Alfreton Town eased through to the semi-final of the Derbyshire Senior Cup at Station Road on Tuesday night, where they brushed aside the challenge of Central Midlands League outfit Mickleover Royals.
A professional performance from the Reds ensured that there was not going to be a banana skin for them to slip on, and after absorbing early pressure from the hosts Alfreton established an eighth minute lead.
Daniel Meadows’ astute pass allowed Nathan Arnold to shoot at goal, and when home keeper Chris Dodsley dropped the ball at his near post last week’s hat-trick hero Ashley Worsfold squeezed it home from the tightest of angles.
Unfortunately at the same time Anton Brown pulled up with a hamstring strain and was replaced by Dan Bradley, then three minutes later Dodsley made amends with a fine double save from Paul Clayton.
The keeper then saved from Connor Franklin after Mickleover defender Peter Aliguma had misjudged the bounce of the ball, then Dodsley excelled in the 26th minute by stopping a thumping free-kick from Law that took a slight deflection on its way through the wall.
Bradley was next to be denied by the keeper from the edge of the area, then Arnold’s shot on the turn was diverted for a corner off Scott Birch.
Clayton and Franklin missed from relatively easy positions, then Dodsley did well to block as Clayton sent Worsfold scampering through in the 35th minute, before Law smacked a by-line cross against the upright five minutes later.
The second goal had been somewhat inevitable and duly arrived courtesy of Meadows two minutes before the break, the midfielder smashing the ball high into the net from 15 yards from a Worsfold pass.
Clayton looked certain to score in first half added time until Dodsley produced the save of the night by tipping over his scorching header from a Law corner.
A swerving shot from Meadows clipped the top of the crossbar four minutes into the second half having been set up by Matty Harriott, then two goals inside a minute from Clayton doubled the Reds’ advantage.
Meadows’ 54th minute angled drive was parried by the keeper, but the loose ball sat up kindly for Clayton to execute a successful overhead kick from six yards, then another Law corner moments later was converted at the near post by the striker.
There was an ironic cheer by the home fans in the 64th minute when Dave Carr found an opening to shy at goal, but an off-side flag stole his thunder.
The fifth goal arrived on 68 minutes when Arnold smashed home a 25 yard free-kick, and when Alastair Taylor teed up Ben Tomlinson shortly afterwards Dodsley again tipped the ball around the post.
The scoring concluded 12 minutes from time when Tomlinson cut in from the left before rifling the ball in from ten yards, and Royals were left to reflect on a harsh footballing lesson against a team that allowed them just one sight of goal.
Alfreton will now travel to the New Manor Ground to face Ilkeston FC in the semi-final on a date to be arranged.
ALFRETON: Barnes; Law, Franks, Streete, Franklin, Meadows, Brown (Bradley 8), Harriott (Taylor 63), Arnold, Clayton (Tomlinson 63), Worsfold.
Subs not used: Kempson.
Att: 170 (est.)