Alfreton Town 1-1 Darlington FC

FT: Alfreton Town 1    1 Darlington FC

13 January 2018

Alfreton Town gained their first point at home since mid-September when they drew 1-1 in a vital National League North encounter with Darlington FC on Saturday, bringing an end to an unwelcome run of six straight defeats at the lmpact Arena. 

The Reds had to work hard though for a share of the spoils after going behind in the eighth minute, but deserved something from the game, although the equaliser did not arrive until very late in the contest.

Reece Styche spectacularly put Darlington in the driving seat after James Baxendale had slipped on the far side of the pitch, the visiting striker pouncing on the loose ball to cut in from the right and hammer it past Chris Elliott from distance.

The Reds though should have been in front themselves in the third minute when a Brendon Daniels cross left Ryan Jennings with only keeper James Talbot to beat, but his initial shot from close range was blocked and he injured himself as he attempted to poke the rebound home.

Frank Mulhern twice, Chris Sharp and Tom Platt all went close as Alfreton tried hard to find a way back into the game, whilst Talbot pulled off a magnificent save to pluck away a Daniels free-kick bound for the top corner of the net.

HT: Alfreton Town 0    1 Darlington FC

The Reds plugged away in the second half with Mulhern steering the ball beyond the back post after a promising run into the area on 56 minutes, Jennings had a full-blooded drive blocked and Sharp's intuitive overhead kick was on target but held by the keeper.

Alfreton were rewarded for their endeavours two minutes from time when Talbot inexplicably lashed out at Tom Allan, and after a heated debate the referee sent off the Darlington keeper and awarded a penalty.

After a lengthy delay, in which outfield player Gary Brown donned the keeper's jersey, Daniels remained calm, cool and collected to slot the spot-kick home and maintain the Reds' position above their opponents.

Daniels was then unfortunate with a chance that fell to him sharply, just missing the target from 14 yards, but there was still a sting in the tail as young defender Pierce Bird was sent off for a reckless tackle on Harvey Saunders in the sixth minute of added time.

Alfreton Town Team:

Elliott; Wood, Shiels, Bird, Allan, Platt, Jennings, Baxendale [Disley 58], Daniels, Mulhern [Johnson 73], Sharp.

Other subs: Burdett, Topliss, Keane.

Darlington FC Team:

Talbot; Portas, Galbraith, Scott, Eaton, Brown, Mills [Saunders 73], Turnbull, Styche, Gillies [Wheatley 76], Thompson.

Other subs: Marrs, Syers, Caton.

Attendance: 727

Man of the Match: Brendon Daniels

Referee: Dean Watson Match Reports

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