Alton manager Kevin Adair was unable to hide his disappointment after the Brewers crashed to a 3-1 defeat at home to Balham in the Combined Counties Premier Division South on Saturday afternoon.
Thomas Read broke the deadlock for the visitors in the 31st minute, and Joel Onu’s goal on 44 minutes gave Balham a 2-0 lead at half-time.
“It was one of those days for us,” said Adair.
“Before the game we talked about the importance of starting well, but we weren’t at it.
“We discussed things at half-time, but our plans went out the window when they scored the third goal a minute into the second half.
“All three goals came from us gifting possession to Balham – they punished us.
“We pulled a goal back, but it’s difficult to be too positive about it as we were 3-0 down.
“We need to make sure we bounce back and show a positive reaction.”
The Brewers return to Anstey Park on Saturday, when they will host Wessex League Premier Division outfit Cowes Sports in the second qualifying round of the FA Vase (3pm).
“We played Cowes in pre-season, but we’ve changed things quite a bit since then and I imagine Cowes will also have changed a fair bit since that game,” said Adair.
“We want to progress in the FA Vase as it’s a good competition and you can generate a bit of a buzz if you get through a few rounds in it.
“It’s a good competition for the club as you can earn quite a bit of money and also get a bit of attention on the club.”