24 March 2015
Dave Pursglove's match picture album here
Alfreton Town had to be content with a goalless draw when they entertained Dartford on Tuesday night.
Both sides needed a win - Alfreton to pull seven points clear of the Vanarama Conference drop zone, whilst their Kent visitors were desperate for maximum points to stand any realistic chance of staying up.
A dour encounter livened up only in the closing stages with both sides going for broke, and it was down to both keepers to muster crucial saves that kept their respective teams in the game.
Manager Nicky Law decided to start with Jake Speight replacing Joe lronside up front in an otherwise unchanged starting line-up, Jason Mooney the first of the keepers in action holding Tom Dallison's low drive in the first minute.
Alfreton responded with Tom Shaw firing over from 20 yards, then Dartford skipper Elliot Bradbrook flashed across the face of Mooney's goal.
Shaw had a 21st minute shot blocked on the edge of the area by Rory McAuley, then three minutes later Mooney comfortably held a 35 yarder from Harry Crawford.
Bradbrook's effort from a 33rd minute corner was gathered by the Reds' keeper, then it was the turn of Deren lbrahim to save from Karl Hawley following John Johnston's driven cross.
Another Johnston cross just eluded Speight four minutes before the break, then Peter Sweeney went close for the Darts with a deep free-kick that whistled fractionally wide.
Andi Thanoj wasted a free-kick from a decent position as the second half materialised, but it needed a brave point-blank save by Mooney to deny Crawford with Danny Harrison skewing the follow-up wide.
lbrahaim held Simon Lenighan's shot from the edge of the area, then Hawley went close after dispossessing McAuley from a Lathaniel Rowe-Turner clearance.
lbrahim needed two attempts to control the ball after Luke Graham had sent Hawley scampering down the right, the keeper almost carrying the ball out of his area, then a lunging block by Bradley Wood prevented Crawford from scoring in the 69th minute.
A lengthy run by Harris directly from an Alfreton corner culminated with his low drive held by Mooney, then Rowe-Turner helped a Shaw corner through a crowded box but Callum Howe could not make a clean contact.
Shaw fancied his chances after Saturday's spectacular goal, but his full-blooded volley from 20 yards with seven minutes remaining was plucked out of the air by lbrahim as it homed in on the top corner of the net.
lronside's shot was then blocked by Dallison and Joe Leesley headed over from a Wood throw, but right at the end Howe came to the Reds' rescue with a goal-line clearance from Harris.
The result extended Alfreton's unbeaten run to six games, with just one goal conceded during those matches, but it was the second goalless draw in a week following the previous Tuesday's draw at home to Lincoln City.
Alfreton Town Team:
20 Jason Mooney
05 Luke Graham
03 Lathaniel Rowe-Turner
21 Andi Thanoj
02 Bradley Wood
28 Callum Howe
25 Simon Lenighan
12 Tom Shaw
27 John Johnston (24 Joe Leesley, 69 mins)
07 Jake Speight (11 Anthony Howell, 69 mins)
23 Hawley (18 Joe Ironside, 79 mins)
Substitutes not used:
04 Duane Courtney
26 Niall Heaton
21 Deren Ibrahim
03 Jamie Richards (20 Lee Burns, 86 mins)
18 Tom Dallison-Lisbon
08 Lee Noble (07 Hayes, 81 mins)
19 Callum Driver
16 Peter Sweeney
04 Rory McAuley
05 Elliot Bradbrook
17 Harry Crawford
11 Danny Harris
10 Andy Pugh
Substitutes not used:
09 Luke Daley
13 Tony Kessell
15 Nathan Collier
Alfreton Town - Tom Shaw and Bradley Wood
Dartford - Tom Dallison-Lisbon and Harry Crawford
Man of the Match: Jason Mooney
Referee: Ryan Johnson of Bolton