Alfreton Town maintained their 100 per cent start to 2016 with their fifth straight win in all games when Lindon Meikle’s 81st minute goal sealed a 1-0 win over Chorley at the lmpact Arena on Saturday.
Manager Nicky Law reverted to the starting Xl that had won so convincingly at Brackley Town two weeks earlier after the break caused by two successful Derbyshire Senior Cup ties against Whaley Bridge and Long Eaton.
The Reds had threatened for much of the second half without managing to break through Chorley’s stubborn defence, until Tom Allan’s astute cross from the left reached Meikle just outside the six-yard box, the winger cleverly delaying his shot until keeper Sam Ashton had committed himself.
lt had certainly not been all about Alfreton though, notably with Jake Cottrell having shots blocked by Todd Jordan and Brad McGowan in the 60th and 75th minutes respectively, and had Jordan Connerton shown a little more composure at the back post from Andy Bond’s 69th minute cross then the outcome may well have been different.
These days though the Reds look much stronger at the back, with Brad McGowan again commanding at the heart of the defence, whilst Allan stamped his authority at left back as the hosts recorded successive clean sheets in home games.
Allan sent a near post header wide from Joe Leesley’s tenth minute corner, then headed wide from a Meikle delivery ten minutes later, Ashton then having to turn behind Meikle’s shot from Cliff Moyo’s driven cross.
Bond twice went close for Chorley, but Ashton was by far the busier keeper as he held Sam Jones’ low drive and blocked a good effort from McGowan before comfortably dealing with a Sam Smith header.
McGowan also saw his effort diverted behind by Jack Lynch and Bond had to intervene to prevent Dan Bradley from scoring, the first half concluding with Meikle and Smith having successive shots blocked.
Bradley hooked Jones’ crossfield pass well wide eight minutes into the second half, then Todd Jordan did well to block a powerful drive by Jake Cottrell before Andi Thanoj and Smith went close for Alfreton.
Jones fired straight at Ashton when picked out by Bradley’s deep cross in the 71st minute, Smith glanced a clear header wide from a Leesley corner and either side of Meikle’s goal both Cottrell and Lynch saw efforts blocked by Reds’ defenders.
ALFRETON: Duke; Moyo, McGowan, Jordan, Allan, Meikle, Thanoj, Leesley, Bradley, Jones, Smith (Robertson 74). Subs not used: Jackson, Wilson, Nyoni, Heaton. ATTENDANCE: 605.