28 October 2014
Dave Pursglove's match picture album here
Alfreton Town were eliminated from the FA Cup after Tuesday night's hefty replay defeat at Sincil Bank, having been forced to play midfielder Anthony Howell in goal after James Severn was injured in the original tie and Sheffield Wednesday had opted to decline Cameron Dawson permission to play.
It was the first time since August 1988 that the Reds had started a game with an outfield player in goal, also losing 5-1 on that occasion at Curzon Ashton in the First Division of the Northern Premier League with defender Shaun Pickersgill between the sticks.
It was also the heaviest FA Cup defeat for Alfreton since Sutton Town's 5-0 win 53 years ago at Priestsic Road, on the current Asda supermarket site.
Howell tried his best, pulling off some good saves that would have been made a regular keeper, but was rooted to the spot as Sean Newton helped himself to a couple of first-half goals from free-kicks before completing his hat-trick from the penalty spot.
Amazingly Bradley Wood was declared fit to play, defying all odds after being helped off the pitch with a splint on his leg and a suspected serious knee injury on Saturday, and he weighed in with the Reds' goal for good measure.
Lincoln scored with their first attack in the sixth minute, Newton lashing home a free-kick that had been awarded against Luke Graham, then in response Dan Bradley was off target from 25 yards.
Howell quickly gained confidence, and after clutching Tom Miller's 17th minute cross under pressure the caretaker custodian raced out of goal to hack clear from Jon Nolan.
Newton flashed a cross through Alfreton's crowded goalmouth with no-one able to intercept, then the Reds' gained a little momentum by winning two fruitless corners.
Another Newton delivery from the left saw Howell flap at the cross before Miller headed wide, then the makeshift keeper excelled with a stretching save to deny Nolan on 39 minutes.
Newton could scarcely believe his luck three minutes before the break when his free-kick from the right-flank touch-line was allowed to bounce directly into the net, with Howell possibly unsighted in the jungle of bodies as Alfreton trailed 0-2.
There was a chance for the Reds on the stroke of half-time when Karl Hawley created space for a cross that a stretching Lathaniel Rowe-Turner just failed to reach at the back post.
Four minutes into the second half a long throw by Miller needed punching confidently by Howell, who then caught the follow-up from Hamza Bencherif before turning Jordan Burrow's shot behind at his near post.
A hectic goalmouth scramble on 55 minutes saw both Bencherif and Burrow miss clear chances at close range before Bencherif headed over from a Nolan cross, but 12 minutes later all hope was gone when Tom Davies was harshly penalised for a foul on Alan Power and Newton gave Howell no chance from the spot.
Massiah McDonald was introduced into the action before the game was restarted and immediately injected pace and enthusiasm with a run down the right and a deep cross that Joe lronside was unable to capitalise upon after Lincoln keeper Paul Farman's fumble.
Former Lincoln midfielder Jake Sheridan received an appreciative ovation from the lmps' fans when he was brought on for Tom Shaw midway through the second half.
To compound Alfreton's misery Hawley was then sent off after a clash with Miller 20 minutes from time, but by the 74th minute Wood had reduced the arrears with the Reds' first attempt on target, neatly glancing a header from a long Duane Courtney throw off the far post.
Two late goals by Lincoln sub Delano Sam-Yorke merely served to emphasise the dire circumstances that Alfreton found themselves struggling with and superficially enhanced the hosts profile.
In the 79th minute an unfortunate slip at a vital time by Rowe-Turner gifted Sam-Yorke the opportunity to pick his spot from six yards, then two minutes later Howell could not prevent him scoring Lincoln's fifth goal from close range after bravely blocking a Conner Robertson shot.
Alfreton Town Team:
11 Anthony Howell(GK)
02 Bradley Wood
03 Lathaniel Rowe-Turner
04 Duane Courtney
05 Luke Graham
09 Paul Clayton (18 Joe Ironside, 42 mins)
10 Dan Bradley (17 Massiah McDonald, 67 mins)
12 Tom Shaw (14 Jake Sheridan, 67 mins)
15 Jordan Keane
23 Karl Hawley
25 Tom Davies
Substitutes not used:
06 Chris Smith
07 Nathan Hicks
Lincoln City Team:
01 Paul Farman
02 Tom Miller
23 Nat Brown
24 Thierry Audel
03 Sean Newton
12 Arnaud Mendy
14 Jon Nolan
08 Alan Power
05 Hamza Bencherif (16 Conner Robinson, 71 mins)
11 Ben Tomlinson (10 Karl Ledsham, 84 mins)
09 Jodan Burrow (15 Delano Sam-Yorke, 65 mins)
Substitutes not used:
17 Jake CAPRICE
22 Marcus MARSHALL
31 David PREECE
Lincoln City - Sean Newton (6, 42 & 62 pen), Delano Sam-Yorke (79 & 81)
Alfreton Town - Bradley Wood (74)
Lincoln City - None
Alfreton Town - Luke Graham (25), Karl Hawley (45+1)
Alfreton Town - Karl Hawley (70 mins, straight red card)
Attenance breakdown: 1,529 including 68 from Alfreton
Man of the Match: Anthony Howell
Referee: Ross Joyce of Billingham