06 Feb 23
A point away from home against a top three side would have been very welcome before the contest started, but Alton’s performance deserved all three.
Match report by Dave Hawtin
From the start the visitors were on the front foot. George Bowerman stepped inside and struck a shot against the bar after just two minutes to show their intent.
Six minutes in and the home side took the lead against the run of play. Their tall centre forward arrowing a shot into the top corner out of nothing.
On 12 minutes he did it again. The defence failed to clear and with nothing else on for him he struck a shot home from 25 yards.Somehow the visitors found themselves two behind having dominated proceedings.
To their huge credit they did not let their heads drop and continued to threaten at regular intervals. The home keeper made two outstanding saves from Perkins and a Benham free kick, and then the woodwork came to his rescue again when Caborn’s shot again found the crossbar.
On 40 minutes they were finally rewarded for their efforts, and what a reward. Richie Hunter hit an unstoppable shot from 25 yards into the the top left hand corner, game on.
The second half started as the first finished with the visitors on top and then another set back as they conceded again on 50 minutes. A ball to the back post found the only attacker in the box who finished really well from close range.
The visitors didn’t panic and recognised that they were still in this game. Territorial advantage was maintained and their possession of the ball was dominant.
On 70 minutes they were back in it again, and it was another super finish. Young Archie Larkham stole the ball back 10 yards inside the Abbey half when a corner was cleared, drove forward towards the box played a lovely one two with Russell which cut the home defence open before slipping the ball confidently home from 12 yards.
The home side were now under the cosh and were taking every opportunity to slow the game, but Alton were not to be denied and finally equalised on 84 minutes. Caborn burst onto a through ball down the left, managing at pace to evade an awful lunge from a desperate defender cut inside onto his right foot and slammed the ball home.
As the game entered the last minute of seven minutes of injury time the home side were rescued again. Liam Knight was in full flow when he was dumped to the ground by the last defender but the referee had chosen to blow the final whistle at that split second!
Alton return to HOME action tomorrow (Tuesday) night in the CCL League Cup 3rd Round, when North Greenford United will be the visitors to The Exclusive Networks Stadium. 19:45 kick off.