Alfreton Town 2 Blyth Spartans 0

FT: Alfreton Town 2    0 Blyth Spartans

05 August 2017

A lively start to the game led to a great chance for Andre Johnson, who pulled his shot just beyond the post from a Ryan Jennings pass but it was the Reds' central defender Like Shiels who needed to be alert with a superb tackle to foil Jordan Laidler in the tenth minute.

There was a spell of Blyth pressure that was comfortably soaked up-meanwhile Craig Westcarr won a 16th minute corner that led to visitng keeper Shaun MacDonald blocking a Johnson header, but at the other end Chris Elliott had to claw away a deep cross from the evergreen Robbie Dale who has notched up over 600 appearances for the Spartans.

Alfreton edged into a 40th minute lead when Sam Topliss unleashed a long throw that was helped on for Shiels to hook past MacDonald from about ten yards.

HT: Alfreton Town 1    0 Blyth Spartans

Just seconds after the break Marcus Marshall's trickery on the right set up Johnson for another chance that the keeper blocked, but almost immediatley in response Elliott had to save low from Daniel Maguire, before parrying a stinging drive from the same player then diving at Jarrett River's feet to recover the loose ball.

Alfreton dug in and following this latest bought of resistance forged an opening to double their advantage in the 65th minute, Craig Disley forcing the ball through to Westcarr who initially lost out to MacDonald, but the striker managed to regain possession and provide the perfect pass for Johnson's stooping header at the back post.

David McTiernan headed onto the roof of the Elliott's net, but it was another dazzling run by Marshall that culminated in his driven cross evading everybody in the box.

Back came Blyth again and Elliott had to tip over at full stretch from Rivers with 14 minutes remaining, then Marshall dispossessed Michael Liddle to feed Billy Whitehouse, but his cross was squandered by Johnson.

There was a bizarre ending with referee James Bell pulling up with a calf injury - he was replaced by Daniel Jarvis for the final seven minutes of added time, with both managers agreeing to play on with only one official on the line. 

There was still time for Westcarr to see his effort scrambled off the line with Whitehouse's follow-up blocked

Alfreton Town Team:
Elliott, Topliss, Shiels, Priestley, Allan, Marshall ( Snodin 90+2 ), Disley, Platt, Jennings (Whitehouse 74 ), Westcarr,  Johnson ( Robertson 81 )

 Subs not used : Nyoni, McGowan

Blyth Spartans Team:

MacDonald, Hutchinson, Liddle, Horner, Buddle, J. Watson, Rivers, Hopson, Maguire ( Mullen 85 ), Laidler ( McTiernan h/t ), Dale

Subs not used : Cartwright, Jameson, I. Watson 

Attendance: 596

Referee: James Bell Match Reports

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