Alfreton Town 4 Tamworth 2
Alfreton pulled off a crucial win at the Impact Arena on Tuesday night, despite falling behind early on.
It was the Reds’ third win in a row and means they are in third spot, seven points clear of sixth-placed Forest Green who have two games in hand.
Derby County loanee Michael Hoganson made a solid debut in place of the injured Andrai Jones, whilst Dan Bradley made way for Daniel Meadows in midfield and Darran Kempson continued in place of broken leg victim Michael Wylde.
It was Richard Peniket whose angled drive from ten yards beat Reds keeper Jon Worsnop following a Kevin Thornton pass, and it was not until the 14th minute that Tamworth keeper Cameron Belford was called into action when he fisted clear Tom Shaw’s header from a Bradley Wood cross.
Shaun Harrad and Meadows both went close as Alfreton tried to galvanise a response, then on the half hour mark Meadows fired inches wide.
Belford made a spectacular save from Harrad’s 37th minute free-kick, then Job Ayo Akinde’s shot from a Godfrey Poku pass was blocked at close range by the keeper.
Then five minutes before the break Akinde was tripped by Jordan Keane, the referee pointed to the spot and Harrad calmly slotted home the equaliser.
Right on the stroke of half-time Shaw’s shot was parried from Akinde’s cross, and when Josh Law’s corner triggered a goalmouth scramble Shaw was on hand to stab the ball past Belford from inside the six-yard box.
There was still time in the first-half for Peniket to test Worsnop after cutting in from the right, and it took until the 64th minute for the Reds to mount their next telling attack with Akinde going close from a Law throw.
However, Tamworth conjured up an equaliser when Nick Fenton caught Matthew Godden as he chased a through-ball from Jack Evans, with Godden evening out the encounter from the ensuing penalty.
Manager Nicky Law threw Paul Clayton in the mix to go three up front and almost immediately his decision was rewarded when Akinde rifled home the loose ball from 16 yards.
Akinde’s positive by-line run led to Harrad’s shot evading the back post, but Alfreton could relax from the 83rd minute onwards after Clayton steered home Akinde’s cross to make it 4-2.
Akinde went on to head over from Shaw’s deep cross, then well into added time Evans’ shot was comfortably held by Worsnop.