Posted by: Laura Hammond
Sun 7th August 2022
Written by Ashlee Atkinson-Adair
Reds rescue point on opening day.
Alfreton Town’s first game of the 2022/2023 Vanarama National League North season ended in a 2-2 draw courtesy of Tom Denton’s point-rescuing brace against Chester at the Impact Arena.
The first action of the match came in the third minute as Dayle Southwell reacted to a loose ball on the edge of the box. He struck a magnificent attempt that looked destined for the top right corner, only to be denied by a flying Harry Tyrer who got both gloves on the strike to push it around the post.
Almost instantly at the other end, Kurt Willoughby found himself one-on-one with Alfreton goalkeeper George Willis. The 27-year-old made himself big and did extremely well to deny Chester’s number nine the opening goal.
In the 16th minute, Conor Branson found himself on the end of a pinpoint Southwell delivery with the goal staring him in the face, but his headed attempt could only clip the post.
The visitors would capitalise one minute later though through Willoughby as he headed the pace-carrying ball into the ground and beyond the outstretched glove of Willis to put Calum McIntyre’s side in the driving seat.
Chester doubled their lead in the 23rd minute as Joe Lynch got on the end of Declan Weeks’ pass to brilliantly rifle his shot into the top right corner, giving the Reds a mountain to climb in order to swing the match back in their favour.
The Reds got themselves back in the game as another Southwell delivery found the seeking head of Dwayne Wiley who nodded the ball across the face of goal and into the path of Denton who headed in from close range, halving the deficit.
Substitute Lewis Whitham made himself known as he fired a shot over the bar in the 73rd minute, before putting an inviting ball into the box two minutes later, only to be missed by a crowd of Alfreton players who were unable to pounce.
Whitham then found himself in a golden position in the 81st minute, one-to-one with the Seals goalkeeper, and at a slightly tight angle, he hit his effort high and wide of the goal after taking it down on his chest.
The final Reds say of the match came in the form of a towering Denton header in the dying moments of the match, following an in-swinging set piece. Tyrer got his hands on the goal bound attempt and seemed to have palmed the ball away from danger, but the linesman’s flag judged that the ball had crossed the line to complete the fantastic comeback for the Reds.
Overall, it was a well-fought match which saw both teams take their share of the points. A first point on the league table for both sides, and Denton’s first two goals back in Alfreton red at the Impact Arena.
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