08 October 2016
Alfreton Town made a remarkable recovery to draw level after conceding three goals at Broadhurst Park on Saturday, but could not prevent FC United of Manchester from snatching a disputed late winner.
Reds' manager Nicky Law brought in new signings Paul Marshall and Adam Smith, the latter scoring twice for good measure, but injuries, unavailability and lnternational duty restricted the bench to a trio of occupants.
Defender George Edmundson, who had been unavailable for almost a month through suspension and ineligibility, also made a welcome return.
It had taken the hosts barely two minutes to open the scoring following a George Thomson corner, Kallam Mantack's goal-line clearance from Luke Ashworth's header falling to Kieran Glynn, who rammed the ball home from six yards.
Worse was to follow after 11 minutes when Matthew Wolfenden's shot from the edge of the area deceived Fabian Spiess as it spun off Brad McGowan, the move stemming from a Thomson cross.
it was 3-0 to the home side on 37 minutes when Thomson was allowed too much space 18 yards out to score with ease after Glynn and Wolfenden had combined on the left.
Alfreton had scarcely been in contention to this point, but a goal four minutes before the break lifted their spirits, new signing Adam Smith beating his marker to run on to Craig Westcarr's headed through-ball before steering low past home keeper Dave Carnell from ten yards.
The boot was firmly on the other foot for the opening minutes of the second half with the Reds in total command, Clayton winning a 49th minute corner from a good save by Carnell, Westcarr's delivery inadvertently headed towards goal by United's Nathan Lowe and McGowan leaping high to head in off the crossbar - his first goal for the club.
Five minutes later Westcarr's free-kick was headed back into the mix by Clayton at the back post, McGowan was able to turn the ball towards Smith, and he took great delight in smashing the ball through a ruck of players from just inside the area.
Clayton twice found himself in great positions, forcing Carnell into a vital save but firing inches wide from Smith's inviting cross in the 74th minute.
Four minutes later Spiess blocked a full-blooded drive from Lowe, but the keeper was unable to prevent the fourth FC goal eight minutes from time when a corner fell to Thomson, whose follow-through in feeding scorer Ashworth left Terry Kennedy crumpled on the edge of the area.
Alfreton Town Team:
Spiess; Mantack, Kennedy, McGowan, Heaton, Edmundson, Allan,
Marshall, A.Smith, Westcarr [Wilson 86], Clayton.
other subs: S.Smith, Ottley.
FC United of Manchester Team:
Carnell; Williams, Tonge [Wright 80], Lowe, Eckersley [Corbett 57], Ashworth, Wolfenden, Glynn, Greaves [Johnson 90], Thomson, Winter.
other subs: Gilchrist, Brown.
Referee: Garreth Rhodes