Alfreton Town denied by late leveller aginst leaders Solihull Moors

Alfreton Town v Solihull Motors, Dan Bradley celebrates his late penalty
Alfreton Town v Solihull Motors, Dan Bradley celebrates his late penalty

Alfreton Town can count themselves unfortunate not to have claimed maximum points against league leaders Solihull Moors.

Moors hit last minute equalisers in each half to deny the Reds another vital three points.

Alfreton Town v Solihull Motors, celebrating their first goal

Alfreton Town v Solihull Motors, celebrating their first goal

Maintaining the same line-up that had won 48 hours earlier at Tamworth the Reds played some solid, confident football and would have won but for those two lapses of concentration at vital times.

Sam Smith once again gave Alfreton the lead in the 23rd minute, finishing off a slick move from close range after Sam Jones’ perseverance on the left had allowed Dan Bradley to fire from the edge of the area, the scorer on hand to steer the ball past visiting keeper Ben Siegrist.

Solihull’s equaliser arrived in the 45th minute when Darryl Knights was able to stab the ball past Matt Duke from six yards after Gareth Dean had pushed forward on the left and provided the telling cross.

Alfreton were back in front by the 75th minute, thanks to a sublime pass from Niall Heaton that sent Tom Allan scampering down the left flank, where his bye-line run was ended with the clearest of trips by bemused Moors defender Michael Nottingham.

Reds’ skipper Bradley remained cool, calm and collected to send Siegrist the wrong way from the penalty spot, and at that stage it was nothing more than Alfreton deserved.

It would be difficult to criticise the 90th minute equaliser, which was impossible to defend, apart from the initial header from Ryan Beswick that bounced down off the underside of the crossbar, his follow-up shot then cannoning back on to the bar before James Armson headed home from the closest of ranges.

The visitors had started the game on the front foot with both Akwasi Asanti and Nottingham going close, but an outstanding move in the 17th minute had the Alfreton contingent buzzing with anticipation.

Jones embarked on a determined central run before smashing the ball against the foot of the post, then Bradley followed up with a shot that Siegrist parried before his subsequent shot was blocked by Paul Bignot for a corner.

Three minutes before the opening goal a towering header from Brad McGowan from a Joe Leesley corner went agonisingly close, then in the 39th minute Lindon Meikle had his angled drive blocked from another good Jones cross.

Nine minutes after the break Meikle had another shot blocked, this time by Liam Daly, then shortly afterwards Smith’s effort was repelled by Theo Streete, before Jones slipped at the vital moment when in receipt of a Meikle pass.

Siegrist had to beat away Bradley’s angled drive at his near post with 66 minutes elapsed, then Heaton and Andi Thanoj both had attempts blocked in the minutes before Alfreton regained the lead.

Asanti went close for Solihull with a dipping shot from the edge of the area in the 82nd minute, but an immediate response from the Reds saw Allan’s back post volley cleared off the line after Leesley had won a left-wing corner.

ALFRETON TOWN: Duke; Moyo, McGowan, Heaton, Allan, Leesley, Thanoj, Jones (Jordan 88 mins), Meikle, Bradley, Smith (Jackson 75 mins).

Subs not used: Robertson, Johnston, Spiess.

Attendance: 546.