Controversial penalty is costly for Alton
A CONTROVERSIAL penalty saw Alton slip to a 2-1 defeat against Stoneham in the Wessex League Premier Division last Saturday.
The Brewers thought Jack Fowler’s challenge on his opponent was fair, but the referee pointed to the spot – and the points were lost.
The result was harsh on Alton who had reason to rue some of the decisions made by the officials throughout the game.
And the Stoneham keeper being most fans’ man of the match underlined how well the Brewers had played for much of the game.
Richie Hunter and Matt Benham both worked tirelessly in the centre of the park.
The first half-hour was a tense affair played mainly in the middle of the park, which resulted in only half-chances for both teams.
The game was a bit niggly at times and a couple of injuries to Luke Perkins and Rob Carr required treatment.
The 33rd minute saw the first controversial incident of the afternoon when a shot from the angle by Stoneham hit the foot of the far post and a support structure of Alton keeper Kieran Greene’s goal and was put behind for a corner.
The Stoneham players were adamant the ball had crossed the line – but the referee and his assistant were unmoved.
Just before half time Alton’s rear guard were called into action with a couple of last-ditch blocks and tackles, but they held firm and went into the break level.
Stoneham went close soon after half-time with a header when Jamie Phillips was out-jumped at the far post.
The referee awarded a corner and when Phillips protested he hadn’t touched the ball, he was sin binned for ten minutes.
Alton, being a man down, dug deep and defended well, keeping their shape and the Stoneham attack at bay while looking to attack on the break.
In the 55th minute one of these breaks allowed Junior Kamara to hit a fierce curling drive which came back off the upright straight to the alert George Bowerman, who prodded home to give Alton the lead.
Just two minutes later Carr was put through by Benham and his shot was well saved by the feet of the Stoneham keeper.
Manager Kev Adair replaced Kamara and Perkins with Fowler and Scott Sanderson – and immediately Stoneham keeper Thomas Parker-Trott made a superb double save from Sanderson.
Stoneham levelled after 80 minutes when a clearance fell to striker Callum Laycock who volleyed magnificently into the roof of Greene’s goal from about 15 yards.
Soon after Fowler was judged to have tripped a Stoneham player in the box – although to many it seemed the player had just slipped under pressure – and Edward Orvis tucked away the penalty.
Tomorrow (Saturday) Alton travel to Hythe & Dibden in the league.
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