It’s Akinde magic! John’s treble seals another Reds win

John Akinde (right) fires home the first Alfreton goal on Saturday. Photo by Eric Gregory.
John Akinde (right) fires home the first Alfreton goal on Saturday. Photo by Eric Gregory.

A hat-trick by striker John Akinde sealed Alfreton’s best ever start to a Conference Premier campaign when they hosted Salisbury City on Saturday.

However, the Reds had to come back from a goal down to seal the points and move into fifth spot.

John McGrath blazed over for the Reds from the edge of the area in the third minute, and despite several promising moments neither side could register until Salisbury’s Theo Lewis converted Ricky Wellar’s cross from close range on 33 minutes.

Akinde glanced a header wide from a Wood cross, but soon found himself on the scoresheet with a 39th minute equaliser when Josh Law’s free-kick found a way through the wall and sat up invitingly for the striker to stroke home left-footed from eight yards.

Two minutes after the break Ross Atkins held Chris McPhee’s 22 yarder, then Lewis played Dan Fitchett through to miss by the narrowest of margins.

Akinde failed from eight yards from a Franklin cross in the 56th minute, but only had to wait a further seven minutes to edge Alfreton ahead with his second goal - a header from eight yards after Wood’s probing long throw caused problems.

It was 3-1 on 78 minutes as Akinde completed his hat-trick with an absolute gift, slotting into an empty net after a mix-up between keeper and defender.

Salisbury’s Ben Wright smashed home a 25-yard free-kick in the last minute to reduce the arrears, and Atkins then saved brilliantly to deny Elliott Frear in injury time and ensure the points were Alfreton’s.

Alfreton: Atkins; Wood, Fenton, Westwood, Franklin, Law, Shaw (Meadows 87), Bradley, McGrath, Clayton (Wishart 87), Akinde. Other subs: Kempson, Ramsey-Dickson, Taylor.

Att: 463