26 February 2013
Dave Pursglove's match picture album here
Ben Tomlinson proudly clutched the match ball at the end of Alfreton Town's biggest home win of the season, after claiming a hat-trick in Tuesday night's vital six-pointer with Hyde FC at the Impact Arena.
It took just five minutes for Tomlinson to pounce on a mistake by defender Tom Anderson on the edge of the area and nonchalantly clip the ball over visiting keeper David Carnell to give the Reds an early advantage.
Young Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford confidently blocked Alex Brown's angled drive in the 13th minute to herald the start of his loan period with Alfreton, with Darran Kempson blocking Brown's follow-up.
Two minutes later the Reds were 2-0 ahead when Tomlinson turned the ball in at the back post after Kempson had headed down Josh Law's corner, then Anton Brown headed over from a Law free-kick.
Adam Griffin sent an overhead kick wide, Liam Tomsett fired over from 25 yards and Adam Quinn blocked an effort from Grant Spencer as Hyde enjoyed their best spell of the game, but an injury to Anderson on 45 minutes necessitated him being stretchered off with what proved to be a cruciate ligament problem.
Deep into first half added time, Anderson's replacement Shay McCartan fired over from an angle and Pickford stretched high to turn around a powerful drive from Matty Blinkhorn.
Just 70 seconds of the second half had elapsed when Carnell was adjudged to have brought Clayton down as he latched on to a Nathan Arnold through-ball, with Tomlinson gleefully whacking the ensuing penalty low past the keeper to complete his treble.
Alex Brown saw his 61st minute shot blocked by Leigh Franks, then a rampant Tomlinson shrugged off two Hyde defenders before firing into the side-netting, but the fourth goal was not far away and duly arrived on 69 minutes.
Arnold's intuitive chip through found Clayton six yards out and after neatly controlling the ball the striker stabbed it past Carnell after waiting an eternity for it to bounce.
Ten minutes later the Tigers claimed a deserved consolation goal when a central break allowed Danny Broadbent to fire the ball past Pickford from 15 yards.
Kempson's header from Law's 83rd minute corner was caught by Carnell, but the Hyde keeper could not prevent Alfreton from scoring a fifth right at the end of three minutes of added time when Clayton teed up sub Scott Boden for his first goal for the club from close range.
Alfreton Town Team:
22 Jordan Pickford
02 Josh Law
03 Connor Franklin
05 Adam Quinn (12 Leigh Franks, h/t)
06 Darran Kempson
10 Dan Bradley
07 Anton Brown
08 Louie Soares (14 Danny Meadows, 63 mins)
09 Paul Clayton
11 Nathan Arnold
21 Ben Tomlinson (15 Scott Boden, 76 mins)
Substitutes not used:
18 Steven Hewitt
20 Ashley Worsfold
01 David Carnell
02 Josh Brizell
03 Adam Griffin (c)
05 Luke Ashworth
16 Kelvin Lomax
40 Tom Anderson (39 Shay McCartan, 45 mins)
06 Alex Brown
13 Tunji Moses (32 Danny Broadbent, 57 mins)
18 Grant Spencer
21 Liam Tomsett (17 Matt Cassidy, 76 mins)
20 Matty Blinkhorn
Substitutes not used:
35 Chris Dilo
19 David McNiven
Alfreton Town - Ben Tomlinson (5, 15 & 47), Paul Clayton (69), Scott Boden (90+3)
Hyde FC - Danny Broadbent (79)
Hyde FC - Matt Cassidy 83 mins.
Man of the Match: Ben Tomlinson
Referee: Jason Whiteley of Leeds