A late, late goal in normal time rescued Alfreton Town from elimination in Wednesday night’s FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round replay with Gainsborough Trinity at the lmpact Arena, before the Reds cruised to a 4-1 win in extra-time to claim a home tie with North Ferriby United on December 10th.
It was a superbly struck Craig Westcarr free kick that saved the day in the 88th minute, the Reds’ sub curling the ball over the wall and in off crossbar and keeper George Willis.
Alfreton had trailed from the 38th minute when a sloppy backpass had been latched on to by Jordan Thewliss before side-stepping Fabian Spiess and rolling the ball into an empty net - incredibly it had been Gainsborough’s first goal from five games in the month of November.
Extra-time saw the Reds absorb early pressure from the visitors before a second Westcarr corner in quick succession saw the Reds take a 103rd minute lead when Paul Clayton was on hand to bundle the ball into the net at the back post.
Seven minutes later Clayton struck again, this time linking up with Liam Hearn, whose shot was partially saved by Willis, the striker heading home at the far post.
Willis unfortunately dislocated a finger in the process and had to be replaced in goal by former Reds’ favourite Matt Wilson for the remaining 10 minutes of the tie, Trinity having used all three of their substitutes.
From that point there could be little doubt that Alfreton would ease through the remainder of the tie and Westcarr’s 119th minute strike from 15 yards was the icing on the cake.
ALFRETON: Spiess; Mantack (Marshall HT), McGowan, Kennedy, Heaton, Nyoni, R. Wilson, Monkhouse, A. Smith (Westcarr HT), Clayton, Priestley (Hearn HT). Subs not used: Allan, S. Smith.
GAINSBOROUGH: Willis; Lacey (Reid ET HT)], Templeton, Beatson, M. Wilson, Evans, Hands, L. Wilson, Worsfold (Chapman FT), Jarman, Thewlis (Wiles 82). Subs not used: Quinn, Roma.
REFEREE: Ricky Wootton.