Blue Square Bet Premier
Alfreton Town 3
Hayes & Yeading United 2
A SENSATIONAL finish to Alfreton Town’s vital 3-2 win over Hayes & Yeading on Saturday saw four goals scored at the Impact Arena in added time.
The game culminated in a roller-coaster ride of emotions for both sets of players and fans with United twice drawing level, but determination to succeed was the key after the Reds had battered the visitors incessantly.
Alfreton also had to play from the 31st minute with ten men after Jamie Mullan was sent off for kicking out at Luke Williams, but after a brief spell on the back foot they pressed forward relentlessly and could even afford the luxury of another missed penalty - their third failure from the spot in two games against Hayes.
Even a strong blustery wind could not break the Reds’ focus and Curtis Wynter had to block a Paul Clayton shot in the third minute from a Mullan cross, then four minutes later Tom Cadmore blocked Mullan’s drive and Callum Morris thwarted Anthony Church’s follow-up.
Morris was on hand again to block from Nathan Arnold on 12 minutes, then keeper Karl Pentney safely gathered the ball after Clayton had been sent through by Anthony Wilson.
Jake Moult was next to go close after cutting in from the right, then Church rattled the crossbar in the 19th minute after Theo Streete had sent Mullan down the right flank.
A minute later Pentney had to stretch to tip over Arnold’s shot after being put through by Clayton, and from the ensuing corner Greg Young headed wide from 12 yards.
Mullan created a glorious opportunity for Alfreton to break the deadlock in the 27th minute, his cross allowing Wilson to head down for Moult who just could not quite make contact in front of goal.
At last the Middlesex outfit contributed to the game when Louie Soares cut in from the left and fired wide when marshalled by Young in the 28th minute, then five minutes later Soares was off target again from 25 yards.
The visitors’ flurry of activity continued in the 36th minute with Richard Pacquette finding the net from an off-side position after being put through by Lloyd Owusu, then seven minutes later Williams set up Pacquette for a lob that Reds’ keeper Joe Day turned behind for a corner.
Day’s 45th minute goal-kick was helped on by Clayton for Wilson to fire across goal, then back at the other end a diving header by Soares from Pacquette’s by-line cross had to be saved at his near post by Day.
Four minutes after the interval Moult was tripped by Morris in the penalty area and Church was entrusted with the spot-kick, but Pentney parried it and Connor Franklin headed the loose ball over.
Streete’s 22 yard shot was held by Pentney following Moult’s 59th minute free-kick, then Franklin volleyed over from 18 yards after debutant defender Adam Quinn’s through-ball had been helped on by Moult.
At last Alfreton took the lead with 64 minutes elapsed when Arnold fired home from a diminishing angle after a determined run down the right had taken him virtually to the by-line, but Hayes keeper Pentney became injured in attempting to save and had to be replaced by Delroy Preddie.
Clayton’s 67th minute shot was fumbled by the substitute keeper with Moult again just unable to make contact with the loose ball, then the visitors responded with Soares’ angled drive having to be turned behind by Day.
Preddie held Rob Eagle’s punt from 25 yards six minutes after donning a Reds’ shirt for the first time, then another effort from the on-loan midfielder in the 79th minute was turned behind by Preddie.
Immediate thoughts when the fourth official indicated five minutes of added time where that Alfreton should comfortably hold on to their 1-0 lead with Hayes scarcely having had a shot on target, but the author of “Roy of the Rovers” could not have scripted what was still to come.
Two minutes into added time Williams headed against the inside of the upright and in the confusion that the rebound created the unfortunate Arnold scored again - but this time in his own net attempting a clearance.
It looked as if the Reds were once again going to lose out on vital points but two minutes later a determined run by Arnold, eager to make amends, led to his by-line cross being fired in from ten yards by Moult to trigger wild celebrations as colleagues piled on top of him.
In the fifth minute over regulation it was the visitors’ turn to emulate the celebrations with what they thought was a brilliant equaliser, when Soares made the net bulge with a 30 yard strike that whistled past Reds’ keeper Joe Day.
Even more time was added and when sub Nathan Jarman headed home Moult’s corner from three yards there was an encore of the mass hysteria as once again the goalscorer was smothered by the rest of the team.
Alfreton Town: Joe Day, Theo Streete, Adam Quinn, Connor Franklin, Jamie Mullan, Anthony Church, Nathan Arnold, Paul Clayton (Nathan Jarman 80), Ant Wilson (Rob Eagle 73).
Substitutes not used: Josh Law, Anton Brown, Chris Senior.
Hayes & Yeading United: Karl Pentney (Delroy Preddie 65), Curtis Wynters, Tom Cadmore, Lloyd Owusu, Louis Soares, Luke Williams, Mark Bentley, Richard Pacquette (Mo Bettamer 66), James Folkes (Corey Gameiao 50), Callum Morris, .Curtis Ujah
Substitutes not used: Pierre Dubois, Tom Collins.
Referee: Mr Peter Bankes of Bootle
Attendance: 600 with 31 from Hayes & Yeading United.
Goals: Alfreton Town - Nathan Arnold 64, Jake Moult 90+4, Nathan Jarman 90+6. Hayes & Yeading United - Nathan Arnold 90+2, Louis Soares 90+4.
Bookings: Hayes & Yeading United - Delroy Preddie, Curtis Wynters and Callum Morris
Sent off: Jamie Mullan (Alfreton Town 31 minutes, violent conduct.
Reds man of the match: Jake Moult.