03 March 2012
Dave Pursglove's match picture album here
ALFRETON Town were left frustrated with a goalless draw after creating numerous chances against a poor AFC Telford United outfit.
Yet the point proved to be vital as it hauled the Reds out of the Blue Square Bet relegation zone for only the second time this season, although a suspension will now keep Leigh Franks out of action for the next three games following his 32nd minute dismissal.
Jon Stewart was given his debut on loan from Burnley between the posts, and despite having very little to do during the 90 minutes his distribution looked positive.
Nathan Jarman played Paul Clayton to the by-line in the fourth minute, but Telford keeper Ryan Young held his cross, then five minutes later Nathan Arnold won a corner after being played through by Clayton.
Clayton turned on the edge of the area before seeing Young save his 11th minute stifled shot, then moments later a good tackle back by Franks prevented Steve Jones' shot from reaching Stewart.
The first clear chance fell to the Reds in the 18th minute when Young saved well from Anton Brown's powerful drive from a Jarman pass, then three successive shots by Clayton ended with a trio of blocking defenders ending up on their backs having felt the full force.
A scything tackle by Ryan Valentine on Clayton in the 20th minute had the referee instantly wielding a red card, but the numbers were evened up 12 minutes later after Franks' clumsy tackle on Ryan Brooke was deemed dangerous.
In between the two dismissals Franks had seen his back header from an Arnold free-kick held by Young, then Shane Killock was injured as he intercepted Anthony Wilson's header from a Jarman cross.
Stewart at last saw action in the 40th minute when he held Kyle Perry's header, but the flag had been raised for off-side, then back at the other end Clayton side-footed a good chance over from a deflected Connor Franklin cross.
Two minutes after the break Wilson's shot was parried by Young, then the keeper reacted instinctively by sticking out a foot to divert behind Clayton's follow-up.
A rare Telford attack in the 54th minute saw Jones side-step Stewart after latching on to a loose ball in the area, but Theo Streete was on hand to concede a corner with a vital touch.
Wilson's 62nd minute back post header was scrambled clear by Killock after Clayton had been played to the by-line by Reds' skipper Darran Kempson, then two minutes later the best chance of all was squandered when Arnold missed from eight yards from another by-line cross by Clayton.
A long throw by Streete in the 70th minute led to Brown's back header being held by Young, then a Jarman corner allowed Arnold's header to be cleared off the line by Chris Sharp.
A mazy run by Arnold 11 minutes from time saw him advance on goal before firing wide as he became surrounded by covering defenders, then in the closing minutes a neat move by United led to Jon Brown's by-line cross being clutched at the second attempt by Stewart.
Two further chances for Alfreton came in added time with Brown's looping header from a Josh Law corner being held by the keeper, then Jarman's shot cannoned off Sean Newton to safety as the referee brought proceedings to a conclusion.
Alfreton Town Team:
Jon Stewart. Leigh Franks, Darran Kempson, Adam Quinn, Connor Franklin, Nathan Jarman, Theo Streete, Anton Brown, Nathan Arnold (Jamie Mullan 82), Pau Clayton, Anthony Wilson (Josh Law 82).
Substitutes not used: Jake Moult, Nicky Deverdics, Craig Clay.
AFC Telford United Team:
Ryan Young, Ryan Valentine,Chris Blackburn, Shane Killock, Sean Newton, Jon Brown, Jay Smith, Richard Davies, Steve Jones (Ashley Cain 56), Kyle Perry (Chris Sharp h/t), Ryan Brooke.
Substitutes not used: Nathan Rooney, Dan Preston, Ryan Robinson.
Attendance breakdown: 940 of which 225 were from Telford.
Alfreton Town - Adam Quinn (84 minutes, foul on Ryan Brooke).
Telford - Jay Smith (16 minutes, unsporting behaviour); Kyle Perry (20 minutes, dissent); Richard Dvaies (43 minutes, foul on Anton Brown).
Alfreton Town - Leigh Franks (32 minutes, dangerous play)
Telford - Ryan Valentine (20 minutes, dangerous play); STATISTICS
Shots on target: Alfreton 8, Telford 1
Shots off target: Alfreton 6, Telford 1
Corners: Alfreton 9, Telford 1
Fouls conceded: Alfreton 17, Telford 17
Offside: Alfreton 4, Telford 2
Yellow cards: Alfreton 1, Telford 3
Red cards: Alfreton 1, Telford 1
Man of the Match: Anton Brown
Referee: Mr Stephen Bratt of Walsall