
They also beat Chesterfield at Moss Lane during that run, and scored nine goals in a week by beating Weymouth 5-0 and then Eastleigh 4-0.
There's a familiar good feeling around the club, and those results have attracted impressive backing from The Robins' fans. As a consequence, Altrincham are on course to establish their largest average crowd since the Conference was founded in 1979.
LAST TIME WE MET
First half goals from Aaron Hayden and Bryce Hosannah were enough to earn The Red Dragons a 2-0 win at Moss Lane.
HEAD TO HEAD
Altrincham’s matches at The Racecourse have been peppered with drama, red cards and own goals.
The Robins’ first match in Wrexham was in November 1963, when we clashed in the first round of the FA Cup. We’d had to work hard to avoid an upset in at Moss Lane initially, emerging with a goalless draw after the initial attempt to play the game was abandoned due to fog, but we were more comfortable in the replay. Mickey Metcalf scored two and Tecwyn Jones got the other in a 3-0 win.
It was another 46 years before Alty returned to The Racecourse. Aurelien Collin headed an own goal past debutant keeper Chris Maxwell, and hopes of a fight back were halted soon afterwards when Mani Assoumani was sent off.
We also paid the price after a sending off in March 2010 when The Robins arrived for a league match. We’d gone ahead early on through Wes Baynes but the game took on a fractious air as we failed to capitalise on our initial superiority. The match turned in Altrincham’s favour when Frank Sinclair was dismissed for a challenge which broke the leg of ex-Wrexham captain Tom Kearney.
To be fair to Sinclair, it wasn’t an intentional attempt to hurt Kearney, but he went in very strongly and his foot bounced off the top of the ball and into Kearney’s shin, leaving the referee with no option but to show him the red card.
We failed to recover from the loss of the centre back and were punished with eight minutes left when Greg Young struck to earn Altrincham a draw.Their visit in November 2014 ended nine against ten as the match turned dramatically just before the break.
Wrexham seemed to be strolling to a comprehensive win, Elliott Durrell and Louis Moult having given us a 2-0 lead against a 10-man Altrincham, as Scott Leather had been dismissed for a wild tackle.
However, a hugely contentious red card shown to Moult in the second minute of added time at the end of the first half, turned the match on its head.
Ten minutes later Andy Bishop followed Moult down the tunnel and Kevin Wilkin decided to park the bus to defend the lead. It turned out to be a fatal decision, as Wrexham finally cracked under constant pressure and conceded three goals in nine minutes.
A rare example of a home game against Altrincham which didn’t feature any sendings off came in February 2011. Andy Morrell gave us the lead just before the break and we looked home and dry when Adrian Cieslewicz put us 2-0 up with five minutes left. However, Alty immediately pulled one back and we had to dig in to clinch the points.We also beat Altrincham in the early stages of the 2015-16 season. We’d already won our first five home games under Gary Mills, scoring three goals in all but one, and we were two-thirds of the way towards hitting three again by the break, through an own goal and a Blaine Hudson strike.
Alty pulled a goal back shortly after the interval, but James Grey struck to secure a 3-1 win.
Last season’s clash was a rather depressing experience. We started well, but The Robins scored on the break just before the break and the goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of us. We found it difficult to rouse ourselves in the second half as Altrincham held onto the win comfortably.
Phil Parkinson's 850th match as a manager.
Aaron Hayden's 200th career appearance.
Christian Dibble's 125th career league match.
Jordan Ponticelli's 100th career appearance.