Alton manager Kevin Adair was satisfied with his side’s efforts after the Brewers won 4-3 at Epsom & Ewell in the Combined Counties Premier Division South on Saturday, although he saw room for improvement after his side conceded two late goals.

The Brewers led 4-1 after 90 minutes, but the home side scored two goals in injury time to set up a tense finale.

The all-weather surface allowed both sides to play some nice football and the visitors should have already been in the lead before Ross Stepney towered above everyone else to power an unstoppable header home on 22 minutes.

Further chances came for the visitors, before Alton finally extended their lead right on half-time. Darnell McDonald had been a constant threat down the left flank, and he delivered a quality cross to the back post where Pat Cox was unmarked to head home.

Alton pressed on in the second half but were pegged back when the hosts broke away and won a penalty, which was clinically dispatched by Nicholas Wilson.

Alton’s two-goal lead was restored on 70 minutes. McDonald swept past his marker again and delivered another quality cross which the arriving Jamie Hoppitt drove home at the back post.

The game appeared completely over on 85 minutes when Stepney headed home his second goal of the game to make it 4-1.

The home side refused to lie down, though, and Wilson’s deflected free kick reduced the arrears in injury time.

Luke Miller confidently slid home a couple of minutes later to make it 4-3, but the Brewers held on to claim the three points.

“If you play well for 90 minutes that’s not enough – you need to play for 97 or 98 minutes now,” said Adair.

“Anyone who left the game after 90 minutes when we were 4-1 up would have been impressed by our performance, and we arguably could have been even further ahead.

“We then switched off and it’s a good reminder to the group that any team in this league can cause you problems if you’re not at it and you give them a sniff.”

The win kept Alton in the play-off spots with ten league games remaining for the Brewers this season.

Adair’s side are one of the form sides in the division and have only lost one of their past 16 league games – a 6-1 defeat at runaway league leaders Farnham Town in November.

The Alton manager is delighted with his side’s form and is looking forward to the run-in.

“We’ve been on a great run and we’re definitely in the mix for a play-off spot now,” said Adair.

“We’ve only lost one league game since October.

“Originally when we got in the play-offs other clubs had games in hand on us, and some clubs still do, but we’ve kept the form going and are now being talked about in the play-off conversation.

“We’re also getting players back from injury at a key time of the season and it promises to be an exciting run-in.

“We’ve got a points target in mind that we’re aiming for which hopefully will secure us a play-off spot.”

Alton will travel to Combined Counties Premier Division South strugglers Colliers Wood United on Saturday (3pm), and Adair is targeting another positive result.

“We respect Colliers Wood but we will go there looking for another positive performance to continue our push for a top-five finish,” he said.