Alton came unstuck against promotion candidates Badshot Lea on Tuesday – and face a similarly tough test on Saturday.

The Brewers travel to play second-placed Abbey Rangers – and later this month they have to play highly-rated Jersey Bulls too.

It’s a run of Premier South fixtures that would test any side, let alone one licking their wounds after that 8-0 midweek thrashing.

Manager Kevin Adair said: “I have to lift the players for Saturday – that’s my job .

“Yes, Saturday will be a tough one but we have a run of tough games. You can look at Tuesday and say we’re not going to play a team like Badshot Lea every week, who are so clinical, but we have one on Saturday when we play Abbey Rangers.

“Abbey were one of the most complete sides we have played this season – they’re up there for a reason and we know it will be difficult.

“They will be aiming to be one of the top teams this season but hopefully we can get a result.”

Last weekend Alton picked up a crucial three points when they won 2-1 at basement side Frimley Green. They had chances to win by a more emphatic scoreline, but Adair was happy to take the win.

“Saturday was probably not our best performance, but the most important thing was to get the three points,” said Adair.

Alton were quick out of the blocks and took the lead on 18 minutes when Tom Reffell finished well past the advancing keeper.

The hosts equalised from a rare attack, but Alton regained the lead from the penalty spot after Trevor Caborn was fouled in the box. Matt Graham took the spot kick and confidently sent the Frimley Green keeper the wrong way.

Alton went for the jugular and Adam Brice headed home from a corner. The goal was initially given, but the assistant referee intervened and told the referee he had seen a push in the box.

Just before the break the home side were reduced to ten men when Ashley Noble was sent off for a challenge on George Bowerman.

Alton dominated the ball and territory in the second half, but were reduced to ten men when Reffell dived into a challenge on the halfway line in front of both dugouts and was shown a straight red card. The visitors continued to create chances, but a combination of brave defending, poor final balls and excellent goalkeeping meant the third goal never arrived.

Adair felt the two red cards were slightly harsh.“The Frimley Green red card was on the other side of the pitch, and I would be disappointed if that went against my team,” he said.

“However, for our red card the boundaries had been set and if the referee is being consistent then it is a red card. You ask for consistency from referees and he was consistent, to be fair.”

Alton host North Greenford United in the Premier Challenge Cup next Tuesday (7.45pm), and Adair is keen for a cup run.

“We’re looking to go as far as we can in the cup competitions and get as high as we can in the league,” he said. “We’re not at the top end of the league, and hopefully we can stay away from the bottom end.

“A cup run will stop the season becoming a bit of a dead rubber.”