REDS SO CLOSE TO FIRST POINT OF SEASON

FT: Alfreton Town 2    3 Wrexham

23 August 2014

DAVE PURSGLOVE AND BILL WHEATCROFT'S MATCH PICTURE ALBUM HERE  

ALFRETON Town are still pointless after a fourth successive defeat to the start of the season.
The Reds went in front after just five minutes when Joe Ironside netted his first goal for the club but Wrexham then punished defensive errors to the full to open up a 3-1 interval lead.
Alfreton were much better in the second half and reduced the arrears through Paul Clayton’s first goal of the season on 74 minutes after which Nathan Hicks hit a post.
On another day their efforts could have gained them a point but they now face more problems after Luke Graham was sent off late in the game for picking up two yellow cards and he will miss the Bank Holiday Monday trip to Grimsby Town.
It was another changed Alfreton Town side with goalkeeper Cameron Dawson making his debut having joined the day previously on loan from Sheffield Wednesday.
Paul Clayton returned to partner Joe Ironside up front and Clayton’s  flicked header from a long kick by Dawson almost got Jake Sheridan in but Wrexham keeper Andy Coughlin was quickly out to grab possession.
Alfreton drew first blood on five minutes. Jordan Keane’s ball into JOE IRONSIDE saw the youngster hold off the attentions of a Mark Carrington before turning sharply and firing home a low 12-yard right-footed shot into the bottom corner of the net.
A minute later Bradley Wood picked up the game’s first booking following an off-the-ball clash with Wes York.
Wrexham equalised on twelve minutes in very fortuitous circumstances.
LOUIS MOULT stood his ground in front of Cameron Dawson whose attempted kicked clearance from just inside the penalty area rebounded off the back of Moult and the former Reds striker latched onto the loose ball to slot home a low angled shot past an embarrassed Dawson from eight yards.
Alfreton hit back to win successive corners on 17 and 18 minutes but as the visitors continued to push forward Wrexham’s Jay Harris forced a smart low save from Dawson with a driven 25 yarder on 21 minutes.
Moult gained the wrath of the home fans as he again sought to seek an advantage by standing practically in front of Cameron Dawson as he fielded another back pass.
His actions are not illegal, but certainly border on unsporting conduct.
Chris Smith got back well to concede a corner on 27 minutes as he snubbed out the threat of a Moult break.
Once again, Alfreton’s inability to deal with dead-ball situations cost them dearly.
From the flag-kick Wrexham took the lead in explosive fashion with a pin-point Elliott Durrell corner picking out BLAINE HUDSON who rose highest and powered home a thumping header from the edge of the six-yard box for his first goal for the club.
In the next raid by the visitors it took a brave challenge by Lathaniel Rowe-Turner to block a Durrell shot from just inside the penalty area as Wrexham threatened to extend their lead.
Alfreton went close in reply on 31 minutes with Dan Bradley’s low cross from the right splitting the visiting defence before being cleared by Hudson at the far post for an unproductive corner.
Wrexham keeper Coughlin caused a moment of panic in the visiting defensive ranks on 34 when he flapped at a long Dan Bradley cross from the right but he was finally helped out by his defenders.
Coughlin redeemed himself shortly after with a strong punch clear away from the head of Ironside at the far post as he looked to get onto another deep Bradley cross from the right.
Blaine Hudson was a lucky lad as he escaped a booking by fisting the ball away in an aerial challenge right under the nose of referee Mr Bennett in the centre of midfield before Jordan Keane got the second yellow card of the game with a late challenge on Elliott Durrell on 43 minutes.
Wrexham went 3-1 up on 44 minutes when CONNOR JENNINGS arrived to stab home from close range to finish an accurate Wes York cross from the left after he had skipped past Bradley Wood and advanced to the byline.
More poor defending saw Wrexham apply late pressure with three successive corners which Alfreton managed to survive but the Reds went in 3-1 down at the interval with plenty to do.


