Joe Ironside scored four goals in total for Alfreton Town in their final Conference National season, yet took a mere 60 minutes to register the same number against the Reds when they visited Nuneaton Town on Saturday.
With Brad McGowan, Cecil Nyoni and George Edmundson all suspended Alfreton were at a disadvantage from the off, but seemed to be on the right track when Adam Smith was on hand to stab the ball home from close range after Ryan Wilson’s 13th-minute deep cross had been flicked on by Paul Clayton, the move initiated by Liam Hearn.
Kallam Mantack was adjudged to have impeded Ironside 12 minutes later, the Nuneaton striker duly levelling the score from the penalty spot, the host’s best chance otherwise being a shot from Jordan Nicholson that went close following a long, raking throw from Exodus Geoghaghon.
Two minutes after the break Alfreton went as close to scoring as they could when Smith’s cross saw Clayton’s shot blocked by keeper Christian Dibble at the back post, then Craig Westcarr tested Dibble with a useful free-kick.
Fabian Spiess made a brilliant save from Nicholson after parrying another awkward throw from Geoghagon, then Dibble saved Smith’s goalbound shot, but Nuneaton edged ahead in the 65th minute when Terry Kennedy mistimed a clearance from the keeper and Ironside ran on to slot past Spiess.
Nine minutes later it was 3-1 to the home side when lronside converted his second penalty of the afternoon after Kennedy had inadvertently handled a cross, the striker completing his tally in the 85th minute by lashing home a corner following another good save by Spiess.
FT: Nuneaton 4 Alfreton 1.
ALFRETON: Spiess; Mantack, Kennedy, Heaton, Monkhouse, A.Smith (Allan 78), Wilson, Marshall, Westcarr (Priestley 78), Hearn (Shelton 58), Clayton. Subs not used: Jordan, S. Smith.
Referee: Matthew Donohue. Attendance: 465.