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Cup defeat from the jaws of victory

FT: Tamworth 2    3 Alfreton Town

26 September 2015

On the back of eleven games without defeat in the National League North, Andy Morrell turned his squads attention to the Emriates FA Cup, welcoming Nicky Law’s Alfreton to The Lamb.
Morrell made one enforced change to the side that drew with Bradford PA, as Owain Warlow sat out through injury and Curtis Strong came into the side.
With £4,500 prize money on offer to the victors, both were going out to make it through to from the 2nd Qualifying Round to swell the club coffers and also ensure a fixture on October 10th.

Tamworth got the game underway, attacking the Meadow Street End in the first half but it was the visitors, in Blue that got the first sight on goal when it was drilled into the box and cleared. A deep ball in from the left went long and high and forced Belshaw to flick it behind for a corner on 5.
Durrell managed to make some headway down the left on 8 but it came to nothing and an Alfreton freekick on the left went long for a corner on the right on 10.
A flowing Lambs move out of midfield ended with a good ball from Durrell but missed kick from Dyer, on the edge of the area on 11.
Allan was booked for a pull back on Dyer as the Lambs striker sprinted past him down the wing on 22 but Davies freekick came to nothing.
Burns was then booked for a similar pull back in front of the shed on 23.
Newton struck from distance on 25 but it was easy for Duke in the Alfreton goal and Heaton forced Belshaw to save at chest height on 28.
The ball bounced high in the Alfreton box on 30 and Durrell jumped for the ball but game down with a crash, but there was no penalty awarded as Davies followed up with a low shot wide of the right hand upright.
Davies chased down the ball in a one on one with Duke on 32 and got his foot to it first before the Alfreton defence cleared, and then Clarke dragged his shot wide from 25 yards.
A Durrell corner went to Davies and back to Durrell on 34 and his shot from the edge of the box took a couple of slight deflections to make it into the far corner (1-0, 34 mins) Law made a change to his side on 38, and Green needed treatment on 42 but rejoined the action after a touch of the magic sponge.
Alfreton had changed their approach and started to try and play the ball on the floor after the goal, and Burns put in a telling tackle to stop their attack on 43.
Three minutes added time were shown at the end of the first half and Leesley received a booking for a late challenge on Davies.

HT: Tamworth 1    0 Alfreton Town

The visitors restarted the game and forced an early corner by the Cross Street entrance which Allan headed it behind the far post for a goal kick.
Newton nearly netted his first of the season from a Durrell pass on 48 but was too close to Duke to beat him and then from a corner he headed just wide of the mark.
Durrell left the ball for Clarke to strike at goal on 55 but his shot was booted clear and Durrell then fired just wide of the near post from 20 yards on 57.
Clarke nearly made it 2-0 on 66 but somehow missed the target from 8 yards out from Davies low ball in from the right.
Durrell curled a freekick, following a handball midway in the Alfreton half on 69, a few feet over the bar.
Then, the moment everyone had been waiting for as Newton got his head on a right sided corner and the crowd roundly celebrated his first of the season. (2-0, 75 mins)
But it was the turn of the visiting fans to celebrate 2 minutes later when sub Jackson made a strong run into the box and fired home powerfully past Belshaw. (2-1, 77 mins)
On 84, and for the second time in two home games, Newton had to change his ripped shirt. Mettam pounced on a loose ball to force Duke into a telling save and take a corner on 85 but his corner was just too long for Preston at the far post.
An 88th minute free kick for the visitors on their right wing was handled by Newton at height to set up a penalty for Robertson to fire low into the bottom left corner on 89 (2-2, 89 mins)
As four minutes added time was shown, Johnston appeared on the edge of the area and fired home from 18 yards to make it 2-3 to the visitors.
Goalscorer Johnston was then sent off for a challenge on Ezewele in the centre circle and the Derbyshire sides fans celebrated passage to the next round at the final whistle.

Tamworth Team:

Belshaw, Burns, Strong (Morrell 92), Newton, Tomassen, Preston, Durrel (Mettam 79), Clarke, Dyer, Green, Davies (Ezewele 82)
Subs (7 selected): Wilkins, Morrell, Dodd, Hubbins, Gill

Yellow: Burns 23

Alfreton Town Team:

Duke, Moyo, Berry, Allan, Heaton, Jordan, Leesley, Wilson (Thanoj 38), Jones (Johnston 67), Ironside (Jackson 67), Robertson
Subs (5 only): Draper, Smith

Yellow: Allan 22, Leesley 45
Red: Johnston 91

Attendance: 663

Man of the Match: Elliott Durrell

Referee: Mr. G. Mellor

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