Neil Aspin reserved praise for wide man Jason St Juste after Town’s 5-2 win over Altrincham set up an FA Trophy second round tie with Maidstone United.
Although the game will be remembered for Gareth Seddon’s blistering hat-trick in four first half minutes, Aspin said the performance of St Juste was a particular highlight.
St Juste, 27, began the season in fine form at left back but was dropped to the bench when last season’s player of the year Scott McManus returned from groin surgery.
St Juste was then omitted from the match day squad entirely for the trip to Brackley, a move Aspin said was down to a drop in the player’s form.
He was originally pencilled in for a place on the bench on Saturday, but when McManus turned his ankle in the warm up, St Juste was given the nod.
“I have to mention Jason St Juste,” said Aspin afterwards.
“I thought he was excellent. He has been thrown in at short notice because Scott McManus got injured in the warm, and I thought he was outstanding.
“The number of crosses he got in was excellent and his delivery from set pieces was superb. He has been very unfortunate that from being one of our main players earlier in the season, McManus has pushed him and has got back into the team.
“I’m fortunate I’ve got two really good players in that position, but I thought he was excellent and anybody who watched the game will have seen a top class performance from a full-back getting forward.”
Aspin said that the game overall had gone the way he expected - with both sides showing their attacking prowess after Conference North leading scorer Damien Reeves, who already has 16 league goals to his name, tapped Alty in front.
“It was a good, open game,” he said.
“We said last week that Altrincham have a lot of fire power going forward and they score a lot of goals and they key would be who defended the best. After falling behind we certainly capitalised on their defending and we managed to get in and finish the game off before half time.
“The tempo at the start of the game was good. I was pleased with the way we were moving it but with their first attack they’ve been able to get a strike on goal, which was poor defending to allow a free hit at goal, and once Matty Glennon has made the save you hope to react, but it fell favourably for them. We can’t afford to allow someone like Damien Reeves any space in the box or it ends up in the net so it wasn’t a great start.
“We had a couple of good chances to level which we missed and you think it’s going to be a frustrating afternoon. But Lee Gregory scored a great goal to put us level and from then we went from strength to strength.”
“The FA Trophy is an important competition. Financially it’s important for the club and we want to get a run going in it,” he said.
Town travel to neighbours Guiseley in the Conference North tomorrow evening (7.45pm).