Convincing home win for Town
26 December 2011
In the first of a double header against Alfreton hopes of a late Christmas present were high on the travelling faithful list as minds invariably looked ahead to the Everton game in under a fortnight.
It was undoubtedly a similar situation in both managers offices as Marcus Law and his opposing manager and (sur)namesake Nicky looked to their squads to chalk up some festive points.
Lambs boss Marcus made two enforced changes to the side that suffered defeat against Luton with the suspended Francino Francis and Paul Green being replaced by Callum Reynolds and Liam McDonald.
Alfreton kicked off proceedings towards the 198 Lambs fans supporting their side playing in white shirts and black shorts but after 19 seconds Alfreton took the lead via Brown thanks to his calmly taken side footed shot from a central position 18 yards out. (0-1, 19 seconds)
Two minutes and 8 seconds later, Arnold finished the loose ball from a similar position from Moults through ball to make give the home side the definite early advantage. (0-2, 3 mins)
On 9 Patterson chased down the ball to the edge of the area but p0lay was halted when he caught keeper Day and Tamworth worked to keep up the pressure winning a couple of freekicks. The first on the left was sent long for Kanyuka and the second, won by Kanyuka, was sent into the area and headed behind, via a deflection for a corner on the left. Patterson was unable to force the ball home from close range though, as Day smothered the loose ball.
Patterson snap a header into the grasp of Day on 16 from a right sided cross and the downhill ‘advantage' proved not to be helping their cause much as Moult made light work of the Lambs defence and fed Arnold who in turn tried to find Wilson, but hedge was quickest to the ball a few yards out and prevented the latter's final touch which would have almost certainly been the third goal of the game. In the move, Tait overstretched and needed a visit from the magic sponge before continuing.
From then on until around the half hour mark the game was an even affair with both sides looking for a break and Tamworth definitely playing with more urgency than their hosts.
Patterson put in half an appeal for a penalty and Barrow struck left footed a few yards past the right hand post from a good position in the left channel. A corner was then won on the left and McDonald found Kanyuka's head but a push in the area stopped play.
On 36, it was three to the home side when some ineffectual defending allowed Law to slide the ball to Moult who took two touches to set himself up to fire past a helpless Hedge from close range. (0-3, 36 mins)
Jarman sent a low ball into the box from the left for Hedge to smother on 38 and such was the way the game was going there were some worried faces when a back pass had to be dealt with by Hedge in an otherwise normally safe position.
Two minutes added time were shown at the end of the half and couple of half chances came but Day was not going to be beaten by Patterson or Thomas' subsequent effort.
Both sides replaced a player at HT and The Lambs kicked off with a real uphill task, both mentally and physically.
Thomas tried his luck early on and then both Patterson and McDonald tried their luck with close range strikes but home defence were too strong.
In the next move, Mills placed a side footed shot on target but Day was perfectly placed to easily stop it while Barrow lifted a shot on the run high and wide of the mark.
However, the home side extended their lead on 55 when Arnold crossed to the near post and headed home from a few feet out. (0-4, 55 mins)
With nothing but pride to play for now Marcus Law switched strikers around the hour but a chance fell, almost immediately, for Matt Wilson at the far post but he couldn't direct his low header goalward.
Then on 67, Kanyuka's feet got the better of him and Arnold stole the ball off him but struck the post with his shot. The rebound fell kindly though and Jarman raced in to slot home at the far post for Alfreton's fifth of the afternoon (0-5, 67 mins)
Tait was booked on 74 for a challenge on the Alfreton left wing and despite attempts to get a head on the ball, the home side were unable to get a sixth.
There was something for the for The Lambs fans to celebrate when McDonald pulled one back with a left footed curling freekick into the top right corner from 20 yards with 12 to go (1-5, 78 mins)
Shariff was unlucky not to reduce the arrears further as the final ten minutes came into view, but his volley went a whisker wide of the right hand upright post.
Tait did what Shariff didn't manage though as he unleashed a right footed curler from distance on 84 and it flew past Day into the top right hand corner with a few minutes to play (2-5, 86 mins) preventing a repeat of The Lambs worst top flight defeat since Chester won by a 5-1 scoreline at The Lamb in December 2003.
As the final substitution of the game was made, four minutes added time was shown and despite both sides trying to add another goal to the tally none were forthcoming.
Hedge, Tait, Habergham, Courtney, St. Aimie, Thomas (Gudger 75), McDonald, Patterson (Shariff 59), Barrow, Reynolds (Mills HT), Kanyuka
Subs: Collister, Chrsitie
Yellow Cards: Tait 74
Alfreton Town Team:
Day, Law (Mullan 89), Franklin (Wilson HT), Street, Young, Brown, Moult, Arnold, Wilson (Clayton 68), Jarman, Quinn
Subs: Hall, Mackin
Referee: Mr. T. Harrington (Hartlepool)