Sunday, 3 March 2013

Saving Alton Town

The Save Alton Town FC poster, pinned to a fence outside the ground.
I was at Alton Town on Saturday for their match against Hayling United - normally, a run of the mill Wessex League fixture, but this time it was a special occasion. With the club being threatened with eviction at the end of the season by their landlords, the multinational brewing corporation Molson Coors, a section of their fans had designated Saturday 2nd March 2013 as "Save Alton Town Day". They were calling on local people and football fans from far and wide to come and support them for the day, to prove to the ground's owners that they are an essential part of the local community.

It worked brilliantly, with 448 people turning up to show their support for the club in its hour of need. To put this figure in perspective, there were more people at Alton Town on Saturday than there were at neighbours Farnborough and Basingstoke Town (whose league, the Conference South, is at the second-highest level of non-league football in England). The attendance even outstripped one at Conference National level. A superb effort.

I shall be writing what passes for a match report in due course, but it won't appear until the end of the week, as I'm working away from home without internet access for a few days. In the meantime, here's a few photos from the match for you.

A big crowd at Alton Town v Hayling United on Saturday.
Alton Town's stand looks rickety from the side, but is solid enough on the inside where it really counts.
Sylvester cheering the lads on.
Simba Mlambo speeding down the wing.
The sun shines on the old stand at half-time.
Mlambo battles for a high ball with two Hayling defenders.
A curious storage tank occupies one corner of the ground.

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