Improved display sees Alfreton hold leaders King's Lynn

A much-improved performance saw Alfreton Town hold National League North leaders King's Lynn Town to a 2-2 draw on Saturday, thus stemming the tide of defeats that had not seen the Reds win at home since September.

Three goals in an outstanding opening eight minutes saw the hosts twice take the lead, but as the visitors grew into the game there was a lot of defending to do to maintain the advantage, which was only breached with 13 minutes remaining,

A huge clearance from home keeper Jordan Wright set up Amari Morgan-Smith for his 16th goal of the season, rifling the ball home from the edge of the area in the fourth minute.

Two minutes later Adam Marriott swept home an Alfie Payne cross to put the Norfolk side level, but a further two minutes saw Ryan Qualter on hand to fire home from close range following a Michael Freiter corner to give Alfreton a 2-1 lead.

Ben Tomlinson had the ball in the back of the net only for his effort to be ruled out for off-side and both goalkeepers had to pull off outstanding saves during the second half, with Wright denying Marriott and Alex Street repelling a stinging drive from Bobby Johnson, as well as a big shout for a Reds' penalty being waved aside.

Sandwiched between them though was the equalising goal on 77 minutes when Michael Gash followed up Marriott's effort that had struck the crossbar.

Alfreton manager Billy Heath was more upbeat than of late after the game.

He said: “We were fantastic - we knew we needed a performance and a result and we got it and l thought we deserved better.

“l thought everyone to a man put that performance in. It's been difficult of late as we've had to bring young players in to the squad, we've had to integrate them and everybody put a full shift in.

“l've just said when they came in how tired they all were - some of them can barely get in the shower - but that's what you've got to give every game. We know it's there, but we've recently been so disjointed with too many players missing - l know it's like a broken record but it's a fact - we can't get any stability, but boy today did we put in a performance?

"King's Lynn are a very good side, but l thought the balance of our team that started was better today and every player that came off the bench did a magnificent job.

“We couldn't start Bobby Johnson because of a problem with his hamstring - we knew he had 45 minutes, which we needed after Lynchy pulled up with an injury but that seems to be the theme."