26 October 2013
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Alfreton Town have earned a repeat visit to Wrexham in the First Round Proper of the FA Cup after winning 3-1 at North Ferriby United.
Last season the Reds triumphed 4-2 in Wales at the same stage of the world's most prestigious club competition, before elimination by Leyton Orient on national television at the lmpact Arena.
Virtually back to full strength Alfreton struggled at times in a scrappy affair, but remained professional to record a hard-earned victory on a poor pitch in blustery conditions.
Ferriby included three former Reds' players in skipper and central defender Matt Wilson, as well as strikers Anthony Wilson and Nathan Jarman, all of whom had shots on target in the opening half hour.
After Job Ayo Akinde and Tom Shaw had both tested home keeper Adam Nicklin in the first five minutes, a Jonathan D'Laryea shot was blocked by a covering Akinde from a right-wing corner and Gregg Anderson's downward header had to be cleared off the line by Josh Law.
The hosts therefore probably deserved their 15th minute lead when a Jamie Yates corner was only partially cleared before Jarman looped a header over keeper Ross Atkins to set Humberside alight.
Anthony Wilson's 25th minute shot was blocked, then five minutes later namesake Matt's low drive was well saved by Atkins, before Alfreton began to take control of the tie.
John McGrath's 33rd minute free-kick was only just off target after Akinde had been brought down by Nathan Peat, then Nicklin recovered quickly to block from Jake Speight after spilling Law's shot.
Akinde headed over under pressure from a Bradley Wood cross, but Alfreton were back on level terms six minutes before the break when Speight ran on to Shaw's pass to curl the ball into the far corner of the net with the keeper's touch unable to prevent the goal.
Shaw's shot was then held by Nicklin, but the first half ended with Jarman's angled drive beating Atkins but not the off-side flag.
The second half began with Nicklin again saving from Shaw, before Speight just failed to convert a long throw from Wood that had been helped through the goalmouth by Shaw.
Akinde's header was then held from Lathaniel Rowe-Turner's cross, before Anthony Wilson missed a gilt-edged chance for the Villagers from a Yates delivery.
Jarman was next to miss a reasonable chance for a game Ferriby side, but the Reds edged ahead after 65 minutes following a punishing run by Akinde that had Matt Wilson trailling in his wake before Nicklin's near post save.
The corner though saw Speight and Fenton both involved in the box before the ball fell to Akinde ten yards out, and he promptly found the net with a low drive that once again saw Nicklin touch in vain as it flew inside his near post.
Another long Akinde run this time ended with a weak shot and a routine save, but after 79 minutes Nicklin produced a magnificent block to deny Daniel Meadows with a close-range header after taking a return pass from Law.
Paul Robson's header went close to an equaliser from a Yates free-kick, then Speight's weak shot was held by Nicklin before the decisive third goal in the fourth minute of added time.
Speight took the ball almost the length of the pitch after a last-ditch Ferriby attack had petered out, his overhit cross retrieved by the hard-working Dan Bradley before McGrath smashed the ball into the roof of the net from just inside the area.
Alfreton Town Team:
01 Ross Atkin
02 Bradley Wood
04 Chris Westwood
16 Nick Fenton
21 Lathaniel Rowe-Turner
08 Tom Shaw (12 Daniel Meadows, 69)
07 Josh Law
10 Daniel Bradley
17 John McGrath
18 John Akinde,
11 Jake Speight
Subtitutes not used:
05 Michael Wylde
06 Darren Kempson
03 Connor Franklin
22 Sam Akinde
North Ferriby United Team:
01 Adam Nicklin
02 Paul Robson
03 Nathan Peat
04 Liam King (Danny Clarke 80)
05 Matt Wilson (c)
06 Gregg Anderson
07 Jon D'Laryea (Ryan Kendall 71)
08 Russell Fry
09 Anthony Wilson
10 Nathan Jarman
11 Jamie Yates
Subtitutes not used:
North Ferriby United - Nathan Jarman
Alfreton Town - Jake Speight (39), Job Ayo Akinde (66), John McGrath (90+3)
North Ferriby United - Nathan Peat (33, foul on Job Ayo Akinde)
Alfreton Town - Josh Law (35, retaliation), Jake Speight (68, kicking ball away)
Man of the Match: Dan Bradley
Referee: Jason Whiteley of Leeds