20 Nov 2023
Match report by Dave Hawtin
This game was always likely to test the mental strength of the home side, just one week earlier they had comfortably won 3 nil away at the same opposition's home ground.
Spelthorne were no doubt the better side during the first half and deserved their one nil lead at the interval. They were first to the ball, pressed the home side throughout the pitch and generally worked harder.
It was no surprise when on 27 minutes they broke through the central defence after a nice flick on and clinically finished into the bottom right hand corner past the stranded Lewis Mees in the home goal.
Alton's threat was minimal during the half. It was no doubt going to be an 'interesting' half time break in the home side's dressing room.
Whatever was said worked as two minutes into the half parity was restored. A carbon copy of Alton's third goal the previous week. A corner was cleared as far as Matt Graham on the left and he delivered a super ball back into the box where Pat Cox headed home accurately from fully 12 yards out past the flat footed keeper.
While Alton were now dominating territory and the ball there was no sign that the visitors were going to just roll over as they continued to pose a threat on the break.
On one such occasion Archie Larkham had to be really alert to get across the pitch and chase down and block a shot at goal that would likely have tested Mees.
The goal that won the game came on 75 minutes. A long throw in was flicked on by Cox to Perry Coles who had stolen in unnoticed at the back post. He was never going to miss from that range.
Opportunities came for the home side in the last 15 minutes to finish the game but some wasteful finishing and resolute defending ensured that there might just be a sting in the tail.
With just a couple of minutes to go Alton struggled to clear a corner and when the ball broke 15 yards out, defenders applied just enough pressure to the ball to ensure the shot had to be taken quickly and was lashed over the bar.
A really competitive game of football that reminds you that you have to work harder than the opposition to earn the right to dominate.
Alton travel to Farnham Town this Friday 24th November for a 7:45pm kick off, then return home to The Exclusive Networks Stadium the following Saturday 2nd December, when Epsom & Ewell will be the visitors. Kick off 3pm.