15 November 2016
Alfreton Town's F.A.Cup journey is over after defeat in South Wales on Tuesday night, but League Two outfit Newport County needed extra-time before winning this Second Round replay.
lt had been an admirable performance by the Reds on a dreadful pitch to force an additional 30 minutes, every single player in an Alfreton shirt deserving praise on a difficult night.
Newport had understandably pushed Alfreton back as much as they could, but their isolated raids were largely dealt with and it wasn't until tiredness affected the team in added time that the hosts pulled clear.
Brad McGowan had blocked Josh Sheerien's fifth minute shot before Fabian Spiess stretched to divert his follow-up shot, Adam Smith saw his back-post header from a 23rd minute Niall Heaton throw held in response and Sheerien again drew a save from Spiess before Andy Monkhouse cleared.
Any neutral might have struggled to spot that two divisons lay between the two sides, as fluent an attack as any on the night seeing Paul Clayton, Monkhouse and Adam Priestley exchange passes before an off-side decision broke up the 55th minute move.
Ryan Wilson's inswinging corner needed heading behind at the near post by Darren Jones, but Newport struck in the 68th minute when an angled drive by Rhys Healey found the far corner of the net.
Not to be outdone Alfreton conjured up an equaliser just seven minutes later with the slickest move of the night, Priestley taking a return pass from Smith to head firmly past keeper Joe Day from 12 yards.
History had been made with the Reds scoring on a Football League opponent's ground for the first time, having previously failed to register in 1969 at Barrow, 35 years later at Macclesfield and in 2008 at Scunthorpe.
Extra-time took its toll though, much as the Severn Bridge had earlier, Kallam Mantack having to clear off the line from Ben Tozer in the 92nd minute before a corner four minutes later led to confusion in the box and the ball was stabbed past Spiess by Jordan Green from close range.
Both Monkhouse and Sam Smith went close as the Reds refused to lie down, but they were sunk by the killer third goal on 110 minutes when Sheerien swept a cross from the right home from six yards.
Tired legs allowed Jazzi Barnum-Bobb to waltz through for Newport's fourth goal after 117 minutes with the simplest of finishes, the final score flattering the home side who knew quite clearly that they had been given a severe test.
Alfreton Town Team:
Spiess; Mantack, McGowan, Kennedy [Allan 99], Heaton, Nyoni, Wilson, Monkhouse, A.Smith, Clayton [Hearn 89], Priestley [S.Smith 89].
[all subs used]
Newport County AFC Team:
Day; Barnum-Bobb, Butler, Jones, Compton [Wood 36] [Cameron 110], Myrie-Williams, Tozer, Sheerien, Bennett, Rigg, Healey.
other subs: Bittner, Angel, Touray.
Referee: Brett Huxtable