Alfreton Town striker Ashley Worsfold made his first full 90-minute run out for Nicky Law’s side pay handsome dividends.
The former Sheffield Wednesday man fired home a hat-trick to put the Reds into the next round of the Derbyshire Senior Cup and himself into contention for a starting place in this Saturday’s big league game at Grimsby Town.
The Reds came from two goals down to progress 3-2 against Buxton on Tuesday night and it was Worsfold’s overall performance and finishing prowess which proved to be the difference.
Buoyed by his first goal for the club on 36 minutes which cut the deficit in half, he then produced a shot of stunning power on 64 minutes to equalise and showed his natural predatory instincts in the last few seconds of normal time when he was in the right place at the right time to rifle home his hat-trick goal after Buxton keeper John Stanway had parried a fierce Nathan Arnold shot.
Worsfold has had to wait patiently for his chance since joining from Sheffield FC in late August.
But he grasped the chance with both hands as he showed manager Law what he is all about with some excellent finishing. Indeed, he could easily have finished a keenly-contested game with four or five goals as he had one effort smack against a post and others denied by the visiting keeper.
Manager Law admitted Worsfold’s man-of-the-match performance has put him firmly into contention for a starting shirt at Grimsby and has given him a welcome competition bonus as he looks to strengthen his squad in the last two days of the January transfer window.
“Credit to Ash. All he has been doing is waiting for his chance and he has gone in there tonight and got three.
“He has done well and his all-round performance has given him a good chance for Saturday.
“We have always known what he can do, but it has been all about finding the right time to give him his opportunity as we have had some massive games over the past few months.
“It has been difficult to throw the boy into some of the games we have had. You don’t want to put him in and kill him.
“When he has come in before tonight, he has done well. And, when you are a goalscorer, you are a goalscorer and that will always come through” added Law.
The emergence of Worsfold has given Law a nice selection problem to have.
“We will hopefully be bringing in another striker before the transfer window ends and that will give us five in the squad and plenty of competition at the sharp end of the team. If anyone doesn’t do their job they simply won’t keep their shirt” Law ended.
The Reds now meet Mickleover Royals in the quarter finals of the Senior Cup on Tuesday, February 5 (7.45pm kick off).
Alfreton return to Blue Square Bet Premier Division league action on Saturday with a trip to top-of-the-table Grimsby Town, a side the Reds have yet to gain a point against after three successive league defeats against the Mariners.
ATFC Supporters’ Association transport to the game departs at 10.15am and seats can be booked by contacting Mark Thorpe on 07857 558401.
For the trip to Blundell Park, manager Law should have a fully fit squad with the exception of Louie Soares who is unable to play in the fixture as part of the deal which brought him from Grimsby to the Impact Arena on loan to the end of the season.
Defender Ross Killock will be available again having being left out of Tuesday night’s cup game as he had played for parent club, Leeds United’s Under-21 side the day before.
Meanwhile the Reds have signed Chesterfield striker Scott Boden on loan until April 20 and Burnley midfielder Steven Hewitt on loan until the end of the season.