05 Feb 2024
Match report by Dave Hawtin
Alton will be disappointed with the overall result and the way in which they exited the Hampshire Cup on Saturday.
The strength and depth of the current First Team and Development squad were evident on the day as they were the better side for much of the game away from home against a club who have been knocking on the door of promotion from the Wessex League for some years now.
Goalless at the break Alton deservedly took the lead when Alex Merrifield's header at the near post crept in past the defender on the line on 52 minutes.
With Alton looking really comfortable at the back and good in possession the game ultimately changed on an injury and a referee’s decision that in the circumstances most would have expected to have benefited Alton.
In quick succession the home side lost their goalkeeper to injury and then minutes later found themselves down to 10 men when a second booking was issued to one of their strikers.
As we have all would have witnessed in the past these events appeared to galvanise the home side and having threatened dangerously on a couple occasions they equalised with 10 minutes to go when they again broke clear.
In the spell of the last 20 minutes they deserved that having been second best when it was eleven v eleven.
The game went straight to the lottery of penalties after 90 minutes and the home side carried their late momentum on to win through.
With five teenagers in the starting eleven on the day and three more on the bench the performance of the side on the day was something to be proud of for both of the Adult men’s management teams.
Alton return home tomorrow night for the League Cup 3rd Round, when Bedfont Sports will be the visitors to The Exclusive Networks Stadium. Kick off 7.45pm.