HT: Alfreton Town 1    3 Wrexham

Reds acting manager Russ O’Neill made one change at half-time with Nathan Hicks replacing captain Chris Smith which brought a move to central defence for Jordan Keane.
Wrexham began on the offensive and a cross from Neil Ashton from the left fell just too high for Elliot Durrell before the hosts cleared.
Alfreton keeper Cameron Dawson came to the rescue on 47 minutes when he saved well with his legs to keep out a low shot from Wes York after the visitors had taken a quick free kick which all but caught the home defence out.
Indeed, Alfreton struggled for possession in the opening minutes of the second period as Wrexham switched play from side to side.
Connor Jennings went into the book for Wrexham on 50 minutes after a spat off the ball with Jake Sheridan.
Alfreton finally began to put some meaningful attacking moves together with Hicks adding some much-needed pace and drive and Wrexham were reduced to scrappy defending at one stage as they were put under pressure from a series of crosses.
The Reds went close on the hour with Joe Ironside turning a Dan Bradley cross from the right just wide of the front post as the home side began to find their passes.
Bradley then won a corner off Blaine Hudson on 63 minutes from which Paul Clayton flashed a header across the face of goal.
Luke Graham and Louis Moult found themselves yellow carded for a spate of handbags before Alfreton made their last throw of the dice with Tom Shaw replacing Dan Bradley with 18 minutes left.
Alfreton deservedly reduced the arrears on 74 minutes when PAUL CLAYTON rose to power home his first goal of the season with a close range header into the bottom corner from a superly-flighted free-kick from Tom Shaw.
The Reds almost got through again but Hudson stuck a leg out to stop Ironside from getting onto Clayton’s attempted through ball.
Wrexham led a charmed life on 83 minutes. A Tom Shaw shot was blocked by the legs of Coughlin and from the follow up Nathan Hicks saw his close range shot hit the base of the post with the Wrexham keeper still grounded.
Dawson saved low down to deny Moult’s close range effort under pressure as the game opened up in the closing stages.
Alfreton were reduced to ten men on 89 minutes when Luke Graham picked up his second yellow card of the game for a foul on Wes York deep into the home half. Moult clipped the free kick wide.
With rain starting to fall Alfreton tried to get going again but they were twice denied the chance to get going with cheap free kick decisions going against them.
Wrexham keeper Andy Coughlin plucked the ball out of the air after Paul Clayton flicked on a long throw Lathaniel Rowe-Turner and a second later the final whistle heralded a fourth straight defeat for the Reds.

Alfreton Town Team:
20 Cameron Dawson
02 Bradley Wood
05 Luke Graham
06 Chris Smith © (07 Nathan Hicks, h/t)
03 Lathaniel Rowe-Turner
10 Dan Bradley (12 Tom Shaw, 72 mins))
11 Anthony Howell
15 Jordan Keane
14 Jake Sheridan (08 Lee Stevenson, 65 mins)
18 Joe Ironside
09 Paul Clayton
Substitutes not used:
04 Duane Courtney
16 Dan Gray

Wrexham Team:

01 Andy Coughlin
02 Mark Carrington
03 Neil Ashton ©
04 Manny Smith
05 Blaine Hudson
06 Joe Clarke
07 Elliot Durrell (11 Theo Bailey-Jones, 82 mins)
08 Jay Harris
09 Louis Moult
16 Wes York (19 Nick Rushton, 90+2)
24 Connor Jennings
Substitutes not used:
13 Dan Bachmann (GK)
15 Robbie Evans
25 Anthony Stephens

Goals:
Alfreton Town – Joe Ironside (5), Paul Clayton (74)
Wrexham – Louis Moult (12), Blaine Hudson (27), Connor Jennings (44)

Bookings:
Alfreton Town – Bradley Wood (6 mins, off-the-ball-incident); Jordan Keane (43 mins, foul on Elliott Durrell); Luke Graham (71, retatliation on Louis Moult), Luke Graham (89, foul on Wes York)
Wrexham – Connor Jennings (50 mins, retaliation on Jake Sheridan); Louis Moult (71, retaliation on Luke Graham)

Red card:
Alfreton Town - Luke Graham (89 mins, two cautionable offences)

Attendance breakdown: 916 including 396 from Wrexham

Attendance: 916

Man of the Match: Jordan Keane

Referee: Simon Bennett of Stoke -on-Trent Match Reports

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