UNITED slipped to a frustrating defeat at Altrincham and it was a simple case of the home side taking their chances when they came.
The Gulls, on the other hand, were wasteful in the big moments and a cute header from Damian Reeves gave Altrincham the advantage at half-time.
Ryan Crowther forced home a decisive second just after the hour and, despite Louis Briscoe pulling one back with a stunning strike, the points remained at Moss Lane.
United started brightly enough and Ben Harding saw his header from a Luke Young corner cleared off the line before a glorious chance fell at the feet of striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong.
Jordan Chapell was the catalyst, spinning beautifully in the box and lashing a shot at goal that was superbly saved by the veteran Stuart Coburn. The rebound looked perfect for United’s big centre-forward but he scooped over from a great position.
Altrincham took confidence from their reprieve and Reeves soon had Jordan Seabright producing his first big save of the afternoon. The Yellow custodian was soon back in the action, as the pattern of proceedings completely shifted in favour of the home side.
Reeves found his range on 37 minutes, looping a header back over the header of Seabright and the frustrating reality was Altrincham kept piling on the pressure toward the end of the first period.
Briscoe and Ashley Yeoman were introduced in an attempt to change Yellow fortunes but it continued to be Altrincham sweeping forward, and they soon doubled their advantage when a Reeves shot was saved by Seabright, leaving an easy rebound for Crowther.
United desperately needed a quick riposte and Briscoe provided the answer with a thunderbolt from 20 yards, and defender Aaron Downes very nearly forced home the equaliser moments later.
Referee Ryan Johnson decided to unnecessarily spice up a fairly tepid game by waving his yellow card at just about anyone he could find, all of which left United with six bookings and two for Mike Williams left Altrincham with ten men for the closing minutes.
One more chance for salvation fell to Downes in the box and he connected well with the volley, but when the ball sailed over, it was the end of the road on a frustrating day.
United (4-4-1-1): 23 Jordan Seabright; 29 Durrell Berry, 5 Krystian Pearce, 4 Aaron Downes, 3 Tom Cruise; 12 Jordan Chapell, 8 Luke Young (capt), 6 Ben Harding (16 Courtney Richards 78), 11 Courtney Cameron (7 Louis Briscoe H-T); 10 Toby Ajala; 24 Duane Ofori-Acheampong (14 Ashley Yeoman 55). Substitutes (not used): 1 Martin Rice (GK), 25 Levi Ives.
Booked: Ajala 41, Harding 56, Berry 77, Young 83, Cruise 86, Briscoe 90
Referee: Ryan Johnson
Attendance: 1,223 (190 away).