19 April 2016
Match picture album courtesy of Anthony Siddall to follow . . .
Alfreton Town's amazing run of unbeaten away games stretched to eleven league and cup outings when they visited Stalybridge Celtic on Tuesday evening.
Tom Allan replaced Julian Banton in the only change from their 3-2 victory over Harrogate Town ten days earlier, an early chance falling to the Reds when Andi Thanoj went close with a curling free-kick.
Dan Bradley's shot from Lindon Meikle's seventh minute cross was blocked before Celtic responded with Reds' keeper Matt Duke needing to make saves from Jack Higgins and Danny Burns.
Alfreton were ahead by the 15th minute though when Sam Jones stabbed the ball past home keeper Tony McMillan from close range after a scintillating run down the left flank by Joe Leesley.
McMillan went on to make routine saves from Leesley [19th minute], Bradley [27th] and Leesley again [43rd] whilst Stalybridge were comfortably contained by some resolute and positive defending, Cliff Moyo at one point dribbling from one side of the pitch to the other before reaching safety.
The Reds continued attacking after the break, Thanoj seeing his low drive held before Todd Jordan's effort from a 53rd minute free-kick was blocked, Steve Tames squandering a golden opportunity for the hosts by firing tamely across the face of the goal nine minutes after that.
A poor clearance by McMillan at the mid-point of the second half allowed Leesley to shoot from 30 yards, the keeper making amends by clawing the ball behind for a corner.
Jones could only find the side-netting after a promising run, then with nine minutes remaining Sam Smith flicked the ball through for Jones to go even closer.
Adam Farrell headed over from Higgins' 85th minute cross, but immediately afterwards Leesley set off on another blistering run before firing beyond the back post.
Higgins though had the last word in the third minute of added time when his shot from McMillan's boot upfield finally beat Duke, the keeper having stretched to turn aside a header from the same player moments earlier.
Alfreton Town Team:
01 Matt Duke
02 Cliff Moyo
03 Tom Allan
04 Todd Jordan
05 Niall Heaton
06 Dan Bradley (Sam Smith, 76 mins)
07 Andi Thanoj
08 Cecil Nyoni
09 Joe Leesley
10 Sam Jones
11 Lindon Meikle (Jamie Jackson, 59 mins)
Substitutes not used:
Stalybridge Celtic Team:
01 Tony McMillian
02 Oliver Crowley
03 Danny Mills
04 Matty Hughes
05 Jack Higgins
06 Dale Wright
07 Charlie Joyce (Ben McKenna, 65 mins)
08 Alec Mudimu
09 Adam Farrell
10 Steve Tames
11 Danny Burns
Substitutes not used:
Stalybridge Celtic - Jack Higgins (90+3)
Alfreton Town - Sam Jones (15)
Stalybridge - None. Alfreton - (2) Tom Allan for a foul on Charlie Joyce on 36 mins; Cecil Nyoni for a foul on Danny Burns on 68 mins.
Man of the Match: Joe Leesley
Referee: Thomas Bramall of Sheffield