Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Alton v East Cowes Vics 06/10/18

Alton 4 East Cowes Vics 2

ON a damp and chilly afternoon this was not really a game to warm hands, toes or anything else. Alton were far superior throughout and should have won by a much greater margin given the chances they created, but rather lost their way in the second half when both sides, the visitors in particular, were seemingly more occupied with moaning at the referee. Vics did mount the first meaningful attack with Brandon Hayward sending Joe Butcher clear on the left but the cross was just too high and Alton steadily gained the advantage and took the lead in the seventh minute. Matt BUNYAN, who caused the visiting defence problems all afternoon, collected a short pass just inside the area and beat keeper Will Hunt at his near post, the ball going in off the underside of the crossbar.

Callum Birch and Liam Knight, Alton’s two wide men, both tested Hunt before the second goal came a little more than five minutes after the first. A through ball was cleverly helped on by Burch and BUNYAN coolly slotted the ball past the advancing goalkeeper. Butcher was just wide after a long run but with the half yet to reach its halfway point Alton struck again with the best goal of the game, a three man move down the right, which included a clever reverse pass from Bunyan, and Burch’s precision low cross was turned home by Scott SANDERSON in the middle of the six yard box. Steve Black was too high as Alton looked for a fourth goal but it was Vics who scored next, a shot from BUTCHER going under keeper Chris Smith from some twenty yards. The remaining fifteen minutes before the break was dominated by the white shirted home side with chances being made but there were no more goals before the break with Alton comfortably ahead with, it seemed, power to add. One point of note – it was thirty five minutes before any offside decision against either side. HT 3-0

Knight beat the keeper and the far post in the opening minute after the re-start and Vics full back Keelan Walsh received the first yellow card of the afternoon for a challenge that did not really look anything out of the ordinary. Hunt, whose handling was on the suspect side all afternoon, made a superb reflex save from the free kick and then escaped further punishment when Alton failed to take advantage of a mishit clearance with an open goal in view. The home side were still dominating possession, though without creating the chances as in the first half, but with fifteen minutes gone Vics scored with their first real attack of the half. Liam Newbold made ground on the right and his cross was met first time by Jimmi BURTON, the ball crashing in to the net, as with Alton’s opening goal, off the underside of the bar.

Suddenly Vics were back in the game but they promptly shot themselves in the foot with Walsh receiving a second yellow card for some childish petulance off the ball directly in front of the Assistant Referee. Vics substitute Brad Young was next in the book for a two footed challenge that fortunately missed both man and ball before Alton made the game safe with a fourth goal. Three corners in quick succession with the fourth being cleared only to the edge of the area and Ben WILLIAMS lobbed the ball over all and sundry and just inside the far post.

More yellow cards followed as both sides went in to moaning mode, with Vics particularly questioning virtually every decision, though one could understand their sense of grievance when what looked a “stonewall” penalty was turned down. In the end a second League win on the trot for Alton, with four goals scored both times, Vics will have better afternoons and the weather suggested that winter clothing is not very far away. It also posed a question: What is the point of moaning at the Officials when a free kick has been given in your favour ? (John Gorman)

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