07 January 2017
Alfreton Town were on the wrong end of a nine goal bonanza whilst they were beaten 6-3 at Harrogate Town on Saturday, where they experienced a 3G artificial surface for the first time.
There was just one change from the side that had beaten AFC Telford United on New Year's Day, Fabian Speiss back in goal after Ross Etheridge on loan from Doncaster Rovers was recalled by his parent club.
There was little to suggest what was in stall for the visitors when a hopeful through ball bounced awkwardly on the artificial surface as Harrogate's keeper Peter Crook and defender Tom Platt converged on it, resulting in Mark Shelton being left with an empty goal to put Alfreton ahead in the eigth minute.
However three goals in a lethal five-minute spell for the hosts soon wiped the smiles from the Red's faces, former Alfreton midfielder Joe Leesley at the heart of the trilogy that started in the 17th minute when his cross was swept past Speiss at his near post by Warren Burrell.
Two minutes later Simon Ainge headed home a Leesley corner, the move repeated with equal success in the 22nd minute, moments after Brad McGowan had cleared off the line.
Leesley then found his name on the scoresheet with Harrogate's forth goal on 31 minutes, his free kick curling directly into the net.
Alfreton were struggling to respond, but Shelton was desperately unlucky not to score again when he latched on to Westcarr's 39th minute cross, only for Platt to fling himself in front of the shot to divert the ball behind.
Westcarr's bye-line cross nine minutes into the second half was held by Crook at the near post, the keeper setting up a swift break that led to Harrogate's fifth goal and Ainge's hat-trick with a cool finish.
Shelton was denied at close range by Luke Shiels after sub Paul Clayton's shot had been blocked in the 57th minute, Alfreton gaining some consolation eight minutes later with a delightful header by Clayton that found the top corner of the net from a Paul Marshall cross.
Marshall was guilty of a glaring error eight minutes from time, his weak back-pass inviting Ainge to notch his fourth goal, the final word going to Westcarr in the 89th minute when he convertedhis third penalty in as many games after Clayton had been flattened by Crook.
Alfreton Town Team:
Speiss, Gascoigne, McGowan, Jordan, Heaton, Mantack (Nyoni h/t), Marshall, Monkhouse, Wilson ( Clayton h/t), Shelton, Westcarr
Subs not used : Priestley, Hearn, Kennedy
Harrogate Town Team:
Harrogate Town : Crook, Platt, Parker, Thanoj, Shiels (Swain 65), Ainge, Colbeck, Kerry, Pitman (Chilaka 77), Burrell, Leesley (Turner 71)
Subs not used : Day, Cadman
Referee: Marc Edwards