Blue Square Bet North
Alfreton Town 2
Workington AFC 0
Alfreton Town pulled three points clear at the top of the Blue Square Bet North with games in hand, after beating Workington 2-0 on Tuesday night.
Spectacular goals from Aden Flint and Paul Clayton sealed the points, but the Cumbrians battled throughout the 90 minutes and made the Reds work hard for their victory, although Alfreton also failed from the penalty spot in the latter stages.
The visitors were the first to go close in the eighth minute when Phil McLuckie headed over from a right-wing corner, then in response a minute later Laurie Wilson’s low drive from 22 yards was just wide.
Alfreton led after ten minutes when Flint volleyed in at chest height from eight yards in receipt of a Wilson corner, then three minutes later it needed a vital tackle by Darren Stride to prevent Shaun Vipond from equalising.
Workington keeper Aaron Taylor just managed to hack clear in the nick of time as Flint played Nathan Arnold through in the 20th minute, then back at the other end moments later Gareth Arnison fired over from the edge of the area.
On the half-hour mark Clayton played Arnold through for a low drive that fizzed past the near post, then on the stroke of half-time Arnison sent a curling shot inches wide of Paddy Gamble’s right-hand post.
Alfreton have scored a large percentage of goals during the first ten minutes of the second half kicking towards the seated end of the Impact Arena, and this was no exception with the second goal duly arriving in the 51st minute.
A lofted through-ball from Ian Ross sent Arnold on a run, with defender Kyle May having to tackle back to halt his progress - however the ball bobbled loose for Clayton to drill an unstoppable shot past Taylor from 12 yards.
Clayton almost added a third five minutes later when Ross sent Jordan Hall down the left, but his towering header flew over the bar, then Laurie Wilson saw a header held by Taylor in the 61st minute from a Connor Franklin cross.
Three minutes later the roles were reversed with Franklin’s header from Wilson’s cross being saved by the keeper, then in the 73rd minute Arnison was presented with a good opportunity to reduce the deficit but misjudged the bounce and allowed the ball to become entangled with his legs.
An even better chance went begging for Workington three minutes later when Conor Tinnion’s cross from the by-line was headed down by Andy Murray-Jones and cleared by Matt Wilson, then as the visitors continued to press David Hewson was only just off target with a shot on the run.
Alfreton were awarded a penalty in the 84th minute after Ross had sent Anthony Wilson to the by-line and Arnold was pulled down by May, but Ross fired the spot-kick straight down the middle and Taylor stood his ground to save comfortably.
ALFRETON TOWN: 1 Paddy Gamble, 2 Josh Law, 3 Connor Franklin, 4 Aden Flint, 5 Darren Stride (Matt wilson 67), 6 Laurie Wilson, 7 Jordan Hall, 8 Ian Ross (Dan Dillon 86), 9 Paul Clayton (Anthony Wilson 78), 10 Nathan Arnold, 11 Anthony Howell.
Substitutes not used: Jake Moult, Chris Hall
WORKINGTON AFC: 1 Aaran Taylor, 2 Tom Smyth, 3 Andy Langford, 4 Kyle May, 5 Lee Andrews, 6 Shaun Vipond (Andy Murray-Jones 74), 7 Adam Main (Jonny Blake 67), 8 David Hewson (c), 9 Gareth Arnison, 10 Phil McLuckie, 11 Anthony Wright (Conor Tinnion 74).
Substitutes not used: Alex White.
REFEREE: Martin Parker of Wakefield.
GOALS: Alfreton Town - Aden Flint 10, Paul Clayton 51.
BOOKINGS: Alfreton Town - None. Workington AFC - Tom Smyth (46, foul on Paul Clayton); Kyle May (84, foul on Nathan Arnold).
REDS MAN OF THE MATCH: Aden Flint.
Next in action
Saturday, January 15 - Alfreton Town v Cambridge United - FA Trophy second round, 3pm.
Tuesday, January 18 - Alfreton Town v Glapwell - Derbyshire Senior Cup fourth round, 7.45pm (FA Trophy replay permitting).