14 August 2012
Dave Pursglove and Bill Wheatcroft's Southport match picture album here
Alfreton Town had to settle for a 3-3 draw from their home Blue Square Bet Premier encounter with Southport despite taking the lead three times.
Paul Clayton opened the scoring in the sixth minute, glancing home Leigh Franks' long throw from eight yards, then Ben Tomlinson went close after Clayton had laid off a Nathan Arnold cross.
Michael Bakare's shot looped up off Southport colleague Shaun Whalley in the 21st minute, before the latter's follow-up was saved by Phil Barnes.
A timely block by Franks prevented Bakare from scoring four minutes later, then on 27 minutes Steve Akrigg saved the day for the visitors by intervening as Clayton latched hungrily on to a loose ball.
Southport drew level on 31 minutes when Whalley was allowed to roam unchallenged from the right before firing low into the far corner of the net, then a similar lack of prevention seven minutes later led to a brilliant save by Barnes from Whalley.
Anton Brown's neat flick through sent Clayton to the by-line in the 43rd minute, only for Theo Streete to slice wide, then two further chances arrived in added time as Alfreton ended the first half in the ascendancy.
Dan Bradley took a return pass from Tomlinson only to see his shot clip Alan Moogan before just missing the near post, then Arnold was put through by Bradley before drawing a fine save from Southport keeper Tony McMillan.
A frantic start to the second half saw Simon Russell's 46th minute corner trigger a goalmouth scramble before Darran Kempson saw successive attempts from six yards blocked by a defender and saved by McMillan.
Barnes parried Moogan's 50th minute free-kick with the ball cannoning off Franks, then an incredible fingertip save by the Reds' keeper prevented Karl Ledsham from scoring after latching on to a Brown back-pass.
Alfreton regained the lead in the 61st minute after Chris Lever had handled Clayton's header from Josh Law's ball to the back post, with Tomlinson marking his home debut by coolly slotting home the ensuing penalty.
Russell fired over after being set up by Arnold in the 67th minute, then within 60 seconds the visitors were back on level terms when sub Chris Almond found the corner of the net with a low drive from 16 yards from a left flank flag-kick.
Barnes again denied Ledsham with anther notable save on 70 minutes, then Arnold fired over from a deep Tomlinson free-kick as play continued to ebb and flow.
Five minutes from time the ground erupted as Clayton finished off Arnold's deep cross from the right with the neatest of close-range headers, but a minute into stoppage time Southport levelled for a third time when Steven Tames converted Moogan's cross with a similar header.
Alfreton Town Team:
Substitutes not used:
04 Akrigg Booked
06 Grand Booked
07 Whalley (Almond, 46 mins)
12 Benjamin (Chalmers, 67 mins)
19 Bakare (Tames, 82 mins)
Substitutes not used: 13 Nemes, 17 Lynch.
Alfreton Town: Leigh Franks, Theo Streete, Paul Clayton.
Southport: Steve Akrigg, Simon Grand.
Man of the Match: Paul Clayton
Referee: Mr Ben Toner of Darwen