Blue Square Bet North
Guiseley AFC 1
Alfreton Town 2
ALFRETON Town returned to winning ways at Guiseley on Tuesday night and are now second in the Blue Square Bet North table, just one point adrift of AFC Telford United with three games in hand.
There were no less than six changes made from the Droylsden defeat at the weekend, including a recall for Ross Turner in goal and most notably the return of central defender Aden Flint on loan from Swindon Town just nine weeks after joining the Wiltshire League Two club for £150,000.
Out too went Ian Ross, Jordan Hall, Scott Garner and Nathan Jarman in wholesale changes that may well have to become a regular occurrence as Alfreton embark on the final 12 games in the remaining 36 days of the season, beginning with the Hyde FC encounter on Saturday at the Impact Arena.
Flint certainly made his presence felt, particularly when coming forward for corners, while Turner made just one mistake which cost the Reds the equaliser, while Paul Clayton revelled up front in his first start for nine games.
Despite a bright start by the Reds the first attack of note fell to Guiseley in the seventh minute with Josh Law having to head clear from Warren Peyton’s cross after a delivery from the left by Danny Boshell had caused confusion in the box.
Laurie Wilson, having been an unused substitute in the five previous games, hammered the ball through the home defence on ten minutes with Nathan Arnold just failing to make contact beyond the back post.
A minute later Daryl Clare’s angled 18 yard strike was held by keeper Steve Drench after Clayton had fed Arnold on the left, then Clayton dispossessed Dave Merris in the area but Danny Ellis intervened to clear.
Law’s by-line cross in the 15th minute was spilled by the keeper but the ball fell behind Clare, then a looping header from Matt Wilson was well held by Drench from Flint’s cross following a Laurie Wilson free-kick.
Alfreton took a 21st minute lead when Clayton powered home a near-post header from a Laurie Wilson corner, but just 60 seconds later Guiseley were level when Turner failed to hold a Boshell cross and after the ball had bobbled around the area James Walshaw rifled home from ten yards.
The Reds restored their advantage on 31 minutes though with a peach of a goal following Clare’s astute pass that sent Arnold through on goal before rounding Drench to score.
In the remaining minutes of the first half Joe O’Neill squandered a chance for the hosts by shooting wide from 18 yards, then his fellow striker Walshaw went closer from ten yards as Alfreton eased through to the interval.
An even better chance for Walshaw went astray in the 46th minute as Guiseley came out of the blocks with all cylinders firing, then a header from O’Neill struck the back stanchion of Turner’s net.
A towering Flint header typified his influence from another Wilson corner in the 65th minute but O’Neill cleared whilst helping out in defence, then back at the other end Walshaw overran the ball when well positioned.
Anthony Howell’s 74th minute shot was blocked by Simon Baldry at source from Clare’s pass, then Clayton set Matt Wilson up for a rasping drive that Drench could only parry with Ryan Toulson clearing the loose ball.
Three minutes from time sub Anthony Wilson headed over from another Clayton cross, then in a last Guiseley attack deep into added time Peyton headed wide from a Simon Ainge free-kick
Guiseley AFC: Steve Drench, Ryan Toulson, Dave Merris, Warren Peyton, Danny Ellis, Simon Ainge (c), Danny Forrest, Simon Baldry, Joe O’Neill, James Walshaw, Danny Boshell.
Substitutes not used: Darryn Stamp, Gavin Rothery, Luke Sharry, Jake McEneaney, James Coates.
Alfreton Town: Ross Turner, Josh Law, Connor Franklin, Theo Streete, Aden Flint (c), Anthony Howell, Laurie Wilson, Matt Wilson, Paul Clayton, Daryl Clare (Anthony Wilson 83), Nathan Arnold (Nathan Jarman 83).
Substitutes not used: Ian Ross, Anton Brown, Jake Moult.
Referee: Ben Toner of Darwen. Attendance: 458.
Goals: Guiseley AFC - James Walshaw (22). Alfreton Town - Paul Clayton (21), Nathan Arnold (31).
Bookings: Guiseley AFC - Ryan Toulson (69, foul on Paul Clayton). Alfreton Town - Anthony Howell (25, foul on Simon Baldry), Laurie Wilson (84, unsporting conduct), Nathan Jarman (90+3, unsporting conduct).
Reds man of the match: Paul Clayton.