Alfreton Town’s long trek to play Salisbury City on Saturday earned them a vital point from a goalless draw against a side that had won 11 of its home games to date.
Only four Skrill Premier games survived the weather, and with nearest challengers Grimsby Town failing to capitalise with a similar result against lowly Southport, the Reds were able to consolidate third spot.
Enforced changes from the previous game 14 days earlier at Welling saw Connor Franklin return to left-back with Lathaniel Rowe-Turner’s loan spell expired, whilst new striker Shaun Harrad was about to become a father and had been excused the journey.
However manager Nicky Law opted for a 4-5-1 formation with Job Ayo Akinde the lone front runner, so Tom Shaw was able to return to a bolstered midfield, while Nick Fenton was recalled to the heart of the defence.
Alfreton’s approach to the game was thankfully brighter than the elements, Akinde beating Clovis Kamdjo to the ball on the edge of the area before seeing his seventh minute shot loop behind off City skipper Glenn Wilson.
Almost immediately at the other end, Michael Wylde’s error allowed Warren Feeney a sight of goal, but a poor touch left Jon Worsnop with a comfortable save.
Akinde just failed to reach Shaw’s through-ball, which resulted in a swift Salisbury break with Feeney again involved but this time outwitted by Fenton.
Godfrey Poku’s impressive run to the edge of the area before slotting the ball to Akinde five minutes later ended with the striker’s drive being diverted behind by the outstretched leg of home keeper Willem Puddy.
Shaw found himself in uncharted territory when Akinde sent him free on goal, but the slightest hesitation allowed Ryan Brett to tackle back and prevent a goal.
Elliott Frear tested Worsnop with a ferocious 25 yarder in the 58th minute, the Reds’ keeper turning the ball around the post at full stretch, before pouncing at Kamdjo’s feet after the corner had not been dealt with.
Frear fired wide on 65 minutes after Feeney had played Robert Sinclair through, then Paul Clayton’s stifled shot eight minutes from time was easily gathered by Puddy.
Daniel Meadows missed the target from 20 yards in the 85th minute after another Bradley delivery from the right, then White went close at the other end.
from Feeney’s cross following a swift break.