​Alfreton maintain play-off hopes with key wins

​Alfreton Town kept themselves firmly in the National League North play-off mix with two wins over the Easter weekend.
Ken Digie netted both goals at Chester.Ken Digie netted both goals at Chester.
Ken Digie netted both goals at Chester.

​A 1-0 success at home to struggling Rushall Olympic was then followed by a 2-0 win at fellow play-off hopefuls Chester on Monday, left them fourth in the standings and means they’ll go into another crucial game at home to fifth-placed Curzon Ashton on Saturday leading a group of five teams only separated by three points.

For the game with Rushall, Alfreton started the brighter of the two sides and had their first opening on four minutes. A free-kick on halfway taken by George Willis was flicked on by Ken Digie to Jake Day but his first effort was saved by Weaver and the rebound was blocked before being cleared to safety.

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Three minutes later Day held the ball up well before playing through to Jordan Thewlis who rounded the keeper and rolled into the empty net but the flag was up and it was ruled out.

Alfreton would have opened the scoring if it wasn’t for two superb Rushall blocks first from Liam Waldock then again seconds later from Dwayne Wiley.

Rushall had their first and best chance of the afternoon after 25 minutes following a corner. Willis, who thought he was fouled, was unable to push clear the ball fell to Brown six yards out in the centre of the goal but he blazed over by some distance.

Willis, who was rightfully awarded match of the match and featured in the National League Team of the Week, then made a potential save of the season after a free header from Oseni from six yards out looked destined for the bottom left-hand corner but the Reds number one dived and somehow managed to push it wide and Josh Clackstone cleared to safety for Alfreton.

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The second half continued in the same fashion with Alfreton controlling the game and looking more likely to open the scoring. Thewlis had an effort cleared off the line after he volleyed well from a Digie cross.

Alfreton continued to be on top and it wasn’t long until they had the opener. On 51 minutes, similar to the disallowed goal in the first half, Day played through Thewlis who rounded the keeper and rolled into the empty net for his 16th goal of the season.

Rushall nearly hit back four minutes later after Maher took the ball into the Alfreton box before cutting back and driving the ball to the near post which required another good save from Willis.

The Reds goalkeeper was forced into another good save on 61 minutes after he was out quickly, stayed big, and saved well to thwart Oseni.

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Willis then made another two saves in as many minutes to first deny Pics captain Fletcher from a distance before Maye had a similar attempt tipped over the bar.​​​​​​​​​​​​​, those saves crucial as the Reds held on.

*On Monday, two Ken Digie goals were enough to beat Chester.

First, on 37 minutes, he found the net following a good ball into the box from Adam Lund.

He then wrapped things up on 66 minutes when he powerfully headed home Billy Fewster’s cross.