Alfreton Town 1-2 Harrogate Town

FT: Alfreton Town 1    2 Harrogate Town

28 October 2017

Alfreton Town threw everything at League leaders Harrogate Town on Saturday, but could not overcome a disastrous start in which they found themselves two goals adrift inside the opening seven minutes.

?It looked as if the visitors were going to run away with the game when former Reds' midfielder Joe Leesley converted a third minute penalty after Jack Emmett had been tripped just inside the area, then four minutes later Emmett himself stabbed a deep Ben O'Hanlon cross past Chris Elliott from close range.

Alfreton though gradually found a way back into the game, and with ten minutes of the first half remaining Tom Allan popped up with a back post header from a Brendon Daniels free-kick to reduce the deficit. Just before Allan's goal Leesley had clipped the crossbar from wide left for Harrogate, while Allan headed over from a Cieron Keane cross for the Reds, then Kegan Etherington's weak header with the goal at his mercy from a Ryan Jennings cross drifted palpably wide.

HT: Alfreton Town 1    2 Harrogate Town

It was almost all Alfreton in the second half as shots were blocked or saved by visiting keeper James Belshaw, and despite Leesley receiving a second yellow card in the 49th minute ten-men Harrogate held out to strengthen their position at the top of the National League North.

Allan had another great opportunity at the back post from a Daniels free-kick, but the ball hit his shoulder as he leapt to nod in, then Belshaw saved a powerful Luke Shiels header from a Daniels corner.

Shiels though needed to tackle back as Mitchell Curry raced through midway through the second half, but it was Alfreton who resumed their barrage of attacks as Belshaw was finally outwitted by Craig Westcarr, who rolled the ball across the face of goal with no-one able to take advantage.

To make matters worse another ex-Red Terry Kennedy blatantly handled a long throw from Bradley Wood in the 74th minute, but no penalty was given, with the officials totally oblivious to what had clearly happened, and with two minutes remaining Belshaw somehow plucked Daniels' goalbound free-kick out of the air at full stretch.

Alfreton Town Team:

Elliott; Topliss, Shiels, Allan, Keane, Wood, Jennings [Johnson 67], Platt, Etherington [Westcarr 61], Daniels, Robertson.

Other subs: Disley, Evans, Hinchley.

Harrogate Town Team:

Belshaw; Fallowfield, O'Hanlon, Falkingham, Kennedy, Burrell, Thomson, Emmett, Nelson [Curry 59], Agnew, Leesley.

Other subs: Vann, Cracknell, Thewlis, Middleton

Attendance: 569

Man of the Match: Brendon Daniels

Referee: Samuel Barrott Match Reports

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