I celebrated my 250th match at Boundary Park on Saturday and my biggest hope was for a much improved display from the one I’d witnessed earlier in the week at Fylde.

As I suggested last week, Micky Mellon clearly had indeed learned a lot from that game with a couple of changes to the team including the return of right back Kieron Freeman.

From the off, Freeman gave us better balance both in defence and attack, and he had a fine game which included a hand in the wonderful build up to the James Norwood goal, which was expertly taken by the centre forward who will without doubt score plenty of goals for us if we give him the right kind of service.

That was the equaliser after Altrincham had taken the lead totally against the run of play when we could and perhaps should have been at least one goal to the good in the first 15 minutes with excellent chances squandered by Devarn Green and Hallam Hope.

We continued to knock the ball round well but the wind was knocked out of us temporarily by an utterly bizarre refereeing decision.

The penalty awarded against Hope for handball was soft at best and ridiculous at worst, perhaps shown most clearly by not one Altrincham player or staff member appealing and some even having to work out what the referee had given before the excellent Chris Conn-Clarke converted.

I don’t like to mention referees and their decisions much because they have such a difficult job, but this penalty was the worst of a number of questionable decisions throughout.

In the second half we remained on top and, while we didn’t really consistently pummel the opposition goal with attack after attack and shot after shot, we certainly deserved the equaliser, and an excellent strike it was too from Nathan Sheron.

Pegging the opposition back like that is something we very rarely see from Latics and is, for me, an area to improve, especially at home. It is so rare for us to really put sustained pressure on the opposition for an extended period where a goal seems inevitable. If we are to be successful, this is something we need to be brave enough to do.

Having listened to Mellon and Gary Brabin from my seat in the Paddock, they are certainly going to try and instil that bravery in their squad but it will take a little while for the mentality of the squad to change in that way.

A well-earned point with a tinge of disappointment that it wasn’t all three wasn’t a bad outcome overall before a fortnight off National League duty and a trip abroad to face Newport County in Wales in the FA Cup.