Blyth Spartans 0-1 Alfreton Town

FT: Blyth Spartans 0    1 Alfreton Town

23 January 2018

Alfreton Town returned from their longest trip of the season with a sensational 1-0 win and a National League North double over Blyth Spartans on Tuesday night.

lt was only the Northumberland team's second home defeat of the season, and despite the hosts racking up 14 corners during the course of the 90 minutes the Reds' defence remained solid, organised and competent as they clambered up to 13th place in the table.

lt was a massive team effort on a heavy pitch in swirling wind, with Brendon Daniels' 30th minute goal deciding the outcome, his back post header finding the net from a Ryan Jennings cross after Ceiron Keane had chased a lost cause.

Alfreton had looked confident from the start with Keane almost forging a way through from a long Bradley Wood throw, then in the 11th minute Chris Sharp could not quite reach a return pass from Jennings with Blyth's rearguard stretched.

Greg Rutherford headed over for the home team, then at the other end Daniels unleashed a rocket from 25 yards that keeper Peter Jameson allowed to squirm out of his arms for a Reds' corner.

As Blyth began to mount a series of attacks after falling behind Luke Shiels needed to tackle back superbly as veteran winger Robbie Dale tried to waltz through, then in first half added time Chris Elliott stretched to tip over a powerful shot from Rutherford.

HT: Blyth Spartans 0    1 Alfreton Town

Alfreton were content to soak up relentless pressure after the break, but carried out their task with organisation and authority, but there were opportunities for them to exploit on the break, notably when Marcus Marshall swaggered into the box with a mazy run in the 81st minute only to fire straight at the keeper.

Craig Disley had needed to clear off the line from Daniel Maguire on 58 minutes, then 16 minutes later Jordan Laidler's thunderbolt from distance looked destined for the top corner of the net until Elliott tipped it over for Blyth's ninth corner of the second half.

Shots rained in from Maguire, Dale and Sean Reid that were blocked at source or before they became effective, but right at the end Reid should have done better with a glancing header from a Dale cross that left the partisan crowd bitterly disappointed.

Alfreton Town Team:
Elliott; Wood, Shiels, Bird, Allan, Keane, Disley, Jennings [Hodge 76], Platt, Daniels [Marshall 62], Sharp [Johnson 86].

Blyth Spartans Team:

Jameson; Atkinson, Liddle, Laidler, Buddle, Hutchinson [Mullen 24], Rivers, Reid, Rutherford [Maguire h/t], Hopson, Wrightson 68], Dale.

Other subs: MacDonald, Watson.

Attendance: 541

Man of the Match: Chris Elliott

Referee: Paul Brown Match Reports

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