05 January 2013
Dave Pursglove's match picture album here
Alfreton Town stuck doggedly to their task to record only their third home win in the Blue Square Bet Premier this season, when they came from behind twice to prevent Dartford from inflicting a double upon them.
Several changes were made from the New Year's Day defeat at home to Mansfield Town, but Nicky Law's side battled against adversity and the recalled Daniel Meadows netted twice with quality finishes.
The game was held up after just 15 seconds had elapsed, with Dartford keeper Marcus Bettinelli needing treatment after colliding with Ben Tomlinson, and although the opening goal was timed at three minutes less than two had actually been played when Ryan Hayes curled a scorcher into the far top corner past Phil Barnes from the edge of the area.
Anton Brown headed over from a long Leigh Franks throw, then at the other end Harry Crawford - scorer of a hat-trick when the teams met in Kent on September 1st - was only just off target with a low drive.
Bettinelli held Tomlinson's shot in the 12th minute, then a Crawford chip from a Hayes cross was easily dealt with by Barnes.
Franks' header from a Josh Law corner needed clearing off the line by Tom Champion as Alfreton came close to a 20th minute leveller, then two minutes later Champion had to intervene again virtually on the goal-line as Brown headed Tomlinson's cross firmly at goal.
A glaring miss by Crawford on the half hour saved Alfreton going further behind, Dartford's top scorer somehow heading against the inside of the post from close range after Jon Wallis had played Hayes down the right.
Two minutes later another Hayes cross was stabbed over the line by Nathan Collier, but an offside decision saved the day for the Reds. Then in response Dan Bradley fired well wide after Ross Killock had sent Nathan Arnold through.
Bettinelli parried from Meadows five minutes before the break following a Law cross, then Killock had to clear off the line from a casual James Rogers flick that eluded everyone in the area and almost deceived the Reds' rearguard.
An eventful first half concluded with the equaliser in the second minute of added time, when Meadows sprang to powerfully head home Matty Harriott's deep cross from beyond the back post.
Arnold fired wide of the near post from Law's 53rd minute cross, then Collier fired over for Dartford after cutting in from the left.
The visitors regained their lead on 59 minutes when Collier's very close range diving back post header beat Barnes from another fine Hayes cross, then for the Reds Brown glanced a header wide from Bradley's pass and Law directed a free-kick just over the bar from a prime position.
Ashley Worsfold engineered space for himself in the 72nd minute, but his shot deflected off a defender before nestling in Bettinelli's arms, then three minutes later Alfreton were back on level terms when Brown slotted Arnold's driven low right flank coss through the keeper's legs from close range.
Brown almost succeeded from 25 yards, whilst Barnes saved from Wallis and Hayes, but with barely two minutes left on the clock the Impact Arena erupted as Meadows smashed another Arnold cross high into the far corner of the net with a superbly-taken cross-shot from 16 yards.
Alfreton Town Team:
01 Phil Barnes
02 Josh Law
03 Connor Franklin (Matty Harriott, 34 mins)
10 Dan Bradley (Ashley Worsfold, 65 mins)
12 Leigh Franks
17 Theo Streete
23 Ross Killock
07 Anton Brown
14 Danny Meadows
11 Nathan Arnold
21 Ben Tomlinson (Paul Clayton, 53 mins)
Substitutes not used:
05 Adam Quinn
19 Simon Russell
12 Marcus Bettinelli
02 Richard Rose
04 Tom Champion
13 James Rogers (Mohamed Eisa, 90+3 mins)
16 Mark Arber
08 Jon Wallis
10 Elliot Bradbrook (George Monger, 90+4 mins)
20 Lee Burns
07 Ryan Hayes
09 Jacob Erskine (Nathan Collier, 17 mins)
21 Harry Crawford
Substitutes not used:
24 Stevie Sutton
18 Lee Martin
Alfreton Town – Daniel Meadows (45+2 and 89), Anton Brown (75). Dartford – Ryan Hayes (3), Nathan Collier (59).
Alfreton Town – Ben Tomlinson (41, foul on Bettinelli), Theo Streete (85, foul on Harry Crawford).
Dartford - Bettinelli (41 unsporting conduct), Richard Rose (49, foul on Danny Meadows), Mark Arber (70 foul on Paul Clayton).
Man of the Match: Danny Meadows
Referee: Anthony Backhouse of Brampton