Match report – Alfreton Town 1-0 South Shields

Posted by: Belinda Hargreaves

Thu 15th February 2024

Here’s the latest match report for Alfreton Town’s game with South Shields on Tuesday, February 13. The report and photo are from the Alfreton Football Club’s website.

Exceptional team effort lands Reds big win against Full Time Shields
Alfreton came into the game off the back of a win versus strugglers Darlington, whilst South Shields had thumped another struggling team in Gloucester in more fashionable style, 5-0 winners on the day.
Before the match, Alfreton sat in ninth position but knew a win would mean they leapfrog their visitors and put them into the playoff places. The only other fixture on the night was Chorley versus Spennymoor.
Billy made one change ahead of the fixture. Lewis Salmon was withdrawn with a groin injury and he was replaced by Vanarama National League North Player of the Month, Liam Waldock, following an absence with a toe injury.
Alfreton started brightly and created the first big chance within the opening minute. The Reds regained the ball through George Cantrill who played to Gerry McDonagh before he set Harry Perritt free down the right side to cross deep and Jordan Thewlis headed back across goal but no Alfreton player was on hand to poke it home.
Alfreton didn’t have to wait long to get their next big chance, but it was another one that went begging. Nathan Newall started the play with a big switched ball which was cleared at first. Adam Lund was then on hand to load it back into the box and following a couple of ricochets it fell through to Billy Fewster who was in on goal but he was unable to capitalise as his chance went just the wrong side of the post.
The goal that was coming finally arrived on eight minutes. George Willis played the ball directly into Gerry McDonagh before he expertly chested the ball onto Ken Digie who played through to Jordan Thewis who despatched it into the bottom left-hand corner expertly.
It wouldn’t have been unjust if Alfreton were two or three up within the first ten minutes. It was an electric start from the Reds who were not going to let the condition of the pitch affect their approach.
South Shields have shown in recent weeks how dangerous they can be on the break and they proved this again.
The closest either team came to another goal was on the half-hour mark, Alfreton loaded the box for a set play after it was initially cleared, and it fell to Dwayne Wiley who curled a beautiful effort from 18 yards out onto the post it what would have been a goal of the season contender had it gone in.
South Shields were vocal in their appeals for a penalty as Clarke skipped past goal scorer Jordan Thewlis who brought him down. Referee Callum Fisk blew and the majority in attendance thought a penalty had been awarded. To the delight of those associated with Alfreton, it was adjudged to be just outside the box. The resulting free-kick was disappointing and after smashing back off the wall Briggs cleared the bar with the rebound.
Gerry McDonagh was a pain for South Shields’s defence all evening. Following yet another flick-on, Liam Waldock’s first touch took him into the box before his first effort was blocked by a South Shields arm before his second effort was saved well by Boney and cleared to safety. Callum Fisk was not interested in the calls for handball making clear he thought it was too close to the original strike.
The first half was brought to a close and there was a feeling that Alfreton may be left to rue their missed chances.
The second half started as their first half finished, South Shields maintaining lots of possession but Alfreton creating the majority of the good chances.
South Shields did have the ball in the back of the net on 49 minutes but it was adjusted to be offside. Heaney whipped a cracking ball into the box and Martin pushed it delicately into the bottom right-hand corner but the assistant had his flag up to the delight of the home supporters.
The second half passed without too many chances. The rain hammered down in the first 15 minutes of the second half which severely affected the pitch and subsequently the game. Between 50-60 minutes Alfreton were made to defend well in and around their box and had to settle for giving away corners which South Shields were dangerous from all evening.
South Shields came extremely close to equalising on 75 minutes in what proved to be their biggest chance of the match. A long punt upfield was missed by Lund and Blackett ran through 1-on-1, George Willis stayed big and saved the initial effort but the ball rolled freely across the 6-yard box for what felt like a lifetime before an onrushing Newall cleared to safety.
In the final 10 minutes, Alfreton had to stay disciplined as South Shields pushed for an equaliser but resolute defending from every player in a red shirt limited the visitors to any great chances, and the final whistle was blown.
Alfreton are up to fifth and occupy a play off berth still with a game in hand. King’s Lynn is the visitors on Saturday in the second of a run of three home matches for Alfreton.

ALFRETON: Willis, Cantrill, Newall, Lund, Perritt, Waldock (Brisley 90+5), Digie, Fewster, McDonagh, Thewlis (Clackstone 89), Wiley. Other subs Day, Dickinson, Askew.

Attendance: 439

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