AFC Telford United 1, Alfreton Town 0
A very unfortunate slip by central defender Adie Hawes was all that separated these teams as Alfreton Town extended their poor record at the New Buck’s Head on Tuesday night in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
However, Nicky Law’s injury-ravaged squad produced one of their best performances in a sequence that has seen AFC Telford United emerge victors from six of their seven encounters in Shropshire, with Josh Law’s raking free-kick in the 54th minute smashing against the upright.
With Nathan Jarman suspended for one game and Paul Clayton rested, Chris Senior partnered James Ellison up front, the latter making his first Alfreton start on the last day of his loan spell from Burton Albion.
Levi Mackin and Matt Wilson were ruled unfit after picking up injuries on Saturday, then during the course of the game both Law and Theo Streete hobbled off, and even boss Law was spotted limping heavily as he trudged towards the dug-out.
The goal came in the 68th minute and was the result of Hawes, who had replaced Streete at half-time, slipping at the vital moment as he attempted to clear a through-ball from Andy Brown, allowing Chris Sharp the easy task of slotting past exposed keeper Dan Lowson.
There was absolutely nothing Lowson could have done in that situation, but the Reds’ keeper had pulled off a particularly good save in the 36th minute from Jon Adams’ close-range header which he tipped over at full stretch.
A similar save by Telford’s Ryan Young prevented Andy Holdsworth from grabbing an 89th minute equaliser for Alfreton with a 25-yard thumping drive from a partial clearance.
Senior went close in the eighth minute when he swivelled and shot in receipt of Greg Young’s deep free-kick that had been helped on by Jake Moult, then a Streete volley was deflected behind for a corner from one of Leigh Franks’ enormous throws.
An effort from Moult was blocked by Andy Brown in the 31st minute, and it was still to be another four minutes before the home side recorded their first shot at goal as the Reds’ back five held firm, a tame effort from Adams comfortably held by Lowson.
Four minutes after the break Lowson was forced to punch behind an awkward inswinging corner from Sean Newton, then a couple of minutes later Lowson saved well from Telford’s Brown.
Four minutes after the goal Moult cut in and made Young tip over his shot from 16 yards, then another good save by Lowson prevented Sharp from scoring despite a strong suspicion of off-side.
Alfreton: Lowson; Law (Hall 58), Franklin, Streete (Hawes h/t), Young, Franks, Brown, Holdsworth, Moult, Ellison (Mullan 77), Senior. Unused sub: Clayton, Turner. Attendance: 1,781.