Alton boss Kevin Adair was proud of his side’s performance as they earned a share of the spoils from a competitive 1-1 draw with Farnham Town in the A31 derby.
The home side took the lead in the first half through Scott Sanderson’s 37th-minute header. Alton keeper Lewis Mees saved Connor Young’s penalty on 79 minutes, but Farnham equalised in the 85th minute through Liam Flanighan’s close-range header.
Alton won a penalty on 89 minutes and thought they had won the game through Matt Graham’s coolly converted spot kick, but the referee disallowed it for encroachment by an attacking player.
However, instead of ordering a retake, the referee awarded Farnham an indirect free kick.
Despite the controversial decision, Adair was pleased with his side’s display.
“For the lads individually – and what they’ve done as a group collectively – they’ve given me everything I’ve asked for and done everything they can in their power to win the game,” said Adair.
“We’ve not been getting results because key moments haven’t gone our way. They’ve been our problems sometimes – we’ve made a mistake or we’ve not scored when we should do – but we’ve done what we needed to do against Farnham and they’ve done everything I’ve asked of them.
“My positives in the changing room are all for individuals, and team-wise. The performance was brilliant.”
Despite his obvious frustration at the referee’s decision not to retake Alton’s penalty, Adair felt there was little point in his club complaining about the referee to the FA.
“What will they (the FA) do? Knock him down a level and tell him he can’t referee at this level? We don’t gain anything from that, but he has robbed us of three points. There’s nothing that he’s contributed to this game, positively, that I can see – so I can’t say a good word about him.”
Despite his anger at the decision, Adair was able to see the funny side with his Farnham counterpart Paul Johnson.
“I don’t think anyone should be friends when you’re playing against each other, but when it’s done you have a beer and you move on,” said Adair.