16 September 2014
DAVE PURSGLOVE'S MATCH PICTURE ALBUM HERE
Alfreton Town pulled off a vital win at the lmpact Arena on Tuesday night to keep opponents AFC Telford United rooted to the foot of the Vanarama Conference.
However it was not all plain sailing, with a great deal of defending needed during the second half after deserving their 3-1 interval lead, but the goals are at least starting to flow for the Reds with five now in the last two outings.
There was just one change for manager Nicky Law to make from the triumph at Southport, loan signing David Mellor adding pace and balance on the left with holding midfielder Jordan Keane injured.
Tony Gray's early shot for the visitors from former Reds' player Andy Todd's cross was blocked by Bradley Wood, then on six minutes Karl Hawley embarked on a by-line run for the hosts and delivered a scorching cross despite being tugged back by Chris Lever.
Joe Ironside fired over from eighteen yards from an Andi Thanoj pass as Alfreton made their intentions known, and their positivity was rewarded as the game entered the 12th minute when Thanoj picked up a loose ball in midfield, advanced and sent a heavily deflected shot looping off Steve Akrigg and over keeper Jonathan Hedge.
Their lead lasted just five minutes though with Hedge's huge clearance coolly steered past Reds' keeper Cameron Dawson from 12 yards by Tony Gray.
Telford then sat back and allowed Alfreton to take control of the game and they duly restored their advantage with 19 minutes on the clock.
Akrigg's defensive header had not been strong enough and after the ball had bobbled around the United area Tom Shaw pounced to drill a delightful volley low into the corner of the net from ten yards and Alfreton led 2-1.
Dawson held a Todd header from a Mike Phenix cross in the 26th minute, then three minutes later at the other end Mellor's close range effort from Ironside's pass was smothered by Hedge.
A moment of pure farce in the 44th minute had to be seen to be believed, with a defender completely removing Chris Smith's shirt in the area as they tussled to reach a Tom Shaw free-kick.
Whatever the referee saw only resulted in the free-kick being retaken, following a heated debate that had seen the official surrounded by both sets of players.
Anthony Howell found himself free from another awful piece of Telford defending as Lever presented him with the ball, but his effort was blocked.
Then in the second minute of first half added time Ironside's run took him into the area where two attempts were blocked before his third stab at goal succeeded, despite Hedge's best efforts to keep it out of the net.
lronside was left with a clear header that lacked power from Shaw's 58th minute free-kick, but that only seemed to serve as a catalyst for Telford to up the ante and push forward themselves, Josh O'Keefe scuffing a good chance wide from a long Adam Farrell throw.
Neil Byrne was woefully wide with a header from a 64th minute corner, then Farrell's shot was saved by Dawson after Sean Clancy's effort had been blocked, but the Reds did manage to create some breathing space with Thanoj again unleashing a drive from outside the area that was inadvertently blocked by one of his own colleagues.
Dawson produced a magnificent stretching save to tip over a powerful Andy Owens free-kick in the 71st minute, but Alfreton's frailty at defending corners reared its head again with Byrne's header reducing the deficit and guaranteeing an anxious finale. As it was the Reds held firm with Dawson saving well from Clancy, Farrell firing wide from a good position and Wes Baynes going perilously close with a free-kick right at the end.
Alfreton Town Team:
20 Cameron Dawson
03 Lathaniel Rowe-Turner
06 Chris Smith
05 Luke Graham
02 Bradley Wood
11 Anthony Howell
24 David Mellor (14 Jake Sheridan, 82 mins)
12 Tom Shaw
21 Andi Thanoj
18 Ironside (09 Paul Clayton, 87 mins)
23 Karl Hawley
Substitutes not used:
10 Dan Bradley
17 Massiah McDonald
22 Lawrence Gorman
AFC Telford United Team:
01 Jonathan Hedge
15 Andy Owens
03 Chris Lever (20 Godfrey Poku, h/t)
05 Steve Akrigg
04 Neill Byrne
08 Charlie Barnett (09 Adam Farrell, 46 mins)
22 Josh O'Keefe
02 Wes Baynes
21 Andy Todd (Sean Clancy, 63 mins)
07 Mike Phenix
10 Tony Gray
Substitutes not used:
13 Andy Pryce
17 Kristian Platt
Alfreton Town - Andi Thanoj (11), Tom Shaw (19), Joe Ironside (45)
AFC Telford United - Tony Gray (17), Neill Byrne (71)
Alfreton Town - Lathaniel Rowe-Turner (90+2, time wasting)
Southport - Barnett (6 mins, foul on Bradley Wood), Sean Clancy (80, foul on Bradley Wood), Wes Baynes (88, foul on Paul Clayton)
Man of the Match: David Mellor
Referee: Richard Wigglesworth of Doncaster