09 Jan 2024
Match report by Dave Hawtin
Over the 90 or so minutes of this game Alton were good value for the three points after a hard fought win over in the Channel Islands.
The visitors got off to a real flyer when Hoppitt and Coles combined to free Sanderson clear on goal and he comfortably passed the ball into the net past the advancing keeper.
The home side reacted as you would expect from a side who have ambitions to win the league and had two good chances to equalise. The first was defended well for a corner and the second which looked suspiciously offside finished with the ball rolled wide of the far post. Mees had obviously got his angles right as he raced off of his line to confront the striker.
Alton were right in this game. They had as much possession as the home side and Hoppitt thought he had extended their lead when he drove onto Sanderson's knock down, but with the keeper beaten the full back somehow acrobatically cleared off of the line whilst laid prone across the goal line.
The second half was played in the same manner. Both sides pushing where they could but neither keeper was overly extended.
When the equaliser did come on the hour it was somewhat fortunate. Merryfield's clearance hit the attacker and fell perfectly into his path. It was the striker's second opportunity in on goal and this time he slid the ball home.
Neither side looked happy accepting a single point and threw bodies forward at every opportunity to try and find a winner. When it came with 15 minutes to go it was a lovely headed close finish from an unlikely source. A long throw into the penalty area found the visitors competing hard for the ball. In doing so the ball was deflected to the edge of the 6 yard box where the arriving Jamie Phillips reacted quickest to send his diving header into the net.
The visitors saw the game out without too much incident to continue their fine run of form over the last two months and give themselves much confidence for the second half of the season.
Alton return home to The Exclusive Networks Stadium this Saturday 13th January, when Guildford City will be the visitors. Kick off 3pm.