13 Nov 2023
Match report by Dave Hawtin
Three first half goals, two in the first 15 minutes and the third on the stroke of half time were more than enough to secure the 3 points for the visitors on an autumnal afternoon up near Staines on Saturday.
Alex Merrifield scored his first goal for the club on nine minutes heading home from a full 15 yards out past the despairing dive of the home keeper.
Better still on 15 minutes Owen Lumsden latched onto an Archie Larkham throughball and was bought down in the penalty area by a retreating defender. Pat Cox confidently sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot.
The home side were not going to just roll over though. Lewis Mees in the Alton goal twice had to make really important saves to maintain the advantage as they strived to get back in the game.
The third goal very nearly arrived after a really super passing movement. Louis Russell fed Cox looking for a one two, but Cox cleverly laid the ball back into Lumsden who split the defence to find the galloping Russell clear of goal on the angle. The advancing keeper made a super save diverting the ball wide for a corner.
Right on half time the third came. Spelthorne struggled to clear a corner and when the ball fell to Matt Graham he delivered the most inviting of crosses to the back post where Cox thumped a header down into the corner of the net past the unprotected goal keeper.
The second half proved a bit of a non event. The away side played sensibly knowing that they just needed to not give anything away on a pitch that had proved a bit lifeless from the start, stifling the bounce of the ball for both sides.
Alton return home to The Exclusive Networks Stadium tomorrow (Tuesday) evening when Baffins Milton Rovers will be the visitors in the Hampshire Senior Cup 3rd Round. Kick off 7:45pm.