It was all over by half-time as Alton cruised to a 3-0 win at Spelthorne Sports in the Combined Counties Premier Division South on Saturday.

Alex Merrifield scored his first goal for the club on nine minutes, heading home from fully 15 yards out past the despairing dive of the home keeper.

Things got even better for Alton in the 15th minute when Owen Lumsden latched on to an Archie Larkham through ball and was brought down in the penalty area by a retreating defender. Pat Cox confidently sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot.

But Spelthorne were not going to just roll over and Lewis Mees in the Alton goal twice had to make really important saves to maintain their advantage as the hosts strived to get back in the game.

The third goal very nearly arrived after a really super passing movement. Louis Russell fed Cox looking for a one-two, but Cox cleverly laid the ball back into Lumsden who split the defence to find the galloping Russell clear on goal on the angle. The advancing keeper made a brilliant save to divert the ball wide for a corner.

Right on half-time the third came. Spelthorne struggled to clear a corner and when the ball fell to Matt Graham he delivered the most inviting of crosses to the back post where Cox thumped a header down into the corner of the net past the unprotected goalkeeper.

The second half was a bit of a non-event, as Alton played sensibly knowing that they just needed to not give anything away on a pitch that had proved a bit lifeless from the start, stifling the bounce of the ball for both sides.

Alton manager Kevin Adair said: “We started on the front foot. We were aggressive and positive in everything we did early doors.

“That gave us a foothold in the game and we gained control quite early, which has been a feature of our game in recent weeks.

“We just do what we do rather than try to work them out and it seems to be working for us at the moment.”

Alton are at home to Spelthorne in the return league game on Saturday.