Alfreton Town 1, Kettering Town 1
Alfreton Town were once again left wondering just how they had failed to win Saturday’s Blue Square Bet Premier encounter with Kettering Town at the Impact Arena, despite leading at half-time and seeing the visitors reduced to ten men in first-half added time.
Manager Nicky Law made six changes from the Grimsby Town defeat with new loan signing Joe Day from Peterborough United given his first start in goal while Theo Streete, Josh Law, Levi Mackin and Matt Wilson all returned from injury.
There was also a cameo appearance by striker Anthony Wilson after breaking his metatarsal just seven weeks earlier, but on the debit side both Law and Matt Wilson received further worrying injuries during the course of the game.
A blistering start by the Reds saw Kettering keeper Laurie Walker block Jake Moult’s drive from Nathan Jarman’s pass in the first minute, then a low shot from Law was beaten away by Walker after the Reds’ defender had run on to a pass from Paul Clayton.
Clayton then headed over from eight yards before the Poppies’ first sortie in the sixth minute saw Marcus Kelly’s strong run dealt with by Streete.
A long spell of inactivity was finally punctuated by Alfreton taking a 24th minute lead, when Anton Brown headed in from close range after Matt Wilson had stretched to turn Law’s free-kick back across goal.
As the interval beckoned Ifil was sent off after a quite awful tackle on Law before lashing out at Jarman in the aftermath.
Kettering were thrown a lifeline 18 minutes from time when Streete pushed Adam Cunnington to concede a penalty.
Cunnington blasted what amounted to Kettering’s second shot on target high into the roof of the net from the spot,
In the 76th minute the visitors almost snatched a winner when Leon McKenzie was sent through by Meechan only to drag his shot harmlessly across goal, then Brown fired wide after Connor Franklin had sent Mullan to the by-line.
In stoppage time Anthony Wilson headed wide and Brown missed the target from a brace of quality Mullan deliveries as Alfreton were once again left to rue a missed opportunity to pick up maximum points.
Alfreton: Day; Law, M.Wilson (Franks 57), Streete, Franklin, Mackin, Mullan, Brown, Moult (A.Wilson 83), Clayton (Senior 87), Jarman. Unused subs: Young, Hall.
Attendance: 851 (148 visiting fans).