15 November 2014
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Alfreton Town fell to a first defeat in in three league games as a poor second half display was taken advantage of by a Dover Athletic side who came from behind at the interval to record a victory which gave them a first league double of the season and consigned the Reds to a first one.
Tom Shaw had put Town in front five minutes before half time and also netted the last goal of the game for his brace after the visitors had been reduced to ten men after Tyrone Sterling paid a heavy price for a second booking for stupidly kicking the ball away at a home free kick.
However, a degenerating second half Alfreton performance enabled Dover to net three times before a late Reds rally almost snatched a point.
With striker Karl Hawley sitting out the last of a three-match suspension, Carl Lamb was given his first start up front.
In misty conditions, Alfreton began well and the first shot of the game came from Nathan Hicks whose 25 yarder failed to trouble visiting keeper Andrew Rafferty.
Tom Davies received a head injury after an aerial clash with Stefan Payne but was soon in the thick of the action again.
Dover forced the game’s first corner on six minutes when a three-man break ended with Tom Murphy’s cross cut out by an excellent interception by Bradley Wood.
Alfreton had the first real chance on seven minutes when Paul Clayton played Carl Lamb clear but his first time shot from the edge of the penalty area was comfortably saved low down by Rafferty.
Dover won a fourth corner when Stefan Payne’s firm shot was tipped narrowly over the top by home keeper Cameron Dawson but it was the visitors who had a let-off on 13minutes when Tom Bonner’s attempted clearance struck the onrushing Lamb and Rafferty had to react quickly to save the rebound.
Dover’s Payne the spurned a great chance when he failed to connect with a free header from another right flank Murphy cross.
Murphy then failed to beat Dawson in a one-on-one, Bradley Wood clearing the ball away from the line but the Dover man really should have hit the target.
A Lamb header from a raking Lathaniel Rowe-Turner cross failed to trouble Rafferty as play evened out before Paul Clayton had a great chance to put Alfreton in front on 28 minutes but put his shot just wide of the post from six yards out after Tom Bonner had sent his clearing header from a Rowe-Turner cross straight to the Reds striker.
Reds defender Tom Davies then stuck out a leg to stop Stefan Payne from getting a shot away on the edge of the penalty area and as the first half wore on, the fog began advancing slowly across the ground.
Dover keeper Rafferty came out well to snatch the ball away from the head of Paul Clayton as he looked to get on the end of a great cross from the right by Wood as the home side continued to gain progress down both flanks.
A lovely passing move from Alfreton almost opened Dover up but Hicks unluckily overran the ball on the left byline with several players waiting for the pull back.
Alfreton took the lead in bizarre style on 40 minutes. Having won their first corner, Tom Shaw’s low flag kick was allowed to go in under his foot by Stefan Payne on the front post and rolled into the net behind keeper Rafferty. Whether Payne thought the ball was going into the side netting or not is immaterial as the ball ended up in the net.
Dover’s Richard Orlu picked up the game’s first yellow card for a blatant body check on Rowe-Turner who would have set the Reds away on another attack down the left if he had been allowed to continue.
Former Alfreton player Nicky Deverdics ended the first half action when his curling 25 yard direct free kick cleared the bar by half a yard.
There was an even start to the second half with most of the early action in midfield.
Solomon Taiwo earned himself a lecture from the referee for a rashly intentioned sliding challenge on Luke Graham who had already cleared the ball.
Dover equalised on 53 minutes when a through-ball from Tom Murphy into the path of Nicky Deverdics saw the former Reds player allowed to continue from a seemingly offside position to crack home a left-footed shot into the top corner for his second goal in two games.
Tyrone Sterling was booked on 55 minutes after appearing to pull Nathan Hicks back as he tried to get into the penalty area and Tom Shaw's free kick went through the wall but was comfortably saved by Rafferty.
Dover broke from defence at pace down the right and Stefan Payne got free on 56 minutes, his angled shot flashing across goal and out past the far post.
Lathaniel Rowe-Turner picked up a very costly fifth booking on 64 minute for a foul on Tom Murphy. The caution means Rowe-Turner will miss the next game through suspension.
From the free kick wide right, Nicky Deverdics saw his flighted ball into the penalty area palmed into the far side of the net by Reds keeper Cameron Dawson who got underneath the ball and could only palm it in rather than over the bar.
Most of Dover’s attacks in the second half were channelled down the right and Murphy again got in behind Rowe-Turner but could find no-one in support.
Alfreton boss Nicky Law made a double substitution on 68 minutes with Joe Ironside and Jake Sheridan replacing Paul Clayton and Nathan Hicks.
Dawson atoned for his earlier error with a great save to keep out a close range rheader from Tom Murphy who got on the end of a deep free kick from Taiwo.
However, it became 3-1 on 73 minutes as Murphy again got free down the right and pulled back for Stefan Payne to apply a fine finish at the near post.
Substitute Jake Sheridan had a shot on the turn blocked at close quarters deep in the visiting area before Alfreton won their second corner on 80 minutes after a strong run and cross by Wood down the right.
Dover made two late changes and substitute Jake Reid stung Dawson’s hands with a powerful shot from the edge of area. Alfreton reduced the arrears on 90+2 when Tom Shaw got his second of the game.
A Bradley Wood long throw was turned across the area by Sheridan and Shaw fired home from eight yards.
Sheridan then saw a first time left footed shot tipped away for a corner by a fine diving save by Raffertywho ensured all three points for his side
With Rowe-Turner now suspended and the loan spells of striker Joe Ironside and central defender Tom Davies now up, manager Nicky Law faces a busy week ahead of the trip to Macclesfield Town.
Alfreton Town Team:
20 Cameron Dawson
02 Bradley Wood
05 Luke Graham (c)
25 Tom Davies
03 Lathaniel Rowe-Turner
10 Dan Bradley
07 Nathan Hicks (14 Jake Sheridan 68 mins)
08 Tom Shaw
11 Anthony Howell
09 Paul Clayton (18 Joe Ironside 68 mins)
24 Carl Lamb (17 Massiah McDonald 82 mins)
Substitutes not used:
04 Duane Courtney
15 Jordan Keane
Dover Athletic Team:
30 Andrew Rafferty
29 Connor Essam (c)
15 Sean Francis
26 Tom Bonner
06 Richard Orlu
16 Tyrone Sterling
17 Nicky Deverdics (03Tom Wynter, 84 mins)
04 Chris Kinnear
28 Solomon Taiwo
10 Tom Murphy (08 Liam Bellamy, 89 mins)
Stefan Payne (19 Jake Reid, 81 mins)
Substitutes not used:
05 Sean Raggett
21 Greg Rutherford
Alfreton Town – Tom Shaw (40 & 90+2)
Dover Athletic – Nicky Deverdics (53 & 65), Stefan Payne (73)
Alfreton Town – Lathaniel Rowe-Turner (64, foul on Tom Murphy)
Dover Athletic – Richard Orlu (42, foul on Anthony Howell); Tyrone Sterling (55, foul on Nathan Hicks); Tom Bonner (58 mins, unsporting conduct); Tyrone Sterling (90+1 unsporting conduct)
Dover Athletic – Tyrone Sterling (90+1) two yellow cards
Man of the Match: Tom Shaw
Referee: Ryan Johnson of Bolton