Tamworth 4 Alfreton Town FC 1

FT: Tamworth 4    1 Alfreton Town

17 April 2017

Despite recording their sixth straight loss on Tamworth's 4G pitch, Alfreton Town are probably safer now than at any other point of the season with teams below them failing to win. 

They are five ponits above the drop-zone with just two games to play, with both Altrincham and Stalybridge Celtic unable to catch the Red's current total of 40 points.

With just one remaining relegation spot, even if the Reds fail to pick up the two points that would guarantee  National League North survival for next season, Gainsborough Trinity and Worcester City would have to win each of their remaining games.

Manager Russ O'Neills injury list meant that he was again forced to play Tom Allan in central defence alongside Niall Heaton, but there was the opportunity for Academy skipper Ellis Evans to make a confident first start in midfield.

Adam Priestley was also included in the starting line-up, the Gibraltan striker going close with a back header from Heaton's long throw in the seventh minute.

Within seconds Tamworth's Danny Newton embarked on a jinking run that resulted in him firing against the upright, but play swung rapidly back the other way with Craig Westcarr seeing his shot blocked from Priestley's tee-up.

Red's keeper Fabian Spiess superbly tipped over a rasper from Brandon Fox on 16 minutes, then Spiess had to punch clear from Stephan Morley, but the hosts led in the 22nd minute after Allan had impeeded Reece Styche and Newton slotted home from the penalty spot.

Wes Atkinson's low drive was held by home keeper Dan Jeseph and Priestley won a corner kick off Jack Lane from Wescarr's 30th minute free-kick, but Tamworth doubled their advantage in the 37th minute when Newton headed home from a Morley cross.

HT: Tamworth 2    0 Alfreton Town

Within seconds of the restart, Spiess had to tip over from Ben Fox, but Alfreton pushed forward for a soell with Callum McFadzean drilling a shot inches wide of the back post and Andy Monkhouse having a header from a Priestley bye-line cross held by Jezeph.

Spiess had to dive at Newton's feet to prevent a hat-trick, but Mark Shelton tried a dipping shot at the other end that the Tamworth keeper needed to tip over, Westcarr then heading over from a Heaton cross.

Ten minutes from time Spiess blotted his copybook by letting an innocuous 30 yarder from Styche slip through his fingers and in off the post for 3-0, but Monkhouse found the net from Liam Hearn's 87th minute lay-off after Paul Marshall had played the ball through.

The goal brought and end to Alfreton's miserable goal drought that had seen them endure 550 minutes without scoring, but worse was to follow with Shelton shown a red card after a reckless challenge on Newton before Jed Davies cut in from the right to fire home from 18 yards in added time to complete the rout. 

Alfreton Town Team:
Spiess, Richards, Allan ( Shelton h/t ), Heaton, Wilson, McFadzean, Monkhouse, Evans ( Marshall 63), Atkinson, Westcarr ( Hearn 77), Priestley.

Subs not used : Cox, Wright

Tamworth Team:

Jezeph, Burns, Morley, Deeney, Green, Lane, Newton, Brandon Fox ( Powell 70 ), Ben Fox, Styche ( Pegg 80 ), Taylor ( Davies 86 )

Subs not used : Clarke, Dyer 

Attendance: 711

Referee: Robert Massey-Ellis Match Reports

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