11 April 2013
Dave Pursglove's match picture album here
Alfreton Town finally secured Blue Square Bet Premier status with their second win of the week without conceding, when Tamworth visited the Impact Arena on Thursday night.
Goals from Dan Bradley, Paul Clayton and Nathan Arnold eased the Reds through a potentially difficult assignment with the visitors hovering just above the drop zone, but the win propelled the Reds to 13th spot with two games remaining.
Despite Connor Franklin having completed his suspension the full-back was ruled out through injury and with a bare 14 players available Nicky Law's team selection more or less picked itself, with just one change from 48 hours earlier as Louie Soares replaced Ben Tomlinson.
Clayton flashed a header wide from Josh Law's second minute through-ball, then two minutes later Soares hesitated for a moment when sent clear by Daniel Meadows and Tamworth keeper Tony Breeden was able to parry.
Former Red's striker Adam Cunnington fired a free-kick harmlessly wide after Darran Kempson had handled right on the edge of the area, but Alfreton edged ahead in the 20th minute after Jonathan Thorpe pushed Clayton in the back as he ran on to Meadows' pass.
Bradley stroked the ensuing penalty low to Breeden's right for his eighth spot-kick success of the season, then two minutes later Meadows's shot was parried from a Bradley cross.
A strong central run by Arnold in the 25th minute ended with Breeden tipping over his 20 yard thunderbolt, then six minutes later Alfreton found themselves 2-0 ahead and cruising.
Bradley's ball into the box led to Soares' header being parried by the keeper and as the ball bobbled between defenders on the goal-line Clayton struck to score from close range.
Jordan Pickford had little to do in the Reds' goal but handled well under pressure from Tom Marshall from Marcus Kelly's 42nd minute free-kick, then in first half added time Stuart Hendrie fired wide after Theo Streete had partially cleared another Kelly free-kick.
Arnold's angled drive flew narrowly over from Soares' 53rd minute pass, then after a prolonged spell of home pressure the third and decisive goal arrived nine minutes later when Pickford's huge punt upfield sent Arnold scampering clear to chip Breeden and score in style off the underside of the crossbar.
Pickford saved Cunnington's low drive on 72 minutes then six minutes later Bradley suffered a rare failure from the spot after Max Harrop had handled Meadows' by-line free-kick in the box, a fourth goal denied by Breeden's save low to his left.
Streete needed to clear off the line from Marshall with 11 minutes remaining and as time ran out for Tamworth Kelly's angled drive flew just wide.
Alfreton Town Team:
22 Jordan Pickford
02 Josh Law
06 Darran Kempson
10 Dan Bradley
16 Jordan Rose
17 Theo Streete
08 Louie Soares (21 Ben Tomlinson, 69 mins)
14 Daniel Meadows
18 Steven Hewitt
09 Paul Clayton (04 Alastair Taylor, 90 mins)
11 Nathan Arnold
Substitute not used:
01 Phil Barnes
13 Tony Breedon
02 Richard Tait
04 Michael Wylde
06 Tom Marshall
29 Jonathon Thorpe
03 Marcus Kelly
08 Lee Hendrie (26 Max Harrop, 69 mins)
11 Lloyd Kerry
28 Stuart Hendrie (Peter Till, 46 mins)
07 Adam Cunnington (10 Darren Byfield, 82 mins)
09 Tommy Wright
Substitutes not used:
37 Liam Mitchell (GK)
30 Sam Oji
Alfreton Town - Dan Bradley (20), Paul Clayton (32), Nathan Arnold (62)
Tamworth - Jonathon Thorpe (19, unsporting behaviour), Max Harrop (79, unsporting behaviour), Lloyd Kerry (90+1, foul on Jordan Rose)
Man of the Match: Daniel Meadows
Referee: Robert Whitton of Braintree