Blue Square Bet Premier
Alfreton Town 2
Barrow AFC 1
ALFRETON Town remain unbeaten from their four midweek games after recording that vital, historic first home win in the Blue Square Bet Premier on Tuesday night.
Victory was achieved against old adversaries Barrow, the fully merited three points hoisting the Reds two places above Newport County and Saturday’s opponents Ebbsfleet United.
Anton Brown and James Ellison scored late in the game to overturn a 41st minute deficit, the Reds scoring from open play for the first time in seven games since Theo Streete’s goal against Forest Green Rovers 31 days earlier.
It was also the first time that Alfreton had scored twice in a game at this level, all the signs emerging from a confident performance being of a positive note as fans were at last able to celebrate.
Haydn Hollis had been the subject of much conjecture among Alfreton fans on the internet in recent days, so it was somewhat ironic that he should give Barrow the lead four minutes before the interval.
Making his debut for the Bluebirds on loan from Notts. County Hollis squeezed a Paul Smith free-kick between the back post and Reds’ keeper Dan Lowson, but five minutes earlier the visitors had been reduced to ten men when skipper Gavin Skelton saw red after an aerial challenge on Connor Franklin.
Seventeen minutes from time the Impact Arena erupted when Brown headed in the perfect cross from Jamie Mullan from the edge of the six-yard box, just as the rain started to come down.
Then in the first minute of added time the cheer must have been heard all over Alfreton as Ellison powered home a close-range header from a Levi Mackin corner at the back post, to record his first goal during his loan spell from Burton Albion.
The Reds had made their intentions clear within 90 seconds when Paul Clayton hammered a return pass from Nathan Jarman from eight yards, forcing Barrow keeper Danny Hurst to parry.
Jarman then sent Brown to the by-line only for his angled drive to rebound off Hurst for a corner, then in the seventh minute it was Lowson’s turn to parry a volley from Louis Almond.
Josh Law fired a dipping free-kick inches over the bar, then Hurst had to save with his legs from Jake Moult after more good work by Jarman in the 11th minute.
A flowing move saw Streete spray a pass out to Law on the right, and his cross allowed Clayton to go close, then in response a Paul Rutherford corner led to Almond shooting over from a very acute angle.
Clayton had to help out in defence by heading behind an awkward 23rd minute free-kick from Almond, then at the other end three minutes later Matt Wilson guided a Law corner on to the top of the crossbar with a deflected header.
Adam Quinn headed against the upright for Barrow on 31 minutes from a Rutherford corner, with the rebound nestling conveniently in Lowson’s arms, then Mackin went close for the Reds from 20 yards.
Four minutes into the second half Wilson’s effort from a tight angle was fumbled by Hurst, but the ball just would not drop kindly for the supporting Clayton and was scrambled behind for an Alfreton corner, from which Brown’s header was held by the keeper.
Clayton’s volley from a Mackin cross was diverted behind by a Barrow defender in the 54th minute, then five minutes later there was a let-off for the hosts when Franklin lost possession to Almond only for Adam Boyes to be crowded out by covering defenders as the pass came in.
Wilson headed straight at Hurst on 65 minutes from a Law corner as Alfreton persevered, with the equaliser being their just reward eight minutes later.
Between Brown and Ellison’s memorable goals there was one further scare for the Reds when a dangerous run by Jack Mackreth saw him cut in from the right before his low drive struck Law and swerved out for an innocuous 86th minute corner.
Alfreton Town: Dan Lowson, Josh Law, Connor Franklin, Theo Streete, Greg Young, Matt Wilson, Anton Brown, Jake Moult (Jamie Mullan, 61), Paul Clayton (James Ellison, 70), Nathan Jarman (Chris Senior, 84), Levi Mackin.
Substitutes not used: Andy Holdsworth, Steve Brogan.
Barrow: Danny Hurst, Gavin Skelton (c), Robin Hulbert, Paul Rutherford, Adam Boyes, James Owen, Jack Mackrath, Adam Quinn, Louis Almond (Paul Smith, 39), Kevin Lomax, Haydn Hollis.
Substitutes not used: Richie Baker, Andy Ferrell, Zak Jones, Ryan Brook.
Referee: Mr Wayne Barratt of Bromsgrove
Attendance: 678 (approx 60 from Barrow).
Goals: Alfreton Town - Anton Brown (73), James Ellison (90+1). Barrow - Haydn Hollis (41).
Yellow cards: Alfreton Town - Anton Brown (29, deliberate hand ball); Jake Moult (33, foul on Paul Rutherford); James Ellison (90+2, unsporting conduct). Barrow - Adam Boyes (35, foul on Connor Franklin); Jack Mackrath (62, foul on Theo Streete); Haydn Hollis (79, foul on James Ellison.
Red card: Barrow - Gavin Skelton (36, violent conduct).
Reds man of the match: Theo Streete.