Alfreton Town 3, Newport County 2
Alfreton Town began the second half of their Blue Square Bet Premier season on a positive note with a crucial 3-2 win at home to Newport County on Tuesday night.
Once again the Reds persevered to the end with top scorer Nathan Jarman coming off the bench to extend his goal tally with an 89th minute winner, after Anthony Church and Jake Moult had scored before the break.
Josh Law returned after injury to play in midfield with Theo Streete retaining the right-back slot, while Anton Brown was also recalled as Rob Eagle and Anthony Wilson were rested.
Newport engineered the first chance of the game although David Pipe shot so wildly wide that the outcome was a throw-in to the Reds, but the visitors took a fourth minute lead when Elliott Buchanan lashed the ball in from 12 yards after Alfreton keeper Joe Day had made a superb point-blank save from Robbie Matthews.
Buchanan then cut in from the right and ballooned over before going closer in a subsequent attack as the Reds were pegged back, but a 20th minute free-kick by Church right on the edge of the area put the hosts in attacking mode with his shot cannoning off the defensive wall for a corner.
Nine minutes later another corner taken by Josh Law was converted by Church’s glancing header amid a ruck of players around the six-yard box, the midfielder’s first goal for the Reds since arriving on loan from Grimsby Town, and by the 38th minute Alfreton were 2-1 ahead.
Once again it was a Law corner that found Moult lurking 18 yards out and his spectacular left-footed volley whistled past County keeper Danny Potter.
Buchanan created three chances for the Exiles in the early stages of the second half, his 48th minute shot diverted for a corner by Quinn then a similar effort striking Moult in the face with the same outcome, but he wasted a clear opportunity on 55 minutes by dragging his shot across goal when put through by Sam Foley.
Newport restored parity though in the 59th minute after Day had parried from Foley, with Gary Warren stabbing in the loose ball from six yards after a hectic goalmouth scramble had produced successive goal-line clearances.
Buchanan then sent an overhead kick inches over the bar from a Matthews cross, but the Reds responded with Moult firing over from 16 yards.
With 11 minutes remaining Danny Rose raced clear but shot tamely straight at Day who had stood his ground, then four minutes later at the other end Jarman’s shot struck Ismail Yakubu before spinning to safety.
The last word went in Alfreton’s favour one minute from time with a move started and finished by Jarman.
Almost on the halfway line Jarman sent Streete away down the right with a crossfield pass with the defender playing a one-two from Arnold before crossing into the area, where Anthony Wilson was being clearly held back by Warren.
The referee allowed play to continue as the entire Alfreton bench and supporters behind the goal screamed for a penalty, but Jarman remained cool and calmly slotted the ball home from around 12 yards to secure back-to-back 3-2 victories at the Impact Arena.
Alfreton: Day; Streete, Young, Quinn, Franklin, Law (A.Wilson 86), Moult, Church, Brown, Arnold, Clayton (Jarman 70). Unused subs: M.Wilson, Eagle, Franks.
Attendance: 579 (70 from Newport).