03 December 2011
Dave Pursglove match picture album here
ALFRETON Town have reached the halfway point in their Blue Square Bet Premier season, but lost their tenth away game at Southport on Saturday.
Once again the Reds performed far and above their lowly position and were frustrated by going down by the odd goal, this time after Adam Quinn had put them deservedly ahead after 62 minutes.
It was the on-loan defender's first goal since arriving from Darlington, but Alfreton's lead lasted for just eight minutes before two strikes in the space of 60 seconds put paid to their hopes of a third successive League victory at Haig Avenue.
Reds' sub Josh Law had been on the pitch just three minutes when he received a return pass from a short corner to deliver a deep cross for Quinn to send a looping header past Southport keeper Tony McMillan at the back post.
Eight minutes later Kurtis Guthrie cut in from the left and fired low and hard from 25 yards with a shot that was destined for the far corner of the net, but the ball took a wicked deflection off a Reds' defender and flew in at the near post with keeper Joe Day unable to cover the change of flight.
Within a minute Southport had taken the lead when Tony Gray found time and space to steer an Andy Owens' cross past Day from 15 yards, and from that point it became increasingly difficult for Alfreton to find a way back into a game in which they had held the upper hand for 70 minutes.
Alfreton had won a free-kick and a corner within the opening 40 seconds as once again they had to contend with awful conditions of squally showers and high winds, but Jake Moult's flag-kick took flight and swirled beyond the back post.
Southport responded with Chris Lever's diving header from Adam Carden's cross being held by Day in the sixth minute, then four minutes later at the other end Nathan Arnold had a clear chance but shot straight at McMillan with Paul Clayton unable to capitalise on the rebound.
Owens latched on to a weak back pass from Anthony Church only to shoot tamely at Day then Southport had a let off in the 18th minute when Lever miscued Jake Moult's free-kick straight to Rob Eagle, who also lost his footing.
Church atoned with a superb interception at the expense of a 20th minute corner as Guthrie and Gray combined to feed Carden with the Reds' defence back-pedalling.
Alfreton's best chance of the first half was squandered by Moult five minutes later when he had time to control Connor Franklin's cross but dwelt a fraction too long and sliced wide from 10 yards.
Arnold sent a hopeful shot wide from 25 yards after being set up by Moult, then Steve Akrigg went close in response when he looped his 38th minute header on to the roof of the net following a long throw by Owens.
Theo Streete had to tackle back well as Owens attempted a defence splitting pass, then Adam Carden drilled inches over the bar from 18 yards following a long throw by Owens.
Day held Gray's 42nd minute shot before two good tackles by Greg Young defied Owens and Gray in quick succession, and the first half ended with Streete's rasping drive blocked by Godfrey Poku as Alfreton responded positively.
Quinn produced a quality tackle as Akrigg dithered when receiving an Owens cross in the 51st minute, then Owens sent a searing drive from the edge of the area inches over.
A first time shot by Eagle six minutes before the deadlock was broken was blocked by Poku from an Arnold cross, then after the goal flurry Quinn almost scored an equaliser with another back post header from Law's 81st minute corner.
However, the effort drifted wide of the target from 12 yards, then in added time Southport substitute Andy Parry was sent clear only for Day to pull off a very good save
Alfreton Town Team:
Rob Eagle (Anton Brown 80)
Paul Clayton (Nathan Jarman 72)
Anthony Wilson (Josh Law 59)
Substitutes not used: Matt Wilson and Leigfh Franks
Carden (Parry 82)
Kris Guthrie (Earl Davis 90+4)
Tony Gray (Benjamin 88)
Substitutes not used: Nemes, Parry, Brown
Goals: Southport: Kris Guthrie 71, Tony Gray 72. Alfreton Town: Adam Quinn 63.
Yellow cards: Southport - Godfrey Poku (16, unsporting behaviour); Kris Guthrie (78, dissent). Alfreton Town - Adam Quinn (24, foul on Kris Guthrie), Paul Anthony Wilson (34, foul on James Smith), Clayton (57, dissent).
Man of the Match: Adam Quinn
Referee: Amy Fearn of Leicestershire