RAMPANT Alfreton Town recorded their biggest win at their highest level when Stockport County were demolished 6-1 at the Impact Arena on Tuesday night.
The win pulls the Reds four points clear of the Blue Square Bet Premier drop zone, but there had been frustration for manager Nicky Law minutes before the kick-off when key defender Adam Quinn suffered an injury in the warm-up.
Jake Moult took over having originally been nominated as substitute, while Theo Streete reverted to central defender as cover, but the bench was reduced to three occupants including keeper Dan Lowson.
Nathan Jarman led the scoring with a hat-trick that included two penalties, while Paul Clayton, Anthony Wilson and Nathan Arnold completed the rout.
Having failed to score in their two previous games it took just 63 seconds for Alfreton to rectify matters, Jarman squeezing the ball in from the tightest of angles after Darran Kempson’s through-ball had caused confusion between Stockport keeper Ian Ormson and defender Jordan Rose.
Wilson’s flick-on in the seventh minute allowed Clayton to run into the area but he quickly became crowded out, then at the other end Reds’ keeper Jon Stewart saved Euan Holden’s effort following a miskick by Danny Rowe.
Arnold scuffed a good chance wide from eight yards from Connor Franklin’s 23rd minute cross, but two minutes later the Reds found themselves 2-0 ahead after Ormson had pushed Jarman’s stinging angled drive over his head.
The loose ball fell to Josh Law whose shot triggered a hectic goalmouth scramble, amidst which Wilson managed to turn the ball in from close range.
The third goal arrived in the 37th minute after Wilson had sent Clayton scampering down the left before Ormson brought the striker down as he entered the area. Jarman despatching the ensuing penalty low to the keeper’s left.
Moments later Moult sent a speculative shot from 40 yards inches wide of the target, then Stockport responded with Rowe advancing to the edge of the area before seeing his shot blocked by Kempson.
Four minutes into the second half Rose blocked an angled Jarman drive, then on 51 minutes Arnold sent Clayton through for a shot that slipped through Ormson’s legs before Rose hacked clear.
One minute later the rampant hosts were only denied a fourth goal by the crossbar as Kempson met Moult’s free-kick with a crisp back post header,
On 58 minutes County squandered a good chance to reduce the deficit.
Tom Elliott’s raking run was only halted by Streete’s timely tackle, then Carl Pergianni headed wide from the resultant corner.
Moult sent Clayton through in the 63rd minute before Wilson’s shot was blocked by Pergianni, then Stockport sub Aaron Cole went close from 20 yards.
Alfreton led 4-0 in the 68th minute when Clayton followed up after his original shot had been parried by Ormson, the referee’s assistant deeming the ball to have crossed the line as Joe Connor appeared to stop the ball with his hands.
Moult sent Clayton clear in the 76th minute with Ormson again parrying his shot from a diminishing angle.
But the fifth goal came within a further 60 seconds anyway when Arnold latched on to a wayward defensive header and lashed the ball home from 22 yards.
Four minutes from time Jarman completed his treble with his second penalty success of the night after Clayton had been impeded by Rose as he was sent through yet again by Arnold.
Ormson denied Arnold with his legs in the 87th minute, then Kempson again intervened to thwart Jon Nolan, but Stockport probably deserved their consolation in the second minute of added time when Rose headed home Holden’s deep cross.
ALFRETON: Stewart; Law, Streete, Kempson, Franklin, Moult, Brown (Deverdics 83 mins), Jarman, Arnold, Clayton, A.Wilson (Mullan 83 mins). Sub not used: Lowson.
ATTENDANCE: 1,115 (479).