Posted by: Belinda Hargreaves
Fri 15th December 2023
Here is a full match report from the Emirates FA Cup second Round replay match between Walsall and Alfreton Town on Tuesday (December 12).
The report and photo is from the Alfreton FC website and is by Vaughan Creer.
Alfreton Town were knocked out of the FA Cup at the hands of Walsall at the Bescot Stadium, despite a battling performance from Billy Heath’s side.
Ofton fought until the very end in a desperate hunt for an equaliser to send the game to extra-time, but ultimately fell to defeat, though every player can be proud of their efforts.
The Saddlers took an early advantage through Jamile Matt, as Donervon Daniels found himself in an advanced area, the defender picked out a great cross to find the striker who applied the finishing touch.
Walsall set about extending their lead, with multiple efforts from distance coming in courtesy of Brandon Comley and Tom Knowles, both of which were claimed by George Willis without difficulty.
Few chances fell the way of Alfreton, besides a succession of corners, the only opportunity from open play in the first half came via a Nathan Newall cross, as the left-back found the head of Ryan Taylor, whose shot at goal was calmly caught by Jackson Smith in the Walsall net.
Alfreton stood firm until the half-time whistle and came out in the second forty-five much more positively.
With the Alfreton fans behind the goal in full voice, Jordan Thewlis came close to finding a leveller from outside the box, his deflected effort led to a series of set pieces being put into the area, though the home side dealt with the onslaught effectively.
It was soon Walsall’s turn to attack, with Kennedy Digie and Willis being called into action to keep Alfreton in the game at only one goal behind.
As the clock ticked down, Ofton pressed for an equaliser, and the Reds came close via Jake Day, as the substitute striker took down a long ball superbly and managed to get a shot off, but the hosts backline swiftly closed him down.
In the end, it wasn’t to be, as a courageous Alfreton side exited the FA Cup following a historic run, seeing Walsall travel to Southampton for the third round.
ALFRETON: George Willis; Josh Clackstone, Adam Lund, Dwayne Wiley, Jordan Thewlis (Billy Fewster 83), George Cantrill, Lewis Salmon (Jake Day 78), Harrison Perritt, Shaun Brisley (Kennedy Digie 50), Nathan Newall, Ryan Taylor.
WALSALL: Jackson Smith; David Okagbue, Liam Gordon, Oisin McEntee, Donervon Daniels, Priestley Farquharson, Jamile Matt, Tom Knowles, Douglas James-Taylor (Freddie Draper 65), Brandon Comley, Ryan Stirk (Isaac Hutchinson 90).
Attendance: 2112 including 362 from Alfreton
Here is some fan feedback about the match which has been shared on the Spirit of Alfreton facebook page:
John Hunt said: “Team were superb, gave everything, and the supporters recognised that, proud ofton lad today.”
Ds Forgetful Stevie said: “Brilliant display by our lads, the ref was diabolical, as can be seen by the yellow cards given to our players. He was duped every by Walsall player. Falling to ground yelling, like a sniper had shot them, every time an Alfreton player came near them. A blatant hand ball in front of the line official, who just grinned and ignored it. The officials were definitely influenced by Walsall, or had a back hander. Alfreton embarrassed the league club twice in this FA cup draw. But you can’t beat a team 14. Now’s the time to take this experience and apply it to our league matches, and kick on with getting in the play offs again. We’re proud of you lads.”
To keep up to date with Alfreton FC, go to here
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