Alfreton Town 2-0 Ashton United

FT: Alfreton Town 2    0 Ashton United

02 March 2019

Second half goals from Bobby Johnson and Dec Bacon ensured Alfreton Town made it three league wins in a row in a tough battle at the Impact Arena against Ashton United on Saturday.

Billy Heath opted for two changes with Richard Peniket and Josh Clackstone coming into start. Danny O'Brien and Dec Bacon moved to the bench alongside a returning Danny Clarke.

The game started at a slow pace with both sides not really injecting urgency into the contest from minute one, possession was traded from both sides with the midfield a key area early on. Former Red Ryan Jennings was caught offside before putting pressure on Sam Ramsbottom who held onto the ball well.

Alfreton did create the first major chance after seven minutes when a cross from the left from Josh Wilde was nearly tapped home on the stretch by Richard Peniket but there appeared to be inches between the ball and the Reds striker's foot.

Ashton threatened when Connor Dimaio fired high over the bar, Jennings effort was easily saved by Sam before the Robins should have taken the lead after 18, a long throw caused us problems in the box and the loose ball was hooked over the bar by Regan.

Neither side were able to really control the game as the first half wore on, Clackstone's cross was cleared away before the Reds full back headed just wide from Bobby Johnson's lofted pass.

Another opening came for us on 37 minutes when Peniket scuffed an effort wide of the post from a few yards out, this came after a corner from Jordan Sinnott caused a scramble and Martin Riley's shot fell to Peniket in the box.

Sinnott then fired way wide after a neat flick from Johnson but neither keeper were really tested in the first half with a lack of goal mouth action a frustration for the Reds.

Ashton would have been the happier of the two sides at the break with the visitors well in the game and they did create a few decent chances.

HT: Alfreton Town 0    0 Ashton United

The second half was far better then the first and Ashton had the first big chance of the half almost immediately as Jennings sliced his effort wide in the box after a back-heel from Dimaio; Sam then raced out well to deny Kallum Mantack with a smother at the former Alfreton man's feet.

The Robins were pressing in the second half and another important defensive header from Peniket prevented another dangerous ball in.

Alfreton had a penalty appeal turned down when Kay appeared to handball in the box after a whipped cross from Dec Bacon.

Ashton then cleared off the line when Sinnott's cross on the left was cleared as far as Clackstone whose cross was flicked goalwards by Peniket but the ball was cleared off the line at the far post.

The Reds were wrestling control of the second half and were creating some good openings, Bacon curled over the bar in the box in what was a huge opening but just as frustration appeared to be the theme of the game with Alfreton wasting some good chances; up stepped Bobby Johnson on 72 minutes who hit a trademark free kick from 25 yards which curled into the far corner with the goalkeeper rooted.

The goal brought welcome relief and added injection to the play for the Reds, who without playing amazingly well; had produced a stunning piece of quality to lead a low-key contest.

On 84 minutes we sealed the game with Bacon latching onto a loose ball on the left and the striker finished superbly underneath McMahon who did get a touch but the ball had too much pace on it as it bounced in.

Alfreton made it three league wins in a row for the first time since August and without playing particularly well produced the quality when needed to seal the points in what proved to be a tough encounter against relegation threatened Ashton.

The Reds will be looking to continue the excellent form and momentum as we travel to bottom club Nuneaton Borough on Saturday looking for a fourth league win in a row. Kick off is 3pm.

Alfreton Town Team:

ATFCXI: Ramsbottom, Clackstone, Wilde, Lynch (Bacon 47), Shiels (c), Riley, Smith, Johnson, Peniket (Clarke 67), Sinnott, Hotte.

Subs Not Used: Nicholson, Allan, O'Brien.

Attendance: 413

Referee: Aaron Jackson Match Reports

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