Posted by: Laura Hammond
Mon 26th September 2022
Written by Liam Henton
Reds record first win over Northamptonshire side in over four years.
Alfreton Town ended a four-game winless streak in all competitions as they overcame visitors Brackley Town in a tight game at the Impact Arena by a single goal to nil on Saturday (September 24) afternoon.
After a disappointing FA Cup exit at the hands of Derbyshire rivals Buxton last time out, the Reds were eager to make amends and made a purposeful and energetic start to the contest. Brackley were put on the back foot from the start.
On nine minutes, Matt Rhead’s header forced Saints’ keeper Danny Lewis into a smart save from a left wing corner who palmed the effort away for another flagkick.
Brackley posed a threat of their own with Twariq Yusuf seeing his shot deflected behind as the visitors won a corner of their own on 16 minutes.
However it was to the the Reds who made what turned out to be the decisive breakthrough.
New recruit Ahmed Salam, who was recently released by Hull City and enjoyed a loan spell at Northern Ireland Premiership side Linfield last campaign, was adjudged by the man in the middle – former Serie A match official Claudio Gavillucci – to have been fouled by Saints defender George Carline after he had tried to latch on to a wayward shot from Bailey Hobson on 26 minutes.
Matt Rhead made no mistake from 12 yards as he slammed home the spotkick to give Alfreton the lead.
On 32 minutes, Fraser Preston picked out debutant Ahmed Salam with a great through ball but his shot was comfortably saved by Danny Lewis.
The visitors went very close when Yusuf’s shot was hacked off the goal line by the impressive Danny Preston on 39 minutes.
Ahmed Salam was withdrawn at half time in a tactical move as Ollie Brown fresh from a short loan spell at Northern Premier League Premier Division side Atherton Collieries entered the fray.
The second half was a competitive affair but play was regularly interrupted by the shrill beep of the referee’s whistle.
Alfreton continued to defend resolutely and successfully held out for a much needed league win, which ended a run of seven successive league defeats to the Northamptonshire side with the Reds last tasting victory against Brackley at their St James’ Park home – a 3-1 victory in April 2018.
The Reds survived one major scare 17 minutes from time as George Willis was called into action to deny Yusuf before the ball was hacked off the line following a scramble in the area following a corner.
Heath’s side held on for a deserved three points and will be eager to back it up with another victory as National League North newcomers Peterborough Sports head to the Impact Arena on Tuesday (September 27) night for a first ever meeting between the clubs.
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