ALTON 3, WINCHESTER IV 3
A TOUGH and talented Winchester 4th XI held Alton to only their second draw of the season.
Alton, who have won all 16 of their other games, have already clinched promotion from Hampshire 3, but will not settle for anything but the league championship.
Luke Bottomley finished off a well-worked move to give Alton an early lead and solid defensive work from Jonny Dane, Scott Reading and Dan Trim were keeping the visitors well in check.
Kevin Scowcroft then made it 2-0 and the league leaders seemed well on their way, but the city side were made of stern stuff and pulled a goal back shortly before half-time.
Winchester’s fast play forced Alton to make mistakes in the second half and a freakish bounce off the post resulted in the equaliser.
A tense period followed as both sides fought furiously to gain the upper hand. Alton clawed back the lead after a counter-attack, with Martin Kercher slipping the ball between the keeper’s legs. But Winchester applied tremendous pressure in the closing stages and the tiring home side conceded another equaliser.
Alton, with a game in hand, now lead second-placed Poole by a single point. The leaders travel to bottom side Portsmouth & Southsea this week.