Alton manager Kevin Adair admitted his side didn't play as well as they could have despite beating Hillingdon Borough 3-1 in the second round of the Premier Challenge Cup on Tuesday night.

The Brewers fell behind early on to Amir El-Harrak's goal, but equalised just before half-time through Scott Sanderson's composed finish.

Alton created plenty of chances to take the lead, but had to wait until the 86th minute to go ahead through Perry Coles' smart finish.

Coles then added his second on 90 minutes to seal Alton's place in the next round.

"It was one of those games where we didn't play that well but still probably created 15 to 20 chances," said Adair. "We didn't take enough of them.

"In the first half we conceded a bit of a sloppy goal but we did what we normally do when we go behind – we stay in the game.

"It's one of those things that wasn't good enough in the moment but they happen and it's how you recover from that – and we recovered from it.

"When you go one behind stay in the game. Don't make it two goals – don't give yourself too big a mountain to climb.

"I would have accepted coming in at 1-0 down and then I would probably have looked to change a couple of things, but we got one back.

"Sometimes we have choice half-time talks but there was a realisation to say we're better than that lads and to stay patient, keep working and a chance will fall that we take. That's what happened and if I could have asked for who something would fall to it probably was Perry.

"We'll take it. It's a good win and we're in the next round of the cup. We didn't keep another clean sheet, which is a shame, but obviously we can't keep doing that."

The victory continued Alton's good form – the Brewers have won eight of their past ten games – but Adair praised Hillingdon Borough after the visitors produced a display which belied their position at the bottom of Division One of the Combined Counties.

"They came here, were on the front foot, were probably more aggressive than us and they deserved to be in level at least – if not ahead – at half-time," said Adair.

"As the game wore on we saw they were desperate to try to stay in the game and it was probably only a matter of time.

"We made a couple of changes and it wasn't because people weren't playing well – it was just a case of freshening things up. We did that and it worked. Jack Fowler got an assist and Ross Stepney made his debut.

"It was a good impact from Jack. We have the luxury now of having a squad where we can make changes and people do make a difference, but hopefully we've not picked up any serious injuries because there were another couple of knocks. Hopefully they're not too bad."

Next up for Alton is a home game against Sandhurst Town in the Combined Counties Premier Division South on Saturday (3pm), and Adair is looking forward to the test.

"It's going to be tough," said Adair. "They've had some exciting games. We'll go into it feeling positive."