ALTON 5, TOTTON & ELING 0
ALTON bounced back from last week’s drubbing with probably their best performance of the season to put five goals past Totton & Eling.
The Brewers welcomed back Scott Sanderson from injury, while Ali Gill was promoted from the Reserves.
Both teams were intent on attack and at first Totton gave as good as they got, winning an early free-kick that on another day might have been given as a penalty.
Gavin Muir and Matt Jackson had shots saved by Totton keeper Tom Taylor before Matt Petts was bought into action, coming out to deny Joe Selby who was through on goal.
A goal looked like coming at either end, but it was Alton who got it. Regan Hitch was taken out in the area and Taylor Watts dispatched the penalty.
The Brewers then had a period of pressure and a flowing move involving Callum Burch and Watts ended with Hitch doubling the lead before half-time.
The second half started in controversial fashion when Gill seemed to be stamped upon. Just a warning resulted, but this galvanised Alton and within minutes Jackson broke clear and deceived Taylor with a clever shot inside the near post.
Almost immediately, Sanderson found himself in acres of space and duly made it 4-0. Thereafter, Totton appeared to throw the towel in and only the heroics of Taylor kept the score in check.
Jackson thought he had scored with a shot that seemed to cross the line, while Sanderson hit the bar after smart work by Muir.
Alton were not to be denied. Gill headed Watts’ corner against the crossbar and the rebound fell invitingly for Burch whose shot scattered the defenders on the line and made it 5-0.
Things got even worse for Totton when Rich Hayter was sent off for a second yellow card.
Weymouth Reserves 1, Alton 1. Alton made the long trip to Weymouth on Easter Monday for their penultimate league fixture and a scratch side came away with a creditable draw, thanks to Ryan Bunney’s late equaliser.
With only five of Saturday’s squad available, it was always going to be a tough ask, but Alton dug in and were well worth their point.
After a goalless first half, the game started to open up in the second period and both sides had chances before Weymouth finally took the lead, albeit in somewhat fortunate circumstances when Joe Green was harshly penalised for handball at pointblank range and Sanchez Baker sent Matt Petts the wrong way from the spot.
A fired-up Alton pressed hard for the equaliser and got their reward in added time. Gavin Muir, who had been pushed up front for the final minutes, crossed from the left and Bunney headed home in style.
A mention in dispatches for Muir and Ventham. With only one recognised centre-back available, Muir volunteered to play at the back and gave a man-of-the-match performance sweeping up behind Mark Taylor. Manager Ventham, 49 years young, played the whole 90 minutes.
Alton visit sixth-placed Ringwood in their final game this Saturday, knowing that a win will lift them into the top half of the Sydenhams League Division One table.