Alfreton Town 4 Southport 2 match report

Bradley Wood tucks away the penalty after Tom Shaw was fouled in the area.
Bradley Wood tucks away the penalty after Tom Shaw was fouled in the area.

Alfreton Town scored four times in a second half that saw them gain vital ground on their opponents in the Vanarama Conference survival fight, when Southport visited the lmpact Arena on Saturday.

In their first home league game of 2015 the Reds trailed by a 12th minute Richard Brodie goal after keeper Jason Mooney’s howler had allowed the 25-yard shot to squirm out of his hands and into the net.

However, an instant improvement after the break saw the Reds lead 2-1 by the 50th minute before going on to complete the task, and despite still being in the drop zone they are crucially now in close proximity to Southport, Welling United and Aldershot Town.

Karl Hawley had an early attempt chalked off for offside when he latched on to a Lee Stevenson pass and he would drag a shot wide of the mark when presented with a similar opportunity. After going behind, Alfreton looked to respond and a Niall Heaton’s header was scrambled off the line. Dan Bradley smacked the cross bar with an angled drive before the hosts clawed level.

Tom Shaw was tripped by Luke Foster in receipt of a Stevenson pass and a penalty was awarded. Wood stepped up to register his fifth success of the season from the spot, and briefly the defender-cum-midfielder became clear top scorer with eight goals. Hawley then tucked a delightful Bradley Wood cross in from five yards just three minutes later. Alfreton had to soak up some pressure from Southport before a third goal produced a collective sigh of relief from the Reds’ contingent.

Callum Howe powered a header home eight yards out from Shaw’s inviting corner but just two minutes later the edginess returned when Paul Rutherford followed up his initially parried shot to score from close range. Wood was in the thick of the action four minutes from time when his cross from the right intended for Hawley was turned past his own keeper by Joe Connor.

Alfreton: Mooney; Graham, Howe, Rowe-Turner, Heaton, Johnston, Shaw, Stevenson (Howell 88), Wood (Thanoj 90+1), Bradley, Hawley. Subs not used: Sheridan, Keane, Leesley.

Attendance: 529.