Match Report: Alfreton

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A disappointing afternoon in Derbyshire ended with Bradford (Park Avenue) receiving a thumping from Alfreton Town.

Goals from Dayle Southwell, Yusifu Ceesay, Bailey Hobson, Elliott Reeves and former Bradford man Conor Branson meant that the Reds hit five at the Impact Arena, despite a consolation goal from substitute Adam Nowakowski.

Alfreton rose to eighth into the table and just one point adrift of the play-offs, whilst the Avenue linger two places above the relegation zone thanks to defeats for Blyth Spartans, Gloucester City and Hereford.

Bradford got off to the worst possible start just a minute in, as former Wycombe Wanderers striker Southwell bended in the opener from eighteen yards, before Ceesay latched onto a fancy lay-off by experienced attacker Matt Rhead and coolly finished his chance.

The Reds were rampant at the Impact, with Rhead being a menace to the Avenue defence and once again teeing up teammate Hobson, who hammered the ball past a frustrated Jonny Saltmer.

Tempers began to flare with Rob Evans and Isaac Marriott both picking up cautions, whilst Nicky Clee nearly grasped a goal back with a directed free-kick.

Heading into the second half, the Avenue continued to pressure with the hopes of sparking a fightback, as Brad Dockerty and Marriott had chances heroically cleared by a brave Alfreton defence.

Bradford’s very own pound-per-week man finally notched a goal for the Avenue, as a brilliant piece of trickery from Clee ended with a cross into Nowakowski, who was composed in smashing the ball past George Willis in the Alfreton goal.

But with the hopes of a comeback in the sights of Bower’s team, Rhead continued to terrorise, flicking on a cross and finding Reeves who could fire past Saltmer from close-range.

The day worsened through Branson, scoring against his former team. The midfielder came within inches to adding a fifth, but would later get to punish some more disappointing defending, as Rhead  held the ball up and laid the ball off to Branson, who charged through and was composed in smuggling the ball beneath Saltmer.

Bower’s side will look to bounce back next Saturday at the Horsfall, with AFC Telford the next test.

Alfreton Town: Willis, Clackstone, Preston, Branson, Smith, Wiley, Southwell, Evans (Johnson, 48), Rhead, Hobson (Butterfield, 82), Ceesay (Reeves, 67)

Subs not used: Smith-Eccles, Lund

Bradford (Park Avenue): Saltmer, Ross, Lund (Gomis, 72), Havern, Clee, Marriott, Richman, Arblaster (Odunston, 55), Mottley-Henry, Rawson (Nowakowski, 62) Dockerty

Subs not used: Windass, Francis

Attendance: 398

Referee: E Duckworth