09 November 2013
Dave Pursglove's match picture album here
Alfreton Town missed out on a lucrative F.A.Cup run with a below par performance at Wrexham on Saturday, a venue where the Reds had won at the corresponding stage of the competition last season.
It was in fact Alfreton's first defeat at the Racecourse Ground in four visits since being promoted to the Conference Premier, coming up against a sharper home side determined not to miss out on prize money again.
Manager Nicky Law was able to name an unchanged side for the third game running, following wins over North Ferriby United and FC Halifax Town, which included former Wrexham players Chris Westwood and Jake Speight.
Josh Law managed to block a second minute near post header by Andy Bishop from a Dean Keates corner, then Bishop's cross from a Keates pass led to Rob Ogleby's shot being stifled by Westwood as Wrexham started the tie on the front foot.
A weak and wayward angled drive by John Akinde was Alfreton's muted response, then a brace of efforts fronm Joe Clarke went close at the other end before a more promising move by the Reds was instigated by Dan Bradley in the 18th minute.
His through-ball allowed Akinde to outwit Keates before embarking on a strong run down the right, but his cross was cut out by Stephen Wright as Speight closed in.
A superbly timed tackle by Lathaniel Rowe-Turner halted Ogleby as Jay Harris played him through in the 22nd minute, but just two minutes later Wrexham held a firm grip on the tie when Bishop's near post header from a deep Neil Ashton cross found the net, despite Reds' keeper Ross Atkins managing to attain a firm touch on the ball.
Bishop then dragged his shot wide from a good position, before Ogleby struck the bar with a cross-cum-shot from wide left with Rowe-Turner blocking Brett Ormerod's follow-up.
In first half added time Bradley dispossessed Keates on the left before sprinting towards goal, but with Akinde and Speight both supporting his run the midfielder opted to shoot from the edge of the area and Wrexham keeper Andy Coughlin pulled off a good save at the expense of a fruitless corner.
It was all too easy for Bishop to double his side's advantage four minutes after the break, slotting home from ten yards after Clarke had played Ormerod through, but Alfreton responded with Westwood's shot turned behind by Clarke from Law's 51st minute corner.
Atkins then had to deal with two low drives from Ogleby that required good saves, before Ashton was way off target after Bradley Wood had failed to cut out an Ormerod cross.
With 61 minutes on the clock Alfreton were thrown a life-line when Wright tripped Akinde in the area and they were awarded their first penalty of the season, Speight firing high into the net to reduce the deficit.
Akinde fired inches wide and Speight shot over the bar as the Reds found renewed vigour, then Law took the ball off Harris to feed Bradley whose shot trundled inches past the back post.
Daniel Meadows' 70th minute effort from a tight angle was paddled rather unorthodoxly by Coughlin on to the top of the crossbar with no-one able to take advantage as the ball dropped into a crowded goalmouth, then two minutes later the game was up for the Reds with a killer third goal.
Atkins sprawled low to divert Ormerod's shot on the turn, but the ball fell for Harris to find the far corner of the net with a low drive and from that point on Alfreton were restricted to long range shots that posed little threat.
Speight, Bradley and Westwood all submitted efforts without troubling Coughlin, whereas Atkins needed to pull off further saves from Ormerod and Theo Bailey-Jones as Alfreton's hopes diminished.
Alfreton Town Team:
01 Ross Atkins
02 Bradley Wood (22 Sam Akinde, 92 mins)
21 Lathaniel Rowe-Turner
08 Tom Shaw (12 Daniel Meadows, 58 mins)
04 Chris Westwood
16 Nick Fenton
10 Dan Bradley
17 John McGrath
11 Jake Speight
18 Job Ayo Akinde (03 Connor Franklin, 88 mins)
07 Josh Law
Substitutes not used:
13 Andy Coughlin
29 Mark Carrington
03 Neil Ashton
06 Joe Clarke
02 Stephen Wright
28 David Artell
08 Jay Harris (16 Johnny Hunt, 89 mins)
12 Dean Keates
09 Andy Bishop
15 Robert Ogleby (25 Theo Bailey-Jones, 76 mins)
10 Brett Ormerod (07 Adrian Cieslewicz, 86 mins)
Substitutes not used:
01 Joslain Mayebi
05 Mark Creighton
14 Steve Tomassen
18 Jay Colbeck
Wrexham - Andy Bishop (24 and 49), Jay Harris (72)
Alfreton Town - Jake Speight (61, penalty)
Attendance breakdown: 2,415 including 150 from Alfreton
Man of the Match: Josh Law
Referee: Darren England of Barnsley