Alton caused an upset in the FA Youth Cup as they knocked out a strong Winchester City side 4-2 on penalties after a tense evening at the Exclusive Networks Stadium.
The young Brewers started brightly and were rewarded with an early goal when Herbie Charlton turned home skipper Ollie Kavanagh’s free kick after eight minutes.
Their joy was short-lived as Winchester equalised shortly afterwards when a partially-cleared corner was slotted home.
Ali Wood and Leo Finch both went close but the score remained 1-1 at half-time.
The second half lacked the quality of the first as both teams became more scrappy in their play and the game lacked any real flow.
Winchester dominated the ball but struggled to create clear chances against Alton’s tenacious defence.
As time ticked towards full time the game became more and more frantic.
Alton survived a couple of goalmouth scrambles as fatigue became a factor, but hung on to take it to penalties.
Kavanagh, Finch and Harry Brine scored their kicks while a Balfour save and Winchester miss gave Alton the advantage.
Josh Gardner calmly scored the decisive penalty to take Alton through.