Game 7: Alton 4.1 AFC Stoneham (Wessex 1) 07.10.17
Decided to spend this year’s Non-League Day at Alton’s new ground to recomplete the Wessex League. In 2016 Alton Town merged with Alton United Youth FC to form Alton FC who play on the 4G pitch at the Ansty Park enclosure. This replaced the old Bass ground where I saw Alton Town play in 2004.
Stoneham took the lead after three minutes from a corner. The keeper parried the ball away only for it to come back into the six yard box where it was headed in from close range. Alton got an equaliser in the eleventh minute when a player beat his man and shot past the keeper. The turning point of the game came just before half time. Alton had a corner and as the ball came into the area there was a clash between two players. The Stoneham defender claimed he had been elbowed but his reaction in kicking out at his opponent saw him sent off. He continued to argue with the referee as he left the pitch, then slammed a gate to the amusement of the crowd. An Alton player was booked for the initial challenge.
Alton took the lead shortly after the restart. The ball was crossed into the middle and the Stoneham keeper did well to get a hand to it and clear the ball, only to see the ball rebound off a team mate and into the back of the net. Alton made the most of the extra man and hit the bar from a shot and forced the Stoneham keeper into several good saves. They scored a third late on from a free kick that was flicked across the six yard box and knocked in. There was still time for a fourth goal just before the end when Stoneham cleared the ball from a corner to the halfway line. An Alton defender launched a high ball that found a team mate on the right side who flicked it past his marker and smashed a shot past the keeper before he had time to react.