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Alton 2 - 2 Tadley Calleva

18 Mar 2024

Match report by Dave Hawtin

A really entertaining game played out at The Exclusive Networks Stadium affected by refereeing decisions that baffled both sides.

Alton 2 - 2 Tadley Calleva
Photo: Old Snaps

In a game where there was not one bad tackle, somehow 3 players received red cards (one might have been justified), there was a sin binning and numerous yellow cards.

Alton led at the break having had slightly the better of the first half. Archie Larkham on 34 minutes striking home from the edge of the box through a ruck of players that left the visitors' keeper unsighted.

The tone of the second half was set just one minute in. Mcauley Ford challenged for a ball on the by-line and headed the ball out for a throw in to Tadley when to the amazement of everyone in the stadium the referee brandished a red card. The speed with which he made the decision was a concern.

On 55 minutes Tadley were level. A really good finish direct from a free kick from 20 yards.

The one man disadvantage did not deter the home side from pushing on and they were ahead again on 75 minutes. Ross Stepney powering home a header from a corner.

The game then turned again as the visitors were also reduced to 10 men. A retreating defender tripped Jamie Phillips just outside the box halting his strong run that was bearing down on goal.

With 5 minutes to go another red card for Tadley. A defender pulled down Louis Russell 15 yards inside the Alton defending half. Again the referee chose not pause and consider the offence for what it was and flashed another straight red card. The whole crowd were confused as to the severity of punishment given that it surely could not have been considered that the offender was last defender and prevented a goal scoring opportunity.

If the crowd imagined that the official was taking every opportunity to 'level' each major decision up he certainly did not let them down. In the 92nd minute a free kick was passed into the penalty area, the striker took a gamble and fell to the ground under little challenge and bingo a penalty was awarded, confidently dispatched all square.

Alton travel to Camberley Town this coming Saturday with an earlier kick off than usual at 2pm.

Match Highlights from Academy TV

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