Alfreton Town remain unbeaten from their four midweek games after recording that vital, historic first home win in the Blue Square Bet Premier on Tuesday night.
Victory was achieved against old adversaries Barrow, the fully merited three points hoisting the Reds two places above Newport County and Saturday’s opponents Ebbsfleet United.
Anton Brown and James Ellison scored late in the game to overturn a 41st minute deficit, the Reds scoring from open play for the first time in seven games since Theo Streete’s goal against Forest Green Rovers 31 days earlier.
It was also the first time that Alfreton had scored twice in a game at this level, all the signs emerging from a confident performance being of a positive note as fans were at last able to celebrate.
Boss Nicky Law said: “If I am honest, it was no different to the other games. We missed a shed load of chances again.
“Inside the first 10 minutes we could have had the game won, we could have been 3-0 up, but as long as it isn’t, one mistake or one piece of good play from the opposition undoes you.
“But missed chances aside, I am pleased for the players and they deserve credit because after going a goal down, albeit to 10 men, they dug in and stuck at it and got their reward.
“They do try their best and it just hasn’t worked out so far for various reasons, but we have just got to keep doing the things we are good at. For some unknown reason we have had the shakes at home. We were formidable last year, but this time we have been poor and I really don’t know the reason.
“Hopefully now we can take this confidence into Saturday’s game with Ebbsfleet, although that will be another tough game that’s for sure.”
Haydn Hollis had been the subject of much conjecture among Alfreton fans on the internet in recent days, so it was somewhat ironic that he should give Barrow the lead four minutes before the interval.
Making his debut for the Bluebirds on loan from Notts County, Hollis squeezed a Paul Smith free-kick between the back post and Reds’ keeper Dan Lowson.
But five minutes earlier the visitors had been reduced to 10 men when skipper Gavin Skelton saw red after an aerial challenge on Connor Franklin.
The Impact Arena erupted 17 minutes from time when Brown headed in the perfect cross from Jamie Mullan from the edge of the six-yard box, just as the rain started to come down.
Then in the first minute of added time the cheer must have been heard all over Alfreton as Ellison powered home a close-range header from a Levi Mackin corner at the back post, to record his first goal during his loan spell from Burton.
The Reds made their intentions clear within 90 seconds when Paul Clayton hammered a return pass from Nathan Jarman from eight yards, forcing keeper Danny Hurst to parry.
Jarman sent Brown to the by-line only for his angled drive to rebound off Hurst for a corner, then in the seventh minute it was Lowson’s turn to parry a volley from Louis Almond.
Josh Law fired a dipping free-kick inches over the bar, then Hurst had to save with his legs from Jake Moult after more good work by Jarman in the 11th minute.
A flowing move saw Streete spray a pass out to Law on the right, and his cross allowed Clayton to go close, then in response a Paul Rutherford corner led to Almond shooting over from a very acute angle.
Clayton had to help out in defence by heading behind an awkward 23rd minute free-kick from Almond, then at the other end three minutes later, Matt Wilson guided a Law corner onto the top of the crossbar with a deflected header.
Adam Quinn headed against the upright for Barrow on 31 minutes from a Rutherford corner, with the rebound nestling conveniently in Lowson’s arms, then Mackin went close for the Reds from 20 yards.
Four minutes into the second half Wilson’s effort from a tight angle was fumbled by Hurst, but the ball just would not drop kindly for the supporting Clayton and was scrambled behind for an Alfreton corner, from which Brown’s header was held by the keeper.
Clayton’s volley from a Mackin cross was diverted behind by a Barrow defender in the 54th minute, then five minutes later there was a let-off for the hosts when Franklin lost possession to Almond only for Adam Boyes to be crowded out by covering defenders as the pass came in.
Wilson headed straight at Hurst on 65 minutes from a Law corner as Alfreton persevered, with the equaliser being their just reward eight minutes later.
Between Brown and Ellison’s memorable goals there was one further scare for the Reds when a dangerous run by Jack Mackreth saw him cut in from the right before his low drive struck Law and swerved out for an innocuous 86th minute corner.
ALFRETON: Lowson; Law, Franklin, Streete, Young, M.Wilson, Brown, Mackin, Moult (Mullan 61), Clayton (Ellison 70), Jarman (Senior 84). Subs: Holdsworth, Brogan.
l Kidderminster Harriers v Alfreton Town match report - see page 13.