ALTRINCHAM will hope to extend their battle to stay in the Vanarama National League to the last day of the season by beating already-relegated Welling United at Moss Lane on Saturday (KO 15:00 BST).

With relegation looming large, Altrincham will be hoping for more than the one point they took from Welling at the start of February.

Three points from safety and with a goal difference of -27, a win is vital for their chances of survival.

The Robins have the worst current form in the league with two wins in 22 and having taken only three points from their last seven games.

Goals have been hard to come by, with the last three teams to face them having been gifted a clean sheet for their troubles.

Neil Tolson’s men will be looking to top scorer and number nine Michael Rankine to win them the game by increasing his tally of 11 for the season.

After the 4-0 loss to Chester that saw them slide back into the National League South for the first time since the 2012-2013 season, Welling have replaced manager Dean Frost with stand-in Mark Goldberg until the end of the season.

Welling’s relegation followed consecutive impressive 2-1 victories over Woking and Tranmere Rovers, only for two straight defeats to see their hopes vanish.

Teams that know their fate tend to put on a more relaxed display, but it is yet to be seen whether Goldberg will be looking to put his mark on the team by beginning to turn their fortunes around as quickly as possible.

Altrincham have not scored more than one in a match since their last victory, the 4-0 win over Aldershot in March – a memory that is beginning to look more and more remote to the fans.

Since then their form has seen them sink like a stone in the league, typified by their inability to beat the relegated Kidderminster Harriers at the beginning of the month.

Should Alty fail to beat Welling, a point for Boreham Wood against Guiseley would be sufficient to send them down given the enormous deficit in their goal difference.

Provisional Squads:

Altrincham FC:  Deasy (GK), Heathcote, Havern, Lawrie, Griffin, Leather, Ginnelly, Moult, Crowther, Rankine, Reeves, O’Keefe, Sinnott, Williams, Davis, Saville.

Welling United:  Rodak (GK), Gayle, Lokko, Kargbo, Taylor, Chambers, Nortey, Corne, Daniel, Oluwabunmi Bakare, Harris, McEntegart, Porter, Lee, Kabba, Wanadio.

Referee:  John Busby (Oxfordshire)

By Thom Whyte

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