08 March 2014
Dave Pursglove and Bill Wheatcroft's match picture album here
Alfreton Town regained third spot in the Skrill Premier, despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Lincoln City at the lmpact Arena.
It was the nature of the equaliser more than anything that will have hurt, as the lmps never looked like scoring in a second half dominated by the Reds until the game entered four minutes of added time.
Suddenly the visitors forced a handful of corners until a long high throw from Dan Gray was punched to the edge of the area by keeper Jon Worsnop for Sean Newton to volley low into the net - the clock was just ticking over into the fifth minute of added time.
An inappropriate celebration by Newton saw him sprint the length of the pitch towards Lincoln fans who spilled on to the playing area, but the stewards quickly and efficiently brought the situation under control.
Shaun Harrad had given Alfreton a 61st minute lead by slotting the ball beneath advancing keeper Nick Townsend from ten yards after being sent clear by Dan Bradley's crossfield pass.
Harrad had once again been the lone front runner after manager Nicky Law retained the side that had put up a brave but futile contest at Luton the previous week, but with Lincoln playing a similar formation the game was at least entertaining.
There was a tactical change with Josh Law reverting to right back and Andrai Jones operating on the right-hand side of midfield.
A long Gray throw in the fifth minute saw Nat Brown head wide at the back post, then former Alfreton striker Ben Tomlinson was crowded out in a good position and Danny Rowe shot wide off-balance.
Harrad looked certain to score in the 13th minute, but his shot from a deep Bradley cross struck the keeper's legs and fell the wrong side of the supporting Tom Shaw, then on 28 minutes Rowe missed a glorious opportunity for Lincoln from a Charlee Adams pass.
With play swinging from end to end Bradley Wood's 25 yarder was clutched by Townsend, Brown headed into the side-netting from a Newton corner, then from a 35th minute Law corner Connor Franklin headed against the upright from six yards.
A rare slip by Michael Wylde gave Tomlinson possession in the 39th minute, but Worsnop reacted superbly to push away his effort, then Alan Power went close following another Newton corner.
It was virtually one-way traffic as Alfreton emerged in attacking mode after the break, Brown quickly having to concede a corner as Harrad teed up Franklin, then Harrad volleyed over from ten yards from a deep Shaw cross.
Wylde's header was tipped over by Townsend from a long Andrai Jones throw, then there was a glaring miss by Law on 56 minutes after Townsend had parried Bradley's shot and left his goal momentarily unguarded.
Taking the lead just after the hour mark settled the nerves somewhat, but a repeat combination in the 72nd minute failed to produce a second goal with Harrad's shot striking Townsend from Bradley's pass.
Late in the game Worsnop produced a great save from an Adams header from Jake Sheridan's cross, Shaw blocked an Adams shot on the edge of the area, Worsnop pounced as Tomlinson set up Jon Nolan, Sheridan was again denied by the keeper and Wylde headed an inswinging corner clear at the near post.
But just as all the defending seemed to have paid off Newton struck to give Lincoln a share in the spoils that even their most ardent follower would have to agree they only deserved with that late flurry of action.
Alfreton Town Team:
15 Jon Worsnop
16 Nick Fenton
02 Bradley Wood
05 Michael Wylde
03 Connor Franklin
07 Josh Law
10 Dan Bradley
25 Andrai Jones
08 Tom Shaw
23 Godfrey Poku
24 Shaun Harrad
Substitutes not used:
18 Job Ayo Akinde
20 Jay McFadzean
12 Daniel Meadows
09 Paul Clayton
06 Darran Kempson
Lincoln City Team:
30 Nick Townsend
23 Nat Brown
03 Sean Newton
05 Thierry Audel
08 Alan Power (c)
17 Bohan Dixon (16 Connor Robinson, 61 mins)
26 Charlee Adams
15 Dan Gray
04 Todd Jordan (19 Jon Nolan, 74 mins)
11 Ben Tomlinson
09 Danny Rowe (12 Jake Sheridan, 74 mins)
Substitutes not used:
31 David Preece
24 Arnaud Mendy
Alfreton Town - Shaun Harrad (61). Lincoln City - Sean Newton (90+4)
Alfreton Town - Bradley Wood (85 mins, foul on Charlee Adams)
Lincoln City - Ben Tomlinson (59 mins, simulation); Dan Gray (86, foul on Godfrey Poku)
Attendance breakdown: 1,331 including 640 from Lincoln
Man of the Match: Jon Worsnop
Referee: Ross Joyce of Billingham