Nuneaton Borough 1-2 Alfreton Town

FT: Nuneaton Borough 1    2 Alfreton Town

09 March 2019

Alfreton Town recorded a fourth successive league victory as two second half goals from Luke Shiels and Jordan Sinnott seasled a hard fought win at Liberty Way.

Billy Heath made one change from Ashton with Dec Bacon starting. Reece Styche returned after suspension and was on the bench alongside David Lynch and Tom Platt.

The weather played a crucial part in the contest throughout with heavy winds resulting in the ball hanging in the air virtually rendering long balls useless in the early portions of the game.

The Reds were struggling to really get the ball down in the early stages with both sides trading possession and sloppiness a big factor because of the high winds. Bobby Johnson had the first sighter with just five on the clock, a long range effort which was spilled by Belford in the Boro goal,

We then won successive corners all of which were cleared. The next incident in a quiet opening half came with Nathan Hotte going down with a head injury, after treatment the midfielder was okay to continue.

Edmunds who was Nuneaton's brightest spark on the pitch was just caught offside before he pressured Martin Riley into conceding a throw before we then cleared several balls into the box.

Sam Ramsbottom made his first big save after 11 minutes, racing out of his area well to deny Edmunds with a sliding challenge; the Nuneaton forward was clean through after a long lofted through ball.

Dec Bacon had a few efforts with the first going just over the bar with a powerful strike, Dec then flicked the ball goalwards from Josh Clackstone's cross but that too, went over the crossbar.

The game lacked a real tempo with Nuneaton pressing in sporadic moments, Alfreton were dealing with the hosts attack but were struggling to create anything clear cut at the other end.

Morrison then fired way wide at the second attempt after his first shot was blocked following a short corner from the hosts. Sinnott then came close with a dipping volley which went wide of the near post from distance.

Bacon had another chance after showing excellent pass to latch onto Luke Shiels' through ball, but Dec could only fire over the bar when well placed on the right side of the box. Josh Wilde came even closer from 25 yards with an effort similar to Sinnott's a few minutes prior but Wilde's strike shaved the outside of the post.

With 39 minutes gone, Nuneaton were reduced to ten men when an elbow from Barlone, as he challenged for the ball in the air; caught Dom Smith in the face. The referee didn't hesitate in showing the red card to the Nuneaton debutant with the Reds players furious with the intent of the elbow.

Just before half-time, Edmunds caused us more problems when he caught Riley in possession on the edge of the box but luckily Shiels reacted with a huge tackle to clear the danger.

HT: Nuneaton Borough 0    0 Alfreton Town

The second half continued in the same pattern although Sinnott fired just over the bar but the hosts hadn't been seriously stretched in the game.

Belford was forced into a strong stop by Johnson before we had our handball claims waved away following Wilde's cross in. Reece Styche was introduced just before the hour and was right in the middle of several offside decisions.

Clackstone cleared a dangerous free kick away as panic started to slightly set in at the back for us, Styche had his first effort of the game arriving late to meet Hotte's cross at the far post but he could only head over.

But with 67 minutes gone we finally broke the deadlock when Sinnott's corner was powered home by Shiels with a towering header. There was welcome relief for Alfreton who nearly grabbed a second when Shiels creeped around at the back post from Sinnott's floated free kick but the captain could only head into the side netting from close range.

Then with 73 gone, Nuneaton levelled when a mix up at the back from Shiels and Ramsbottom saw Edmunds hit a shot straight at Sam before he gobbled up the rebound from a tight angle into the empty net.

Styche then found Wilde in the box whose effort was straight at Belford before Styche fired into the side netting. But there would be another twist when Styche was tripped in the box with 87 minutes gone, Sinnott stepped up and slotted the penalty past Belford to the delight of the Reds fans behind the goal.

It was a battle but the Reds came through with a late penalty to seal a fourth straight league win. Next up we host Hereford on Saturday at the Impact Arena, kick off is 3pm

Alfreton Town Team:

Ramsbottom, Clackstone, Wilde, Johnson, Shiels (c), Riley, Bacon (Styche 58), Hotte (Lynch 66), Peniket, Sinnott, Smith.

Subs Not Used: Clarke, Platt, O'Brien.

Attendance: 518

Referee: Steven Copeland Match Reports

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