11 August 2015
Bill Wheatcroft's Match Picture Album here
Alfreton Town suffered a 1-0 home defeat when Lowestoft Town made their first ever trip to the lmpact Arena on Tuesday night, Jake Reed's 60th minute goal ultimately separating the teams.
Matters were made worse by skipper Dan Bradley being sent off for a reckless challenge on Erkan Okay in the 74th minute, the Reds' early season discipline in disarray.
Tom Allan had been desperately unlucky not to score when he guided Niall Heaton's ong throw against the crossbar with a powerful header after 21 minutes, then eight minutes after the break Sam Berry's header from an Andi Thanoj corner was tipped over impressively by visiting keeper Jake Jessup.
There was precious little else to enthuse over though, other than Jamie Jackson's downward header from Joe lronside's third minute cross that had gone close to opening the scoring, as well as a brace of lronside efforts that were comfortably dealt with by Jessup in the first half.
Early pressure from Lowestoft had seen Okay almost catch keeper Nick Draper off his line from 40 yards, the setting sun making life difficult for the Reds, astute efforts from Reed and strike partner Danny Crow reminding Alfreton that opposition at this level will not be easy to overcome.
Three minutes before the goal the Reds' defence was almost split open by Ryan Jarvis, but Allan bravely flung himself in front of the ball to block - however the warning signs were there and when Crow carved them open Reed was left with a simple tap-in from close range after running into space.
Crow almost doubled the Trawlerboys' advantage on 69 minutes, his low drive from 20 yards scuttling inches wide, then Draper had to hold a tricky shot from Chris Henderson.
The Reds had cause to feel aggrieved when Reed was booked for persistent fouling eight minutes from time, then almost immediately made a lunging tackle on Berry that only brought a warning from the inconsistent referee.
Reed was substituted before play resumed and the only realistic chance that came Alfreton's way in the latter stages was a Joe Leesley cross in the sixth minute of added time that was cleared only as far as Thanoj on the edge of the area, but his off-balance shot was stifled and scurried wide.
Alfreton Town Team:
Ryan Wilson [Sam Smith, 67 mins]
Sam Jones [Jason Paling, 73 mins]
Jamie Jackson [Joe Leesley, 58 mins]
Substitutes not used:
Lowestoft Town Team:
Mitchell (Rossi Jarvis, 49 mins)
Henderson (Bammant, 80 mins)
Reed (Eagle, 85 mins)
Subtitutes not used:
Lowestoft Town - Jake Reed (60 mins)
Alfreton Town - Niall Heaton  foul on Ainsley; Tom Allan  foul on Reed.
Lowestoft Town - Fisk  unsporting conduct; Reed  persistent fouling; Okay  foul.
AlfretonTown - Dan Bradley (74 mins, dangerous play)
50/50 DRAW WINNER
No. 232, prize £100, claimed
Man of the Match: Andi Thanoj
Referee: David Richardson