23 November 2013
Dave Pursglove's match picture album here
Alfreton Town overcame a stubborn obstacle in basement club Hyde FC to force their way into a play-off spot of fifth position in the Skrill Premier.
Hyde have only accrued three points in a torrid season so far but gave a good account of themselves, and after taking a 66th minute lead almost snatched a last gasp equaliser when Reds' keeper Ross Atkins had to tip over an Adam Griffin free-kick at full stretch.
With Nick Fenton still not fit manager Nicky Law opted to start with the eleven that had beaten Braintree Town the previous week, which meant midfielder Daniel Meadows partnering Job Ayo Akinde again up front.
There was however to be a chance for strikers Paul Clayton and Daniel Wishart to test their recovery from injury, ironically with a double substitution just three minutes before Hyde's opener.
Atkins had needed to be alert just 60 seconds into the game when fielding a low Scott Spencer free-kick, then in Alfreton's first attack in the 13th minute home keeper Lawrence Vigouroux just beat Akinde to Tom Shaw's through-ball to hack clear.
Adam Blakeman fired wide from some distance for the hosts, then Akinde's shot was blocked by a posse of defenders after a neat turn on the edge of the area from another Shaw pass, then a similar effort by the striker on 35 minutes was diverted behind by Luke Ashworth.
Vigouroux flapped at Josh Law's 37th minute corner, with Shaw's follow-up blocked by Ashworth, then Vigouroux held a low drive from Dan Bradley from 25 yards.
Bradley played Akinde through two minutes before the interval with the keeper holding his low drive, then there was a brilliant save by Vigouroux from Akinde again after Bradley Wood's cross had been controlled by his chest.
John McGrath fired over in the 48th minute, Akinde stretched in vain to convert a deep Wood cross four minutes later and Chris Westwood's header drifted past the back post from a Law corner as Alfreton began the second half in determined fashion.
However it was Atkins tipping over an angled drive from Spencer in the 62nd minute that signaled the first real sign that Hyde had much more to offer than their lowly status might imply, and four minutes later a cross from far right by Louis Almond picked out Spencer to slot the ball into the far corner of the net from 12 yards.
Another Westwood header from a Law free-kick was turned behind by Vigouroux in the 72nd minute, but two minutes later the Reds were level when a Law corner fell for Bradley to lash home from eight yards.
Four minutes further on and it was third time lucky for persistent skipper Westwood, whose firm header from six yards from yet another accurate Law corner whistled into the back of the net to everyone's obvious relief.
Spencer fired over for Hyde but Law should have made the issue safe as the game entered added time, firing meekly at Vigouroux after a weaving run virtually from the halfway line.
Atkins then needed to save an effort from Danny Carlton before decisively thwarting Griffin right at the end.
Alfreton Town Team:
01 Ross Atkins
07 Josh Law
05 Michael Wylde
04 Chris Westwood
21 Lathaniel Rowe-Turner
10 Dan Bradley
02 Bradley Wood
08 Tom Shaw (13 Daniel Wishart, 63 mins)
17 John McGrath
12 Daniel Meadows (14 Alastair Taylor, 72 mins)
18 Job Ayo Akinde (09 Paul Clayton, 63 mins)
Substitutes not used:
06 Darran Kempson
03 Connor Franklin
20 Lawrence Vigouroux
03 Adam Griffin
21 Adam Blakeman (25 Martin Devaney, 80 mins)
05 Luke Ashworth
24 D'Arcy O'Connor
12 Adam Thurston (15 Danny Carlton, 87 mins)
08 Alex Brown
06 Liam Tomsett
26 Reece Gray (07 David Poole, 81 mins)
09 Scott Spencer
18 Louis Almond
Substitutes not used:
11 Connor Hughes
04 Will Haining
Hyde FC - Scott Spencer (66). Alfreton Town - Dan Bradley (74), Chris Westwood (78)
Hyde FC - Reece Gray (74, dissent)
Alfreton Town - Josh Law (30, foul on Alex Brown), Chris Westwood (42, foul on Louis Almond)
Man of the Match: Dan Bradley
Referee: Darren Handley of Bolton