10 February 2015
Dave Pursglove's match picture album here
Alfreton Town kept their survival hopes alive with a well-earned draw at home to Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday night, coming back twice to share the spoils.
Manager Nicky Law was forced to make one change from the win over Southport with Callum Howe suffering from a hamstring injury, but despite a lack of match time Jordan Keane stepped in to the breach to make an impression at right back, with Luke Graham reverting to a more familiar central defensive role.
A deep cross from John Johnston clipped the top of the Forest Green crossbar inside the first 30 seconds, but most of the first half saw the Reds absorbing pressure from the visitors before taking a more positive attitude after the break.
Jason Mooney reacted well to save as Marcus Kelly's free-kick reared up off Lathaniel Rowe-Turner in the 17th minute, then the Reds' keeper confidently saved Jon Parkin's shot from an Elliott Frear cross.
A swift break in the 26th minute led to Mooney holding Parkin's drive, then James Marwood blazed over from a good position following a burst of pace down the left from Frear.
Mooney then held a Frear volley before saving James Norwood's header from a Frear cross, the first half concluding with Karl Hawley's shot going close for the Reds from all of 30 yards.
Another good save by Mooney denied Norwood five minutes after the break, then visiting keeper Sam Russell at last had something to deal with when Johnston arrowed in a delivery from the right-hand by-line.
Graham's vital tackle back on the hour thwarted Marwood and Tom Shaw went close in response, but Rovers edged ahead in the 64th minute following a controversial decision.
Hawley seemed to have won a challenge with Kelly on the half-way line, only for the Forest Green skipper to handle the ball with the referee waving play on, and from Kelly's pass Marwood was able to flick deftly past Mooney from ten yards.
Marwood then missed a back post header from a Rob Sinclair cross that looked easier to score, but Alfreton bounced back to draw level just three minutes after falling behind.
Shaw sent Johnston to the by-line, from where the winger cut in to fire past Russell from six yards and claim his first goal for the club.
Further controversy led to Lee Stevenson's 75th minute goal being ruled out, with Hawley adjudged to have impeded Russell from a Dan Bradley cross although the keeper appeared to have dropped the ball at his near post.
The Gloucestershire side struck again six minutes from time when Parkin was left with a clear header from close range in receipt of another Kelly free-kick, Johnston having rather unceremoniously halted Marwood's progress and earned himself a caution in the process.
To their credit Alfreton never gave up, and deep into the fourth and final minute of added time attained the equaliser that their second half performance at least had thoroughly deserved, Shaw rising to head Joe Leesley's corner home with the ball brushing Rowe-Turner on its way into the net.
Alfreton Town Team:
20 Jason Mooney
02 Bradley Wood
05 Luke Graham
03 Lathaniel Rowe-Turner
26 Niall Heaton
27 John Johnston (11 Anthony Howell, 90+2 mins)
12 Tom Shaw
15 Jordan Keane
10 Dan Bradley
08 Lee Stevenson (24 Joe Leesley, 88 mins)
23 Karl Hawley
Substitutes not used:
Forest Green Rovers Team:
01 Sam Russell
02 David Pipe
04 Charlie Clough
26 Danny Coles
10 Marcus Kelly
07 James Norwood
08 Sam Wedgbury
19 Rob Sinclair
18 Elliott Frear (12 Clovis Kamdjo, 88 mins)
20 Jon Parkin
33 James Marwood (09 Stuart Fleetwood, 85 mins)
Substitutes not used:
05 Luke Oliver
13 Steve Arnold
25 Corby Moore
Alfreton Town - John Johnston (67), Tom Shaw (90+4)
Forest Green Rovers - James Marwood (64), Jon Parkin (85)
Alfreton Town - Bradley Wood, John Johnston, Joe Leesley
Forest Green Rovers - James Norwood, Rob Sinclair, Stuart Fleetwood
Man of the Match: Lathaniel Rowe-Turner
Referee: Ryan Johnson of Bolton