Alfreton Town couldn’t follow up Saturday’s win when Wrexham visited the Impact Arena on Tuesday night, and, despite the Welshmen being reduced to ten men from the 49th minute, they still managed to claim top spot in the Blue Square Bet Premier with a 2-1 win.
Dan Bradley was rested for the fixture, and with Paul Clayton having recovered from his illness at the weekend, Daniel Meadows was able to drop back into midfield.
A bright start by the Reds saw Clayton’s volley from the edge of the area held by Cameroon international Joslain Mayebi in the first minute, then in the fourth minute Josh Law’s free-kick zipped through the pack to be gathered by the keeper.
Alfreton were stringing together some promising moves and Anton Brown stumbled as he entered the area following several passes in the 12th minute, but Wrexham took a 16th minute lead against the run of play.
A Joe Clarke corner caused mayhem in the box, and, after in-form striker Danny Wright had seen his header loop up off a defender, Neil Ashton was on hand to head home, despite Brown’s heroic attempt to prevent the ball from crossing the line.
Meadows fired just wide on 20 minutes and Ben Tomlinson hit the ball through a crowded goalmouth with no takers, but the Reds deservedly drew level in the 32nd minute.
Brown had been hacked down by Jay Harris on the left side of the area, and when Law delivered the free-kick, Tomlinson whacked the ball past Mayebi from ten yards.
In the closing stages of the first half, Wrexham’s Rob Ogleby saw a goal ruled out for offside, then Nicky Law was banished to the stands by Chelmsford referee Michael Bull, who had taken exception to the Reds’ manager’s comments.
Four minutes after the break, the visitors were reduced to ten men when Wright was dismissed for a second bookable offence, then six minutes later Wrexham’s assistant manager Billy Barr was also sent off by the busy official.
In the 51st minute, Alfreton wasted a gilt-edged chance when Tomlinson sent Nathan Arnold through only for Mayebi to stand firm and save, when a square ball to the supporting Clayton might have been a better option.
Barnes comfortably held an Adrian Cieslewicz header on the hour, then Mayebi held shots from distance by Law and Arnold before Harris went close from 30 yards.
Alfreton did not heed a dangerous central run by Nick Rushton in the 75th minute that went close, because seconds later a similar run by Clarke ended with Wrexham back in front, as he slotted the ball low past Barnes from 12 yards.
Arnold headed wide from Law’s 79th minute cross, then two minutes later Barnes made the save of the night, when he stretched to claw away a goalbound shot from Cieslewicz.
Finally, a 25-yard effort from Matty Harriott almost crept in, then Arnold’s 88th minute cross was flicked on by Clayton for substitute Alastair Taylor’s back post header to be saved by Mayebi.
Alfreton: Barnes; Law [Taylor 85], Streete, Franks, Killock, Meadows, Harriott [Bradley 85], Brown, Arnold, Clayton, Tomlinson [Worsfold 77].
other subs: Quinn, Franklin.
Att: 628 [inc. 153 from Wrexham]