31 August 2013
Dave Pursglove's match picture album here
Alfreton Town were beaten by high-spending Forest Green Rovers on Saturday, with all three goals virtually gift-wrapped for the hosts.
Fielding an unchanged side from the Bank Holiday success over Hereford United, the Reds were dealt a blow after just 15 minutes when skipper Chris Westwood pulled up with a hamstring injury.
Defender Michael Wylde made his first Alfreton appearance as replacement, but the Reds were already trailing to a seventh minute James Norwood goal that had stemmed from Rovers' third corner.
The ball had been cleared only as far as Anthony Barry on the left and his cross was converted by Norwood from eight yards with a diving header after Connor Franklin had been unable to cut out the delivery.
Ross Atkins had earlier been called upon to save Danny Wright's header from a Norwood cross, then in reply on 11 minutes Franklin's deep cross from the left saw Danny Wishart's header punched clear by home keeper Sam Russell.
John Akinde scuffed a shot wide from 25 yards after good approach work, then a flowing Forest Green raid ended with Wylde throwing himself in front of Barry's shot to block.
Josh Law sent Wishart into the area in the 22nd minute, but no penalty award was forthcoming when the striker was bundled over by Al Bangura, then to make matters worse, sixty seconds later Rovers led 2-0.
Norwood was left in space again to notch his second goal of the game from a central position ten yards out after being put through by Wright, but heads did not drop and both Akinde and John McGrath went close for the Reds.
Atkins repelled Norwood's low drive at the foot of the post in the 34th minute, then from Yan Klukowski's corner Chris Stokes headed wide at the near post.
Alfreton trailed 3-0 ten minutes before the break when Wright turned Stokes's cross from the left past Atkins from eight yards, then in response Akinde turned neatly in the box to fire into the side-netting from McGrath's cross.
Bradley Wood's blocking tackle prevented Wright from adding to the tally six minutes into the second half, then Wishart turned and fired over from 18 yards.
Another good delivery by McGrath saw Akinde's shot held by Russell, then a promising run down the left by Wishart petered out with Daniel Meadows' poor shot.
Russell dropped Law's 61st minute corner and had to rely on Wright to hack clear before Wood fired high and wide from 22 yards after Paul Clayton had forced on a long Franklin throw.
Alfreton finally beat Russell with ten minutes of the game remaining when Bradley smashed the ball low and hard from the edge of the area after receiving McGrath's free-kick, the shot deflected by Wylde to deceive the keeper.
Alastair Taylor's 86th minute cross needed to be cleared hurriedly behind by Jared Hodgkiss with Clayton and Akinde converging on the target, then in added time Atkins parried an effort from Stokes and Klukowski fired wide from a good position.
Alfreton Town Team:
01 Ross Atkins
02 Bradley Wood
03 Connor Franklin
04 Chris Westwood (05 Michael Wylde, 15 mins)
07 Josh Law
10 Dan Bradley
16 Nick Fenton
12 Danny Meadows (14 Alastair Taylor, 56 mins)
17 John McGrath
13 Daniel Wishart (09 Clayton, 57 mins)
18 Job Ayo Akinde
Substitutes not used:
08 Tom Shaw
11 Kristian Ramsey-Dickson
Forest Green Rovers Team:
01 Sam Russell
02 Jared Hodgkiss
03 Chris Stokes
06 Dale Bennett
15 Eddie Oshodi
04 Al Bangura
08 Yan Klukowski
23 Anthony Barry (10 Magno Vieira, 89 mins)
24 Marcus Kelly
07 James Norwood (18 Matthew Barnes-Homer, 68 mins)
09 Danny Wright (14 Matt Taylor, 80 mins)
Substitutes not used:
13 Matthew Bulman
12 Ed Asafu-Adjaye
Forest Green Rovers - James Norwood (7 & 23), Danny Wright (35).
Alfreton Town - Dan Bradley (79).
Forest Green Rovers - Chris Stokes (79, unsporting behaviour).
Alfreton Town - Nick Fenton (45+1, foul on Marcus Kelly), John McGrath (27, foul on James Norwood), Alastair Taylor (68, foul on Al Bangura).
Attendance breakdown: 1,027 including 50 from Alfreton
Man of the Match: John McGrath
Referee: Daniel Cook of Gosport