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Alfreton Town 1 Harriers 3    FA Trophy 1st rd


Date: 24-11-12gif Venue: Impact Arenagif att: 361gif away fans: 40 est
Harriers march on to the next round of the Trophy

gif Report by Philip Lench
The Harriers came away with a valuable FA Trophy win today on their second visit to Alfretons Impact Arena this season.  The 3-1 win gives us a £5,000 pay day and also puts us into the hat for the second round draw on Monday.

Following that win today and our previous win at Grimsby in the FA Cup, earlier in the season, we should have no one to fear after previously thinking both games would be tough encounters and we'd be lucky to come back with a result.  As it was we went there and came back home with two convincing victories.

With the rain clouds drawing in and about to deposit their contents the Harriers took to the field with just one change from the starting eleven at Telford last Saturday.  Surprisingly Jamille Matt came in for his first start of the season in place of Nathan Blissett who has looked a little off the pace in recent weeks.

It was the home side who were the first to threaten Danny Lewis' goal when from the kick off they won a corner but it was headed over by Paul Clayton.  We responded with two chances falling for Marvin Johnson with him running with the ball the length of the pitch but lacked optins and the ball ran free.  His second chance saw his shot saved easily by the Alfreton keeper Jon Stewart.

Two minutes later Anthony Malbon, who had already scored in both our visits there, also tested the keeper and again Stewart saved well. With the rain now falling hard, and the pitch becoming more greasy by the minute, Callum Gittings found his name to be the first in the referees notebook when he slid late into a tackle on Danny Emerton.  Seconds after and the home side took the lead and, of course, it had to be Dan Bradley who scored.

With our defence caught square he nipped in behind them to lash the ball in at an angle and beyond the reach of Danny Lewis.  Bradley was released by us last season after Steve Burr couldn't guarantee him first team football every week and now that man is going to haunt him for the rest of his life.

We needed to step our game up to the levels of last weeks superb performance and we hadn't been showing it yet.  We tried to set up Matt a couple of times but the surface was playing hell with passing football and nothing seemed to be coming off.  That changed fifteen minutes after Bradleys goal.

Josh Gowling played a long ball up field and Danny Pilkington chased after it.  Seeing Stewart off his line he took his chance and fired goalwards to beat the stranded keeper and into the net.

The Harriers stepped up a gear and more chances began to fall our way.  Malbon, Lee Vaughan, Matt and Johnson all had attempts to give us the lead but each time the shot was either off target or the keeper saw it coming.

At the other end Lewis was also being kept busy making three top class saves in just as many minutes from Arnold, Clayton and Arnold again.

A minute before the break the Harriers were forced into a substitution when the goal scoring hero, Pilkington, limped off to be replaced by Keith Briggs.
  HT: 1 - 1
With the weather getting no better the second period kicked off.

The Harriers started this half the strongest, just as we did in our previous encounter, with good chances coming the way of both Jamille Matt and Anthony Malbon.  Twelve minutes in and the home side could see they were getting nothing from the game and made their first change with Ben Tomlinson replacing Paul Clayton up front.  It made no difference and the Harriers kept the upperhand.

Jamille was belying his lack of game time with an encouraging run onto a ball but his strike went wide of the goal.  Malbon tried to feed in Marvin Johnson with a cross against the face of the goal, and the keeper, but it was just too far for Johnson to reach.  Seconds later Matt was clear on goal, with just the keeper to beat, but the linesman ruled him offside causing vocal complaints from Matt himself and also the Harriers bench.

With time beginning to run out we made a second change to the team and Nathan Blissett came on for Callum Gittings along with a change of formation to 4-4-3.  We now had a potent double tall strike force of Blissett and Matt.  Something we hadn't seen for a long time because Richard Peniket is far from being potent.

It took just one minute more for that leading goal to arrive.

The Harriers had a corner, taken by Kyle Storer, that found it's way to Cheyenne Dunkley.  He made no mistake and fired it goalwards and into the net (that was with his feet??)

Soon after Matt made his way off to strong applause from the forty Harriers fans braving the Peak District monsoon.  On came Ryan Rowe and you just knew he was going to score.

That came with the clock ticking down to ninety minutes.  Keith Briggs ran through the static home back line and pushed the ball through for the leading scorer to cut in from the left and fire the ball into the back of the net.  The third and decisive goal that sees us through to the next stage of the competition and, hopefully, a winnable home game.
  FT: 1 - 3

 Goal for Alfreton: Bradley 16
 Goals for Harriers: Pilkington 32, Dunkley 75, Rowe 84

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Alfreton Town  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Stewart     Lewis  
Law     L Vaughan  
Franklin     Demetriou  
Kempson     Storer  
Streete     Dunkley gif  
Bradley gif     Gowling  
Meadows     Pilkington gif gif  
Arnold     Gittings gif
Clayton gif     Matt gif  
Harriott gif     Malbon  
Emerton gif     Johnson
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Barnes     N Vaughan  
Quinn     Williams  
Brown gif     Blissett gif  
Worsfold gif     Rowe gif gif  
Tomlinson gif     Briggs gif  

Mr B Toner

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