Salford City 1-0 Alfreton Town

FT: Salford City 1    0 Alfreton Town

04 November 2017

A plucky performance by Alfreton Town ended in heartbreak on Saturday as Salford City maintained pole position in the National League North with a solitary goal scored in the third minute of stoppage time. 

A bumper crowd, swelled by the lure of free admission, witnessed the first game at Salford's newly refurbished Moor Lane stadium since being formally opened by Sir Alex Ferguson, making the Reds' task even more onerous in a heavily partisan atmosphere.

Alfreton certainly soaked up a degree of pressure, aided and abetted by Salford's inability to convert chances, but also posed a threat on the counter attack with Brody Robertson's full-blooded volley in the 54th minute testing on-loan keeper Callum Burton to the full.

Controversially the referee awarded a goal-kick, despite the superb save being acknowledged by the home crowd, the chance having been created by debutant striker Nabil Shariff.

More competent defending, some magnificent saves by Chris Elliott and more confident counter-attacking as the clock ticked down counted for nothing though when Mani Dieseruvwe leapt to head home Richie Allen's corner at the near post with three minutes of added time already elapsed.

HT: Salford City 0    0 Alfreton Town

Alfreton had started reasonably well, with Sam Topliss unleashing a ferocious second minute drive that fizzed just wide, then a long Bradley Wood throw triggered a goalmouth scramble which Salford managed to clear.

However the opportunities were stacking up for City with Mike Phenix and Gus Mafula heading the catalogue of missed chances, which also included good saves by Elliott.

The game really sparked into life after the break, Tom Platt almost catching Salford on the hop moments into the second half with a shot that was blocked before Brendon Daniels' back-post header from a Craig Disley cross was saved by Burton.

A snap shot from Anthony Dudley was parried by Elliott before being cleared by Topliss on 50 minutes, then Elliott saved from both Mafula and Carl Piergianni before Platt went close with a header at the other end from a Daniels' corner.

Salford's most blatant miss though was in the 60th minute when Jack Redshaw scooped the ball over a gaping net from less than two yards after being picked out at the back post by Mafula, but as the hosts grew increasingly frustrated Luke Shiels almost did their job for them with a misjudged back header that Elliott did exceptionally well to save.

Alfreton Town Team:

Elliott; Topliss, Shiels, Allan, Wood, Platt, Disley, Everington [Marshall 84], Daniels, Shariff [Johnson 69], Robertson [Westcarr 79].

Other subs: Hinchley, Priestley.

Salford City Team:

C.Burton; Nottingham, Touray, S.Burton, Piergianni, Hogan, Dudley [Askew 69]. Mafula, Phenix [Shelton 90+6], Redshaw [Dieseruvwe 69], Allen.

Other subs: Mc Hale, Beesley.

Attendance: 2074

Man of the Match: Tom Platt

Referee: Paul Brown Match Reports

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