Keepers on top as Alfreton make it three unbeaten

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Alfreton will have been disappointed to have been held to a draw at home by AFC Telford United on Saturday after squandering an interval lead.

It was the third time in recent home games that this scoring pattern had emerged, though it did ensure the Reds are now three games unbeaten.

Daniel Meadows, Dan Bradley, Ross Killock and Connor Franklin all had good openings thwarted early on for Alfreton, while a particularly good save by Ryan Young thwarted Tomlinson on 21 minutes.

Phil Trainer’s 20 yarder for Telford was held by Reds keeper Jon Stewart 11 minutes before the break, then back at the other end Young turned aside another powerful strike by Tomlinson from a Meadows pass.

Trainer missed a relatively easy chance for United as Steve Leslie whipped a free-kick across the face of Stewart’s goal, then on 39 minutes Tomlinson dragged his shot wide after side-stepping a couple of defenders.

Alfreton took a 45th minute lead when Tomlinson’s low drive from 16 yards finally beat Young to nestle in the corner of the net following Bradley’s crossfield pass.

Jamie Spray volleyed wide as the visitors stepped up a gear at the start of the second-half, while Clayton fired straight at Young from eight yards in the 61st minute.

But out of the blue a spectacular 30-yard effort from Chris Sharp curled into the roof of the net to level proceedings in the 69th minute, then almost immediately Steve Jones’ angled drive just evaded the far post as Alfreton found themselves pegged back in defence.

An incredible saving tackle by Josh Law saved Alfreton as Jones was about to walk the ball in after weaving his way past Stewart in the 80th minute, the Reds’ long-serving defender somehow managing to intervene virtually on the line.

Reds sub Anton Brown hooked over from 12 yards after a neat turn with seven minutes remaining, then a brilliant triple save by Young in the 89th minute almost certainly kept Telford on level terms as he denied Nathan Arnold and Tomlinson before parrying Killock’s header from the resulting corner.

Alfreton almost threw it away even then with Stewart inexplicably fumbling a Leslie shot in added time before Kempson hacked clear and the points were shared.