Bunyan brace puts seal on fine week for Brewers

Friday 5th October 2018 8:33 am
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Whitchurch United 0, Alton Town 4

After Alton’s fine victory at Bashley in midweek, they travelled to Whitchurch on Friday night full of confidence.

And once they scored after five minutes the result of this Sydenhams Wessex League Division One clash was never in doubt.

Alton attacked from the start and forced an early corner. Matt Bunyan met Matt Graham’s corner perfectly to head the visitors in front.

Liam Knight and Bunyan then combined well but the move came to nothing.

Whitchurch were trying to get a foothold in the game and Stone had a shot but Chris Adkins blocked the effort.

Alton doubled their lead when Joe Clarke controlled the ball in midfield and spread the play to Gavin Muir on the right. He left his full back for dead before his pinpoint cross was headed home by Bunyan.

Whitchurch huffed and puffed without really threatening Matt Petts’ goal and he safely gathered a couple of crosses.

At the other end, Bunyan had a chance for a first-half hat-trick as Muir chased a ball down the left and his pull back found Bunyan on the edge of the penalty area, but he put his shot over the Whitchurch crossbar.

Alton were getting a lot of joy down the left and another cross, this time by Graham, was half punched clear by Cotton in the Whitchurch goal and fell to Ryan Thomas, but he couldn’t keep his shot down.

The game was pretty much one-way traffic at this point.

Max Smith was fouled but the free kick came to nothing, while Knight flicked on for Bunyan who was adjudged to have been offside as he lobbed the goalkeeper.

Petts took another cross before Joe Clarke found himself in the area and his shot was saved for a corner.

The half ended with a cross from Reece Colbourne, Knight headed back across goal for Bunyan to set up Thomas but this time his shot went wide as the Brewers went in at the interval 2-0 ahead.

Alton could have doubled their lead in the first few minutes of the second half as Colbourne had a shot blocked and Clarke put the rebound over the bar, before fine work between Muir and Max Smith saw the latter’s shot deflected for a corner.

But Alton had to be alert at the back as Whitchurch tried to get back in the game. Thomas got in a crucial block to concede a corner, before good all-round defending saw another promising move from the home side break down.

Bunyan had two chances in quick succession to complete his hat-trick before Petts, at the other end, had to be alert to pull off a smart save, with Colbourne tidying up to deny Whitchurch a crucial goal.

Muir was still causing problems and he cut in from the right wing but was unable to keep his shot down and it flew over the crossbar.

But Alton weren’t to be denied and substitute Scott Sanderson scored with his second touch. Again it was Clarke who won the ball in midfield and he found Josh Maloney on the left wing. Bunyan stepped over his driven cross to leave Sanderson with an easy tap in at the far post.

The goalscorer then had a shot blocked before Smith picked the ball up in the centre circle. Despite the close attentions of his marker, Smith shrugged him off, advanced a few yards and, seeing Cotton off his line, lobbed him from 40 yards for Alton’s fourth.

In the closing stages, Alton had strong claims for a penalty when Maloney got through on goal and, as he was about to shoot, appeared to be unceremoniously brought down from behind, but the referee waved away Alton’s loud appeals.

The win completed a fine week for Alton after taking the scalp of Premier Division side Bashley in the third round of the Sydenhams League Cup four days earlier.

On Saturday, after six away games, Alton are at home to Wessex League Division One rivals East Cowes at The Enclosure (kick-off 3pm).

* Petersfield Town had a somewhat disappointing four days in Division One of the Sydenhams Wessex League as they were forced to settle for a point with a 1-1 draw against lowly Folland Sports on Saturday afternoon before losing 2-0 at Totton & Eling on Tuesday night.

Will Essai’s 60th minute goal against Folland Sports looked like it may have been the winner but was cancelled out by an equaliser from Jamie Mansell.

On Saturday, the Rams are on their travels again as they head south to take on fourth-placed US Portsmouth (kick-off 3pm).

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