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Tooting & Mitcham Utd 3 - 4 Alton

04 Sep 2023

Match report by Dave Hawtin

An amazing game. Not a bad tackle in it. Three red cards. Two penalties. Proper entertainment. Who needs the Premier League!?

Louis Russell fires in the 3-3 equaliser
Louis Russell fires in the 3-3 equaliser

After early exchanges it is the visitors who gain the ascendancy and the home keeper is kept busy dealing with numerous shots from range that he deals with comfortably.

On 25 minutes the drama of the match starts to unfold. An error at the back results in the unfortunate sending off of Alton centre back Adam Brice and a penalty to Mitcham which is duly dispatched.

Tooting ruthlessly exploit the extra man and race into a 3 nil lead. It is looking grim for the visitors.

On 44 minutes a lifeline for Alton. They are awarded a penalty as Pat Cox is fouled in the box and Owen Lumsden cooly sends the keeper the wrong way. In the incident, Cox is hurt and cannot continue after the half time break and is replaced by Regragui.

On 50 minutes Lumsden has to leave the field with an injury and he is replaced by Dylan Averiss.

Soon after, Tooting hit the bar from close range during a goalmouth scramble. That would surely have been game over. But not today.

On 55 minutes Adam New heads home from a corner and you could sense the nervousness in the home side.

Buoyed by the control the visitors had at the back and in midfield, Regragui and Louis Russell started to cause all kinds of trouble for the home defenders with their harassment and direct running.

On 65 minutes we are all level Russell broke down the right side, drove inside, stepped inside two defenders onto his left foot and shot home at the near post.

Yet another twist was just minutes away as Alton are reduced to 9 men when Jamie Phillips is awarded a second yellow for kicking the ball away. A very very harsh decision, but it is a new rule and how the officials manage that going forward is going to be interesting as it all happened so quickly.

Could the visitors hang on for the last 20 to 25 minutes? A tall ask on a very hot day when you have already been a man down down for the previous 45 minutes.

Disciplined in the defensive last third and with every man working so hard, manager Kev Adair insisting that Alton continue to pose the odd threat when they could.

They were rewarded with a forth goal. Russell broke from just inside his own half and with defenders backing off in fear of his ability to go past them them he drove toward the box giving Regragui time to join him from the right. Russell then slipped him in and from 15 yards he steered a shot into the far corner to the delight of the travelling supporters.

Tooting were now completely stunned and out of ideas and their frustration was complete when with no where to go there number 10 blatantly dived in the box and was also shown a second yellow card.

An amazing game. Not a bad tackle in it. Three red cards. Two penalties. Proper entertainment. Who needs the Premier League!?

Alton are on the road again this Saturday, visiting Cobham in the leage, then return home next Tuesday 12th when we'll welcome Aldershot Town in the Servio Hants Senior Cup, kick off 7.45pm.

Match Highlights from Academy TV

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