Alfreton Town were knocked out of the FA Trophy 1-0 by Nuneaton Town at the Impact Arena on Saturday, just four days after the Warwickshire outfit had beaten the Reds in a league game.
Manager Nicky Law made five changes, with two of them necessitated through injuries to skipper Nick Fenton and top scorer Job Ayo Akinde, replaced by Michael Wylde and new loan striker Jonathan Hooper respectively.
There was to be a further injury problem for Law to contend with when son Josh limped out of the game in the 63rd minute, then Wishart pulled up in pain immediately after taking the field to replace Hooper but managed to run off the effects.
Theo Streete was given a warm welcome back to the ground where he had helped Alfreton win the Conference North title, having been unable to line up against the Reds in midweek through injury.
The goal itself was somewhat contentious, with Wylde being penalised for a tackle on David Hibbert that was interpreted as a foul six or seven yards outside the area, former Reds’ loanee Louis Moult smashing home the free-kick in the 53rd minute.
A tentative approach to the tie left reporters with a blank sheet until the 18th minute when Moult’s shot from Danny Sleath’s cross was held by Reds’ keeper Ross Atkins, then three minutes later Clayton’s header just looped over the bar from Taylor’s cross.
Law’s free-kick was held by Nuneaton keeper Kelle Roos on 30 minutes, then Moult screwed his shot wide from a good position after being played through by Hibbert.
The second half could only be brighter, although it was hardly outstanding, but an angled drive by Taylor just 50 seconds after the restart needed fielding by Roos.
Six minutes after the decisive goal Taylor’s cross was helped on by Hooper for Clayton to go close with a header, then Atkins misread a Moult corner at his near post and had to rely on Chris Westwood’s diligence before Phil Trainer’s follow-up was blocked in a crowded goalmouth.