Nicholls takes centre stage with hat-trick

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A win for JACKSDALE MW would have seen them take over top-spot in Alfreton Insurance Services Division One, but to do so they had to overcome CRIB who have blown hot and cold this season.

They got off to the best possible start when a Danny Watson flick ended up in the net; then being gifted a penalty kick that would double their lead.

Mark Downing’s shot was well struck but brilliantly saved by goalkeeper James Baker and was an opportunity spurned that his side would live to regret.

Before the break Adam Nicholls had set up Liam Brown for a simple tap-in to level things up.

However, the second half was one-way traffic with Crib’s Adam Nicholls taking centre stage.

A curler into the bottom corner saw his side in front, and then a quickly taken free kick that caught the opposition off guard was drilled home before the mercurial Nicholls completed his hat-trick to round off the scoring and provide Crib with a 4-1 victory.

In a game played on a tricky surface and in a good spirit, Jamie Briggs shot RAILWAY (Alfreton) in front only for Justin Deakin to level things up and provide HOLMEWOOD MW a share of the spoils in a Division Two match that ended 1-1.

HAYLOFT got off to a flyer and took the lead when Ryan Thornton netted, but Kirk Hallowes had hit an equaliser for the home team RIPLEY WHITE LION by the interval. The sides had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

A ding-dong affair in the third division saw SEVEN STARS concede three early goals to HILCOTE MW; the result of bad defending.

However, Gaz Hodkin had reduced the deficit by half-time; the same player netting again shortly after the restart before more sloppy defending saw the visitors re-establish their three-goal cushion.

Hodkin initiated the second fight back by completing his hat-trick before Martin Ward blasted home a 20-yard free kick. It was fitting that the scoring should be completed by Hodkin who notched his fourth goal late in the game to earn his side a point that had seemed highly improbable; the score line 5-5.

After their cup heroics of the previous week, GLADIATORS returned to league action albeit on the hallowed turf of Matlock Town’s Causeway Lane ground for their game with HEANOR STAFFS.

However, it was the visitors who adapted much the better to the surroundings and dominated proceedings to run out easy 8-2 winners.

BOUNDARY ATHLETIC took an early lead in their cup game against OUT OF TOWN but an own goal and a Tim Stone double saw the home side secure their passage into the next round.

Sunday fixtures

Division One: CORONATION CLUB v DERBY ATHLETIC; AFC SOUTH NORMANTON v JACKSDALE MW.

Division Two: AMBER ATHLETIC v RIPLEY WHITE LION; HOLMEWOOD MW v RAILWAY TAVERN; OUT OF TOWN v GALLOWS INN.

Division Three: BULLS HEAD v HEANOR STAFFS; GLADIATORS v ALLIANCE HEALTHCARE; MARLPOOL UNITED v SEVEN STARS.