A CONTROVERSIAL penalty saw Alton slip to a 2-1 loss to 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 the spot – and the points were lost.

The result was tough on Alton who had reason to regret 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 played for much of the game.

Richie Hunter and Matt Benham both worked tirelessly in the center of the park.

The first half hour was a tense affair played mostly in the middle of the park resulting in only half chances for both teams.

The match was a bit difficult at times and a few injuries to Luke Perkins and Rob Carr required treatment.

The 33rd minute saw the first controversial incident of the afternoon when a shot from Stoneham’s angle hit the foot of the far post and a support structure from Alton keeper Kieran Greene’s goal and was put back for a corner.

The Stoneham players were convinced that the ball had crossed the line, but the referee and his assistant remained indifferent.

Just before half-time, Alton’s fullback was called into action with a few final blocks and tackles, but they held on and entered the break level.

Stoneham closed shortly after half-time with a header when Jamie Phillips was passed at the far post.

The referee awarded a corner and when Phillips protested that he hadn’t touched the ball, he was booked for ten minutes.

Alton, being a man down, dug deep and defended well, keeping his form and Stoneham’s attack at bay while looking to attack on the break.

In the 55th minute, one of those breaks allowed Junior Kamara to hit a fierce curling drive that came back from the straight to the alert George Bowerman, who pushed home to give Alton the lead.

Just two minutes later, Carr was put through by Benham and his shot was saved well 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 equalized after 80 minutes when a clearance fell on striker Callum Laycock who volleyed beautifully into the roof of Greene’s goal from around 15 yards out.

Shortly after, Fowler was put on trial for tripping a Stoneham player in the box – although to many it looked like the player had just slipped under pressure – and Edward Orvis hid the penalty.

Tomorrow (Saturday) Alton travel to Hythe & Dibden in the league.