Gloucester City boss Tim Harris saw his side dig in with ten men against Altrincham and claim a good win, describing the game as “not pretty, but effective”.

The Tigers took the lead just after the half hour mark when Ed Williams capitalised on a defensive shambles to feed Joe Parker in the box, who duly obliged with a rifled effort into the roof of the net.

City were dealt a blow with five minutes to go when Keiran Thomas was sent off for a second bookable offence, but Harris’ side dug in well to claim a precious three points, having lost their past six in the league.

Speaking to TigersTV after the game, Harris acknowledged that his side hadn’t been on the ball during that run.

“We all know we’ve been on a bad run and the statistics don’t lie, do they?” Harris said. “I think we’ve been a little complacent and it hasn’t been helped by the injuries we’ve had.

“As I said in the week it was nice to go to training on Thursday and only have two lads in the treatment room as the last few weeks we’ve had seven or eight.

“We are really pleased to have got Chris Knowles back out there for half an hour because he’s a big character in this side so that’s a massive plus for the team.”

With Altrincham languishing at the bottom of the National League North table and 13 points adrift from safety before kick-off, things understandably looked bleak for them and Harris knew things would be tough for his side.

“In the situation they find themselves in, Altrincham had to win the game really” said Harris. “We knew they were going to throw bodies at us especially when we went down to 10, but we dug in and it may not have been pretty but it was effective.

From pitchside it was difficult to make a decision on Keiran Thomas’ red card but when it happens we can’t change it, we’ve got to live with it and I thought we dealt with it well.

“They were throwing men forward and leaving one at the back but we put our bodies in the way and defended well and Jaz [Singh] has pulled off an unbelievable save with the last action of the game and we got the three points.”

That win lifted the Tigers back into the top half of the table as they started 2017 with three points and will look to continue that away at Darlington 1883 next weekend.

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