Russ O’Neill confident Alfreton Town are safe from relegation

Liam Hearn hit the winner in last night's 1-0 win over Boston.
Liam Hearn hit the winner in last night's 1-0 win over Boston.

Alfreton Town manager Russ O’Neill believes that his side are now safe from relegation after their 1-0 win over Boston United.

The Reds now find themselves ten points clear of the drop zone with eight games remaining in the National League North.

The only goal of the game came through Liam Hearn’s drilled header from an excellent Jordan Richards delivery just four minutes before the half time break.

O’Neill said: “I think we are safe now, it’s going to take a good run from those below us, especially with us having a game in hand.

“We are ten points clear now and the next stage is to try and take this form into away games and try and bring something home from Gloucester.

“I’m obviously over the moon, the lads are all together in the dressing room and I think it shows with our performances.”

Alfreton have now gone unbeaten at home for 12 consecutive games in all competitions; with the last defeat at the Impact arena coming on the 8th of November.

And, although O’Neill is satisfied by the positive stats for his side, he is keen but focus more on the performances from his players rather than the facts and figures.

“Of course it’s pleasing; all these stats are brilliant to hear when you are on the right side of them,” O’Neill said.

“You’ve seen corners come in and the lads are throwing themselves in front of everything just to get that clean sheet.

“I thought we were excellent tonight and I’m extremely proud of the lads.”

Match-winner Hearn has now scored eight goals in the National League North since his return to the Impact Arena.

It is a goal return that has delighted Russ O’Neill.

He said: “I thought it was an excellent goal, a real bit of quality for the winning goal and I think it deserved to win any game.

“In the last few games Liam has come on and done really well and looked really sharp and he really has got his head down. I’m really pleased with his application and training.

“He’s desperate to do well and that’s part of the reason for starting him tonight and he’s most certainly repaid me for that.”

Apart from a vicious deflected free-kick, unleashed by Louis Briscoe from 30 yards in the 18th minute, that smashed against the foot of the post, it was resolute defending that maintained a clean sheet for the Reds.

Smith headed over from Craig Westcarr’s 28th minute corner, before Westcarr fired wide just after the break.

Alex Simmons was next to be thwarted by the Reds’ keeper before Spiess saved brilliantly when Josh Robinson looked likely to level matters in the 75th minute.

Seven minutes from the end Alfreton’s rearguard survived intense pressure as Monkhouse blocked from Rollins on the line before heading behind the follow-up from Robinson, then from the ensuing corner Richards somehow managed to scoop Tom Batchelor’s towering header off the line.

The Reds face a tough trip to Gloucester City in their next fixture; facing the last side that beat Alfreton at the Impact Arena back in 2016.