Alton manager Kevin Adair has called for his side to get on the right side of tight margins by making the most of key moments in games.

Adair’s side have been competitive on their return to the Combined Counties Premier Division South this season, but are looking to return to winning ways after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Cobham.

The visitors took the lead in the first half through Siph Mdlalose’s composed finish, but Cobham turned the game on its head in the second half with two quickfire goals.

A philosophical Adair said: “The game plan was good – we were disciplined. We defended well and scored a good goal.

“We got in at half-time 1-0 up, but we could have been 2-0 up with the chances we had.

“We then conceded from a corner, which was really disappointing. Cobham then scored a debatable second goal which may have been offside, but in the key moments they were clinical and took two chances.

“We had five or six good chances but took only one. If we had gone 2-0 up it could have been a different game.

“We had a lot of youngsters in the squad, and that is definitely a positive for the club moving forwards. We’re also competing in all our games. Out of 26 league and cup games this season we’ve rarely lost by more than a two-goal margin.

“We’re in games, we just need to get on the right side of the tight margins more often.

“We’re not under any pressure from the board, but we’re playing to win and that brings pressure in itself. Sometimes when you’re winning the natural thing is for the team to drop and soak up some pressure.

“We don’t want the team to drop deep. This is a big, powerful, athletic league and you get put under pressure from different areas of the pitch. If you close off one side of the pitch teams can go down the other side and hurt you there.”

The Cobham match was Alton’s first since losing 2-0 at Jersey Bulls on December 17, as the Combined Counties took a break for Christmas. Adair feels it may have been prudent for the league to have arranged matches in that period though.

“The Combined Counties must be one of the only leagues not playing fixtures over Christmas,” he said. “We’ve struggled a bit with injuries so we gave some players time off, while others needed some game time.

“If we get wet weather for the next four to six weeks that’s going to potentially cause the league problems with a backlog of fixtures.

“We’re lucky that our home games are never in jeopardy as we’ve got a 3G pitch.”

Alton were frustrated by the weather on Tuesday night, when their trip to Badshot Lea in the Combined Counties Premier Division South was called off.

Next up for Alton is a home game against second-bottom Sheerwater on Saturday (3pm), and Adair is targeting a return to winning ways.

“There are no easy games in this league, but we’re at home so we’ll be looking to pick up three points for sure,” he said.