Alton went close to stunning one of their local rivals last week – and now they have their sights on another.

The Brewers were denied a Combined Counties Premier South victory over Farnham Town by an awful referee’s decision.

Tonight (Tuesday) they are back in action in another A31 derby when they travel to Wrecclesham to take on high-riding Badshot Lea (kick-off 7.45pm).

The two sides met earlier this season on a boiling-hot bank holiday afternoon at Anstey Park, and the Baggies recovered from a stuttering start to run out 5-1 winners.

Alton were still finding their feet in the competition after their summer switch from the Wessex League and manager Kevin Adair admits: “They were among our darkest days.

“We were still struggling to get numbers in and players were leaving for other clubs – we are in much better shape now to face them.

“We are a lot closer to where we want to be, but to be honest we should be – we are in January. The squad are in good spirits and we know that but for a poor refereeing decision, we would have beaten Farnham – and we would have deserved it.

“Badshot Lea are a good side but so are we. On our day I believe we are a match for anyone. Jersey Bulls are one of the best sides in the division and we went there and gave them a good game – it took them a long time to break us down.

“We have a lot of good players available – we are missing only one or two players from being able to name our strongest side, but we know we are almost always going to have one or two players out each week.

“We are looking forward to the game. Just because they are near the top of the table doesn’t mean it’s a free hit for us – our next five games are against sides in the top seven in the table. They can’t all be free hits – that would be a lot of free hits!”

Badshot Lea co-manager Gavin Smith is expecting a tough encounter. “We don’t see it as a different type of game because it’s a local derby – we have a lot of derbies when we play the likes of Camberley, Frimley, Farnham and others. We don’t have a huge rivalry with them and the players don’t really know one another.

“But we know they will have a strong side out and they’ll be tough. We struggled for the first 45 minutes when we played them earlier in the season and we will be on our guard.”

The game takes place at the Baggies’ Operatix Community Ground in Westfield Lane, Wrecclesham.