Alfreton Town 0 Darlington 1883 3

FT: Alfreton Town 0    3 Darlington FC

15 April 2017

Alfreton emerged from their fifth straight defeat without scoring, thankful for a six point gap that remains between themselves and the relegation zone with three matches remaining.

It was alays going to be difficult for the Reds with a growing  injury/ illness list,  which kept out central defenders Terry Kennedy and Brad McGowan and also ending the game without striker Sam Smith, who left the p[itch in pain with his arm in a sling after challenging for a cross with visiting keeper Adam Bartlett.

To their credit the keeper and a Darlington defender immediately allerted the referee and assisted Smith whilst whilst the visiting physio arrived.

Darlington had started the game like a greyhound coming out of the traps, being denied by the woodwork twice in the opening six minutes. Mark Beck heading against the foot of the post on three with the ball then rebounding off Fabian Spiess, then David Ferguson smashed his shot from all of 30 yards against virtually the same spot on the upright

Even at that early stage Spiess had already had to beat out a ferocious drive from Stephen Thompson, Alfreton at last managing to push forward in the 19th minute with Callum McFadzean'a shot blocked after Liam Hearn had slipped the ball through to Craig Westcarr on the right.

The Reds were unlucky to have a McFadzean goal ruled out for off-side six minutes later from a Mark Shelton cross after a neat interchange between Wes Atkinson and Hearn, but almost immediately at the other end Spiess held a close range header from Josh Gillies.

Tweve minutes before the break Darlington struck when a through ball fell kindly to Nathan Cartman, who remained on-side to slot the ball past Spiess then on 42 minutes there was a double escape for the Reds when Thompson's back-heel was cleared off the line by Niall Heaton with Spiess blocking the follow up.

HT: Alfreton Town 0    1 Darlington FC

Four minutes into the second half Paul Marshall's cross was met with a miskick by McFadzean, with Westcarr curling the loose ball over, then with 58 minutes on the clock Darlington doubled their advantage when Gillies lashed home a Thompson cross at the back post.

On the hour Hearn ran on to a through ball and tried in vain to lob Bartlett, but the game was over by the 63rd minute when Shelton was deemed to have held back Beck and Terry Galbraith stroked the resultant penalty past Spiess.

A neat move between McFadzean and Adam Priestley led to Smith's angled drive being turned behind by the keeper after 67 minutes, but the only other direct chance to come Alfreton's way was a Priestley header that was held by Bartlett in added time.

Alfreton Town Team:

Spiess, Richards, Allan, Heaton, Wilson, McFadzean (Priestley 64), Atkinson, Marshall, Shelton, Westcarr ( S. Smith 55), Hearn (Evans83)

Subs not used : Monkhouse, Cox

Darlington FC Team:

Bartlett, Hunter, Ferguson, Turnbull, Galbraith (Marrs 80 ), Brown, Thompson (Wearmouth 85), Syers (Scott 65), Beck, Cartman, Gillies

Subs not used : Wilczynski, Saunders 

Attendance: 867

Referee: Paul Marsden Match Reports

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