12 January 2016
Bill Wheatcroft and Dave Pursglove's match picture album here
Alfreton Town at last managed to stage their Third Round Derbyshire Senior Cup tie against Whaley Bridge Athletic at the lmpact Arena on a chilly Tuesday night, 31 days after the original attempt had been abandoned in the 66th minute due to a waterlogged pitch.
The visitors, who ply their trade in the Cheshire League five levels below the Reds, gave a very good account of themselves, but could not prevent their hosts from claiming a Quarter-Final home tie against Long Eaton United, which will be played next Tuesday 19th January.
Whaley Bridge were the first to register a shot on goal, Reds' keeper Nick Draper dealing with a firm Terence Butler drive before Tom Allan and Jamie Jackson went close for Alfreton.
Visiting keeper James Tattersall had to tip over a scorcher from Jackson before turning aside a Joe lronside header from close range, then Dan Bradley's drive was painfully blocked by Athletic's skipper Rob Newton before the deadlock was broken in the 28th minute.
It was Ryan Wilson's accurate corner that allowed Jackson to head past Tattersall at his back post from the edge of the six-yard box, but six minutes later a neat move from Whaley Bridge had Draper scampering to the edge of his area as Joe Burgess tried to play Tom Scorer through.
Allan's header from a Jackson cross heralded the end of the first half as it was held by the keeper, then two minutes after the break lronside was denied by Tattersall after a promising run.
Alfreton doubled their advantage in the 53rd minute when lronside helped in a Robertson angled drive with the slightest of touches, then lronside saw another effort blocked by Tattersall two minutes after his goal.
Whaley Bridge thoroughly deserved their moment of glory when Will Bailey hooked a Bill Sutton free-kick past Draper in the 61st minute, but the Reds restored their two-goal lead 13 minutes later when Sam Jones jinked along the edge of the area before beating Tattersall with a heavily deflected shot off Liam Prophet.
With ten minutes remaining Robin Kennerley was somewhat harshly penalised for barging into Jackson following a Robertson cross, but the normally reliable Robertson saw his penalty saved low to his right by Tattersall.
Further attempts by Lindon Meikle and Jones were also repelled by Athletic's busy keeper before Meikle's angled drive from a Jones cross was blocked, but Whaley Bridge to their credit never threw in the towel.
Alfreton Town Team:
Joe Leesley [Brad McGowan, 88 mins]
Dan Bradley [Lindon Meikle, 57 mins]
Joe lronside [Sam Jones, 70 mins]
Substitutes not used:
Matt Duke (GK)
Whaley Bridge Athletic Team:
Tattersall; M Newton, Kennerley, Butler, R Newton, Sutton, Anderson, Jarad, Scorer [Gemmill 78], Prophet, Burgess
Alfreton Town - Jamie Jackson (28), Joe Ironside (53), Sam Jones (74)
Whaley Bridge Athletic - Will Bailey (61)
Whaley Bridge Athletic - Will Bailey (75 mins, foul on Jamie Jackson)
Man of the Match: Ryan Wilson
Referee: Alix Pashley of Chesterfield