Alfreton Town 3 – 2 Harrogate Town

10 April 2016

A late fightback by Harrogate Town was not enough to prevent Alfreton taking all three points in a feisty game at the Impact Stadium,Alfreton.

Harrogate were unchanged apart from Tom Platt replacing the suspended Warren Burrell.

An early foul on Joe Colbeck presented Brendan Daniels with an opportunity,but his free kick from twentyfive yards was straight at Matt Duke.

Andy Gascoigne was unable to continue after a heavy tackle and he was replaced by former Reds favourite, Paul Clayton, after ten minutes.

Alfreton were looking dangerous going forward and Louis Swain had to make a last ditch block to keep Town’s goal intact.A Lewis Turner foul on Niall Heaton saw Andi Thanoj test Peter Crook with a free kick,but it was Town who took the lead.

Turner’s ball down the right saw Clayton round Julian Banton and centre for Jordan Thewlis to slip his marker and shoot into the far corner.

Referee Ben Cooke issued several yellow cards as the game threatened to boil over.

Town almost made it two when Clayton expertly met Lloyd Kerry’d cross,but his header flashed wide of the post.

Unfortunately for Harrogate,it was Alfreton who were next on the scoresheet when Todd Jordan’s downward header from Joe Leesley’s free kick gave them a fortyfifth minute equaliser.

Soon after the break,Sam Jones turned in Leesley’s cross from close range to make it two and then Crook saved well from Thanoj and Dan Bradley as Alfreton began to turn the screw.

Jack Emmett replaced Colbeck and Town threatened when Clayton chested down a Swain cross into the path of Platt,but his powerful drive was immediately blocked.

With fifteen minutes left,Crook couldn’t hold Leesley’s fierce cross shot and sub,Jamie Jackson turned in Alfreton’s third.

Within two minutes Town pulled one back when Emmett got behind the defence to the byline and cut back for Daniels to rifle home.

Harrogate pushed hard for an equaliser and both Clayton and Daniels failed to connect with Emmett’s cross as it trickled agonisingly across goal.

Mason Warren replaced Thewlis and his late centre found Danny Ellis who appeared certain to score as his glancing header was bound for the top corner,only for Duke to make a wonderful fingertip save.

A Daniels corner,deep into added time,was turned narrowly wide by Platt and Alfreton hung on for the win.

Town have an early chance to cement a play off place when they travel to Nuneaton on Tuesday evening.

1 Crook, 2 Turner, 3 Swain, 4 Kerry, 5 Ellis (c), 6 Thirlwell, 7 Colbeck (Emmett 66), 8 Gascoigne (Clayton 10), 9 Thewlis (Warren 82), 10 Platt, 11 Daniels.
Unused subs 14 Worrall, 15 Foster. Bookings Turner,Thirlwell,Colbeck Att 583
Scorers Thewlis 32,Daniels 76.
By John Harrison

Photographs by Craig Hurle

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