Alfreton Town’s second win at Lincoln City this season hoisted them into the highest position in their history and five points clear of the Blue Square Bet Premier drop zone.
Back in November the Reds had won an F.A. Cup replay there and Saturday’s return to Sincil Bank produced maximum points through a solitary Jake Moult goal in first half added time.
The sweet taste of victory was tempered though by a nasty accident in the 11th minute which left influential defender Theo Streete unconscious before being stretchered off five minutes later.
Jefferson Louis had slipped the ball through to Richard Pacquette, whose cross saw Reds’ keeper Jon Stewart punching clear as Louis Almond challenged with Streete left prostrate on the ground in the aftermath.
Moments earlier Streete’s timely header had averted any danger after Almond had cut in from the left and crossed into the box, but his departure allowed Seamus Conneely to mark his Alfreton debut with a solid performance at the back.
A massive punch by Stewart in the 20th minute thwarted Alan Power from 20 yards, then Conneely blocked an angled drive from Pacquette.
Anthony Wilson’s header was held by Imps’ keeper Joe Anyon from Connor Franklin’s 32nd minute free-kick, then Nicky Deverdics fired wide from 35 yards after taking a return pass from Wilson.
Almond went close for Lincoln on 38 minutes, then Josh Law’s deep cross was caught at his near post by Anyon.
A crossfield pass from Moult allowed Deverdics to embark on a central run before being crowded out, then in the second of six added minutes at the end of the first half Stewart parried from Louis with Conneely clearing up.
Sixty seconds later Moult drilled home from 10 yards after Nathan Arnold’s left flank cross had been allowed to reach him in space and Alfreton suddenly had a half-time advantage.
Nathan Jarman’s 47th minute angled drive skimmed off Rob Williams for a corner, then Anyon had to tip over Law’s shot before Arnold fired wide from the subsequent flag-kick.
A looping Wilson header cleared the bar from Arnold’s 52nd minute free-kick, then a superb piece of marshalling by Darran Kempson allowed the alert defender to concede a corner as Peter Bore sent sub Jamie Taylor through and an equaliser looked likely.
Power’s long run down the left ended by passing tamely to Moult, then Stewart had to race out of his area to belt the ball into touch as Taylor advanced again.
Taylor played Louis through in the 59th minute but his shot clipped Law’s heels before being diverted to safety, then Power’s shot was held by Stewart following a long throw by Paul Robson.
Power went on to fire high and wide in the 75th minute, then Mark McCammon sent Power through only for Kempson to intervene yet again.
Wilson’s low drive was held by Anyon in the 78th minute, then back at the other end Stewart clawed away an awkward header from Louis from a McCammon cross.
Alfreton sat back and competently soaked up the expected late pressure from Lincoln, but the only clear chances saw Power and John Nutter fail to test Stewart with wayward shots.
ALFRETON: Stewart; Law, Streete (Conneely 11 mins), Kempson, Franklin, Moult, Deverdics, Arnold, Jarman, Clayton (Cunnington 62 mins), A.Wilson. Subs not used: Mullan, Lowson.
ATTENDANCE: 2253 (180 away)