Posted by: Laura Hammond
Wed 28th December 2022
Written by Liam Henton for Alfreton Town FC
Derby Day success as Reds record first home Boxing Day win since 2011.
Alfreton Town handed their fans a late Christmas present by securing a resounding 3-0 home victory over Derbyshire rivals Buxton on a cold Monday afternoon on Boxing Day (December 26).
The victory was the Reds’ first on home soil on Boxing Day for 11 years, since a 5-2 success over Tamworth in Alfreton’s debut season in the Conference Premier.
After almost three weeks out of action since a 6-1 home thrashing of another local rival in Ilkeston Town the Reds arrived fresh and ready to return to the rigours of the National League North.
It was the visiting Bucks who made the stronger start to proceedings of the two sides as Sam Osborne forced a save from the now fit George Willis in the Reds goal on six minutes.
On 12 minutes, Reds striker Matt Rhead went close to opening the scoring when he headed a Danny Preston cross narrowly wide of the post with Richardson in the Buxton goal stranded.
The first half was full of rugged challenges as both sides looked to get stuck in to what was a local derby. Buxton had two players booked in as many minutes before Danny Preston Jordan Thewlis and Conor Branson were also cautioned by referee Shaun Taylor in the first half which brought the total up to five.
With the stop start nature of the game both sides were struggling to carve out chances of any note in what was turning out to be a tight contest.
With two added minutes signalled at the end of the first half Alfreton won a corner kick. Danny Preston delivered it in to the area where Bucks keeper Theo Richardson tried and failed to punch clear before Reds centre Back Dwayne Wiley slammed the ball in to the back of the net to give Billy Heath`s men the edge heading in to the dressing rooms for half time.
HALF TIME: Alfreton Town 1-0 Buxton
Buxton defender Max Conway flashed the ball wide within the first 80 seconds of the second period before the same man went even closer on 54 minutes without success.
However it was to be Alfreton who saw their performance go from strength to strength as they extended their lead just past the hour mark as Jordan Thewlis latched on to a through ball and took the ball around Richardson with aplomb before firing into an empty net.
The Reds had openings to be further ahead when Jordan Thewlis saw his shot parried by the keeper from a Yusifu Ceesay cross before Conor Branson fired on the bar on 68 minutes.
Billy Heath’s men were not to be denied the third goal their performance deserved though as a simply superb, trademark header from Matt Rhead which wouldnt have looked out of place at any level of the game on 74 minutes made it 3-0 as the ball arrowed in to the bottom corner past a fully stretched Richardson.
The remainder of the game was seen out with few concerns or dramas and there was even time for Ollie Brown, fresh from a loan spell at Atherton Collieries to come on to replace Yusifu Ceesay who had picked up a knocked as he made his first Reds appearance since the first weeks of the campaign.
Alfreton held on to enact some degree of revenge for the FA Cup defeat to the Bucks back in September with the return fixture of the festive double header scheduled for New Year’s Day.
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