Harrad’s on the spot with debut goal to seal Reds victory

Welling United 1

Alfreton Town 2

Striker Shaun Harrad marked his debut with the winner from the penalty spot as Alfreton kept up their promotion challenge on Saturday.

The 58th minute winner kept the Reds third in the table, seven points ahead of sixth-placed Halifax.

Alfreton fans who made the trip dedicated the Reds’ sixth away win of the season to the club’s founder member, former chairman and secretary Tom McRoy, who had sadly passed away three days earlier at the age of 94.

Alfreton started positively on a heavy pitch, with Chris Westwood heading over from a second minute Josh Law corner.

Harrad’s ninth minute 25-yarder was held by Welling keeper Lee Butcher, but Alfreton grabbed a 17th minute lead though through Law, whose angled drive from the edge of the six-yard box entered the net off Butcher’s leg following a neat back-heel from Harrad.

Dan Bradley had a decent effort held by Butcher on 20 minutes, then John Akinde picked out Harrad with an astute pass only for the striker to miss the angle of crossbar and upright by a fraction.

Godfrey Poku sent Akinde through in the 35th minute before drawing a save from Butcher after riding a hefty tackle from Doug Bergqvist. then as Welling finally posed a threat Darran Kempson headed clear a dangerous ball from Loui Fazakerley.

A Law free-kick led to Bradley going close with a shot across the face of the goal, and Alfreton’s misses were rued two minutes before the break when Bradley’s mistake allowed Ross Lafayette to progress to the by-line before teeing up Kurtis Guthrie to smash the ball past Jon Worsnop from close range.

Law and Harrad both nearly restored the lead before half-time, and after it Worsnop needed to clutch Josh Wakefield’s effort before Lafayette fluffed a golden opportunity by slicing wide from ten yards.

That miss was immediately punished in the 57th minute when Conor McLaren needlessly tripped Akinde right on the edge of the area with ball and striker heading away from goal. Harrad marked his promising debut by delivering the spot-kick straight down the middle to beat Butcher.

Harrad tested the keeper again soon afterwards, and even a brief thunderstorm that battered the players didn’t deny the Reds, Worsnop saving from Harry Cornick.

A late Bradley effort deflected high over the bar for the visitors, but they had done enough to seal yet another win.

Alfreton: Worsnop; Westwood, Wylde, Kempson, Rowe-Turner, Wood, Poku,Law (Franklin 76), Bradley, Akinde (Clayton 65), Harrad.

Other subs: Shaw, Meadows, Fenton. Att: 677.