Reds go marching on

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Alfreton Town 4, Southport 0

Alfreton Town found themselves in the draw for the second round of the FA Trophy after demolishing high-flying Southport 4-0 at the Impact Arena on Saturday.

And after picking up £5,000 prize money the Reds will now travel south to face Weymouth on Saturday, January 14.

This was a complete and pulsating performance against a Southport side that had struggled to beat the Reds on their own ground in their League encounter seven days earlier, and as well as a third successive home win a much needed clean sheet was also recorded.

Alfreton keeper Joe Day did not have a direct shot to save all afternoon, but the visitors did hit the crossbar before the goals arrived and the Reds could even bask in the luxury of a missed penalty.

Karl Ledsham went close for Southport in the third minute with a curling free-kick, but Alfreton quickly responded with Anthony Wilson’s shot on the turn needing a low save by visiting keeper Tony McMillan.

Wilson then charged down a weak back-pass by Steve Akrigg as he and McMillan found themselves in a race for possession after seven minutes, but the ball rebounded a couple of feet wide of the near post.

There were appeals for a penalty as Akrigg appeared to push Wilson, then after 17 minutes at the other end Shaun Whalley saw his shot come back off the bar from eight yards after Andy Owens had set him up in the 17th minute.

Nathan Arnold cut in from the left and went close with a low drive from 25 yards, then with 26 minutes elapsed Wilson sent Arnold through and a good save by McMillan was necessary.

Akrigg headed over for the Sandgrounders on 31 minutes from a Ledsham cross, then in response Anton Brown sent a header just wide of the target from a Josh Law free-kick.

Akrigg appeared to impede Jake Moult in the 36th minute but again no penalty was forthcoming, although two minutes later the Reds deservedly forged ahead when Brown stretched at the back post to head in after Nathan Jarman’s near post header had spun off the keeper.

Wilson had been involved in the build-up, his direct approach seeing his shot charged down before the loose ball found its way to Jarman, and Wilson was instrumental again as Alfreton had a chance to double their advantage in the 42nd minute.

The Reds’ third penalty appeal was successful on this occasion as Simon Grand pushed Wilson, but Jarman ruined his 100 per cent record from the spot by firing wide.

Alfreton did lead 2-0 however in the first minute of stoppage time before the break, when Moult’s driven cross was neatly turned in at the near post by Wilson just ahead of the keeper.

Just two minutes into the second half Jarman atoned when he dispossessed the hapless Akrigg to set up Arnold, but having side-stepped the keeper the ball struck the crossbar before rebounding for Jarman to volley in the third goal.

McMillan held Arnold’s angled drive on the hour, then the busy keeper held Adam Quinn’s header after Brown had flicked on a long throw by Law.

Wilson fired over from a difficult angle in the 72nd minute, then with ten minutes remaining Paul Clayton tidied up the scoring with a deft shot placed into the corner of the net from a Connor Franklin cross.

Alfreton: Day; Streete, Quinn, Young, Franklin, Law, Moult, Brown, Arnold (Hall 86), A.Wilson (Clayton 76), Jarman (Mullan 83). Subs not used: M.Wilson, Franks.

Attendance: 394 (20 from Southport).