Alfreton Town 4,
Redditch United 0
Alfreton Town were crowned champions of the Blue Square Bet North on Saturday amid emotional scenes at the Impact Arena after beating already relegated Redditch United 4-0, thanks to a brace apiece for Paul Clayton and Liam Hearn that took their tallies for the season to 20 and 30 respectively.
The biggest home League gate for decades witnessed the Reds’ greatest moment in their 52-year history since Alfreton Welfare and Alfreton United were amalgamated in 1959, one of the instigators of that merger being Tom McRoy who was left beaming with pride at the tender age of 91.
Alfreton’s nerves were settled in the ninth minute when Clayton’s first shot was blocked by keeper Jake Bedford from another Hearn pass before following up from three yards.
Brown and Arnold both missed the target from Laurie Wilson corners before Bedford held Hearn’s angled drive low down, then in the 19th minute Hearn put Clayton through with the keeper taking the sting out of the shot before the ball trickled against the upright.
Jamal Geathers sent McKenzie through again for Redditch three minutes later but Theo Streete tracked his progress and the stifled shot was comfortably held by Ross Turner, then the ground erupted with Clayton’s second goal in the 26th minute.
Matt Wilson’s ball through to Hearn produced another low angled drive that was pushed up into the air by the keeper with Clayton nodding in from three yards, then in response an inswinging corner by Warmer had to be pushed away at full stretch by Turner.
Laurie Wilson’s header was cleared off the line by Alex Hickman, then Brown’s follow-up had to be hacked away by Geathers, before defiant United went close again in first half added time as Geathers scuffed a chance wide from 22 yards.
Four minutes after the interval Hearn put the issue beyond doubt in the blistering heat when he latched on to a loose ball, advanced into the area and drilled the ball past Bedford, then ten minutes later the busy Redditch keeper pulled off another good save from Hearn.
Hearn missed when it seemed easier to score as Matt Wilson teed him up, then both Ian Ross and Clayton went close for the Reds before Matt Wilson saw a header held by Bedford from a Laurie Wilson corner.
Ross set up Hearn for the fourth goal in the 76th minute with the striker lashing the ball in from 12 yards, then two more efforts by Hearn were saved by the keeper before another shot from the rampant goal-poacher struck Joseph Hull full in the face from close range as he sought his hat-trick.
Alfreton: Turner; Law. Franklin, Flint, Streete, L.Wilson (Jarman 77), Brown, M.Wilson, Clayton (Clare 77), Hearn, Arnold (Ross 68). Subs not used: A.Wilson, J.Hall.