Posted by: Laura Hammond
Wed 26th October 2022
Article credit: Alfreton Town FC
Last gasp Rhead penalty salvages a point in the North East for Reds.
Alfreton Town needed possibly their latest ever equaliser to return from deepest Northumbria with a point after Blyth Spartans had overturned a lead held by the visitors at half-time.
It was the tenth minute of added time when Matt Rhead confidently smashed home a penalty after Danny Preston had been upended by Rhys Evans.
Bailey Hobson had given the Reds a fourth minute advantage with a trademark goal from just outside the area after advancing from a Rhead lay-off, leaving home keeper Alex Mitchell without a semblance of a chance.
Two somewhat fortuitous goals in the second half saw Blyth move ahead, the equaliser by JJ O’Donnell taken at the second attempt after George Willis had parried his initial 70th minute shot.
Ten minutes later sub Josh Scott celebrated his first senior goal without knowing anything about it, when Nickey Deverdics’ shot rebounded off his rear to completely wrongfoot the Reds’ keeper.
Alfreton had deserved their interval lead, but felt hard done to when Hobson was clearly tripped in the area by Jordan Hickey on 29 minutes, just moments after Preston has made a crucial clearance at the other end from O’Donnell, with no penalty award forthcoming.
Either side of that incident Hobson, Ahmed Salam and Conor Branson all had shots dealt with by Mitchell, then after the break a half-volley from Hobson won the first of a handful of corners for Alfreton.
Blyth thought they had levelled the score on the hour when Cedric Main had the ball in the net, but play was brought back for a corner as Michael Richardson had crossed from behind the line.
The Reds surged forward in the latter stages, as referee Will Davis signalled six minutes of added time and then quite rightly extended that as the hosts tried every trick in the book to waste time – Preston was fouled in the eighth minute of additional time and it was a further two minutes of bedlam before Rhead made his decisive strike.
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