Match Report - Division 1
Match Report - , by Ian Craig
Alton v Fleet Spurs
Alton 4 Fleet Spurs 1 (Sydenhams Wessex League Division 1) by John Porter
This was Spurs’ first game on the 3G surface at Alton, and it finished in a deserved victory for the home side. It wouldn’t be fair to blame the surface for the result; it was more about Alton’s greater sharpness and the fact that Spurs were down to the bare bones, having eleven players and no substitutes.
The first half started with both teams playing a long ball game, but Alton being much the more successful, keeping possession better and causing frequent danger with hard-hit early crosses. The visitors kept their concentration and for a time were able to keep the score sheet blank, thanks to resolute defence and a number of fine saves from keeper Mark Appleby. However, after 28 minutes, home skipper Sean Hayes swung a left-foot cross in from the right and Mitch Parker reacted quicker than the Fleet defence to leave Appleby helpless from close range. Alton continued to press, and a few minutes before half-time Henry Fox fired a low left-foot shot through a crowd of players into the net. There was a question of offside, presumably against one of the other Alton attackers, but after considerable discussion with his linesman, the referee decided to let the goal stand. The score of 2-0 at the break did not flatter the home side.
The second half continued in similar vein with Alton creating chances but being thwarted by inaccurate finishing, brave defending and more good saves from Appleby. Then 11 minutes into the half, Hayes used his normally redundant right foot to make perfect contact and hammer the ball unstoppably home from the edge of the box. Seven minutes later, the ball went loose in the Fleet area and Fox made no mistake from close range. At this point, a heavy defeat for Spurs looked on the cards, but shortly afterwards Chris Rose was set free on the left, and although keeper Kallum Lunn partially blocked his low shot, he was unable to stop it entering the net. The game now became much more even, with chances at both ends, but there was no addition to the scoreline.
Spurs remain 14th in the league. Their next game is at Romsey Town – the fourth attempt for these teams to meet this season, the first three having been postponed for various reasons (floodlight failure; too wet; frozen pitch) – on Tuesday 3rd January (kick-off 7.45).
Spurs team: Mark Appleby; Sam Lynham; Martin Harris; Chris Barnes; Victor Mudonhi; Jamil Olweny (capt); Dan Bone; Mike Bertoux; Jack Moore; Sam Knowles; Chris Rose