Reds are denied victory as season enters final stretch

Alfreton Town may well have been extremely unfortunate to have been denied a last-gasp winner, a decision that kept them in sixth in the Skrill Premier when they entertained Welling United in a 2-2 draw on Saturday.

The Reds had been evicted from the Skrill Premier play-off zone 48 hours earlier with Braintree’s draw at Halifax, but they were ultimately denied three points that would have restored that position, despite twice falling behind to the south east London outfit.

Alfreton found themselves a goal down after just 90 seconds when Quade Taylor planted a firm header past keeper Jon Worsnop from player-manager Jamie Day’s corner.

The Reds responded positively and after Elliott Whitehouse had taken a return pass from Job Ayo Akinde, the midfielder was brought down on the edge of the area by Taylor, but Shaun Harrad fired the free-kick over.

Visiting keeper Lee Butcher snatched Akinde’s 18th minute cross away from the supporting Harrad, but Alfreton were level a minute later when Nick Fenton’s powerful back-post header from a Michael Hoganson corner was almost a carbon copy of Welling’s opener.

A much livelier affair was witnessed in the second half with Akinde shrugging off two challengers to fire just wide within 45 seconds of the restart, then Bradley went close after a dominating central run.

Welling skipper Ross Lafayette drew a fine save from Worsnop in the 58th minute, the Reds’ keeper blocking with his legs, then at the other end Harrad was forced wide under pressure from a deep Josh Law cross.

The visitors restored their advantage in the 62nd minute after Lathaniel Rowe-Turner had caught Lafayette right on the edge of the area, the penalty duly dispatched by the player who had been impeded.

Once again there was a positive response from the Reds with Akinde forging his way into the area before pulling the ball back to Bradley Wood 22 yards from goal, Akinde then diverting the midfielder’s shot beyond Butcher to make the score 2-2.

Welling’s only serious attempt in this latter period saw Worsnop save comfortably from Tobi Sho Silva’s poor touch after being left one-on-one with the keeper from Toby Ajala’s through-ball.

Then came the drama with five minutes of added time almost completed, Akinde’s pass allowing Bradley to hammer the ball against the underside of the crossbar, with it appearing to cross the line before rebounding a second time off the bar to be hacked clear.