Alfreton Town have earned a repeat visit to Wrexham in the First Round Proper of the FA Cup after winning 3-1 at North Ferriby United on Saturday.
Last season, the Reds triumphed 4-2 in Wales at the same stage of the world’s most prestigious club competition, before elimination by Leyton Orient on national television at the Impact Arena.
Virtually back to full strength, Alfreton struggled at times in a scrappy affair, but remained professional to record a hard-earned victory in blustery conditions.
Ferriby included three former Reds’ players in skipper and central defender Matt Wilson, as well as strikers Anthony Wilson and Nathan Jarman, all of whom had shots on target in the opening half hour.
After Job Ayo Akinde and Tom Shaw had both tested home keeper Adam Nicklin in the first five minutes, a Jonathan D’Laryea shot was blocked by a covering Akinde from a right-wing corner and Gregg Anderson’s downward header had to be cleared off the line by Josh Law.
The hosts therefore probably deserved their 15th minute lead when a Jamie Yates corner was only partially cleared before Jarman looped a header over keeper Ross Atkins.
John McGrath’s 33rd minute free-kick was only just off target after Akinde had been brought down by Nathan Peat, then Nicklin recovered quickly to block from Jake Speight after spilling Law’s shot.
Akinde headed over under pressure from a Bradley Wood cross, but Alfreton were back on level terms six minutes before the break when Speight ran on to Shaw’s pass to curl the ball into the far corner.
The second half began with Nicklin again saving from Shaw, before Speight just failed to convert a long throw from Wood that had been helped through the goalmouth by Shaw.
The Reds edged ahead after 65 minutes when a corner saw Speight and Fenton both involved in the box before the ball fell to Akinde ten yards out, and he promptly found the net with a low drive.
The decisive third goal came for the Reds in the fourth minute of added time.
Speight took the ball almost the length of the pitch after a last-ditch Ferriby attack had petered out.
His overhit cross was retrieved by the hard-working Dan Bradley before John McGrath smashed the ball into the roof of the net from just inside the area to seal the tie for the Reds.