Darlington 4-1 Alfreton Town

FT: Darlington FC 4    1 Alfreton Town

12 August 2017

It was another difficult day for Alfreton Town as they slipped to a second away defeat in four days, despite taking a lead inside 33 seconds at Darlington on Saturday.

ln fact the hosts' equaliser came barely a minute after Chris Sharp's early opener, Craig Disley having fed Craig Westcarr on the left before home keeper Adam Bartlett presented the striker with a simple tap-in. Just 100 seconds had ticked by when Darlington capitalised on the Reds'defensive dithers through James Caton from six yards, the cross originating from Gary Brown via Billy Priestley's wayward header.

Heavy rain wasn't helping either side, with players struggling for a foothold, but Disley's drive wide and Sharp's glancing header that was held by Bartlett boded well for Alfreton - however Sharp landed heavily and had to be replaced by Andre Johnson before the game had reached its quarter mark.

Billy Whitehouse almost had the Reds back in front on 27 minutes with a snap shot that was turned behind for a corner by Bartlett, but six minutes later it was the Quakers who threatened when Mark Beck rose to head a Caton Cross against the bar.

Bradley Wood had impressed on his return to the Reds from Lincoln City, heading off the line in vain from David Syers in the build-up to the second goal, which arrived in the 37th minute courtesy of Josh Gillies. Just before half-time Chris Elliott saved well from Syers and a slick Alfreton move saw Johnson's interchange with Westcarr lead to Whitehouse curling the ball just wide of the target.

HT: Darlington FC 2    1 Alfreton Town

Five minutes after the break Disley's back-header from a Whitehouse cross was parried by Bartlett before being hacked out of play by Terry Galbraith, but the third goal came in the 55th minute when David Ferguson was on hand to slot home after Reds' keeper Chris Elliott had parried a Syers shot.

It was 4-1 eight minutes later when Gillies pounced after a Ferguson shot had been blocked, Alfreton tried to respond with efforts from Westcarr and Johnson before Bartlett smothered a Westcarr through-ball at the feet of Brody Robertson.

The Reds' final chance of a forgettable afternoon was a Westcarr free-kick right on the edge of the area that rebounded off the wall for Sam Topliss to blast over.

Alfreton Town Team:

Elliott; Topliss, Shiels, Priestley, Wood, Jennings [Robertson 64], Platt [ Nyoni 64], Disley, Whitehouse, Sharp [Johnson 21], Westcarr.

Other subs: Allan, McGowan. 

Darlington FC Team:

Bartlett; Hunter, Galbraith, Turnbull, Collins, Brown, Gillies, Syers [Scott 58], Beck [Fenwick 64], Caton [Thompson], Ferguson.

Other subs: Saunders, Wilczinski.

Attendance: 1547

Referee: Tom Parsons Match Reports

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