Alfreton Town turn on second half style to defeat Cambridge United

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Alfreton Town swept aside the disappointment of Saturday’s 0-3 home defeat to pull off a well-earned win by the same score at Cambridge United on Tuesday night.

Second half goals from Leigh Franks, Nathan Arnold and Paul Clayton hoisted the Reds up to 15th spot in the Blue Square Bet Premier as they recorded their sixth away League win of the season.

Early chances for the visitors saw Josh Law’s sixth minute free-kick clutched under the crossbar by home keeper Craig Ross, then four minutes later Theo Streete shot wide from 22 yards before Arnold pounced on a slip by Rory McAuley only to fire into the side-netting.

Franks had to clear as Jamie Reed delivered a sharp by-line cross on 15 minutes with Luke Berry going close with the loose ball, then three minutes later a Franks error allowed Reed a sniff of goal until Darran Kempson intercepted.

Liam Hughes squandered a clear header from six yards in receipt of a Reed cross, then the first of a trilogy of superb saves by Phil Barnes was required on the half hour

when Josh Coulson chested Joe Anderson’s free-kick towards the far corner of the goal.

Berry was only just off target from 25 yards, then Reed was denied by Barnes’ agility after shrugging off Franks’ challenge as Cambridge ended the first half in the ascendancy, while Michael Gash smashed the ball against the post in the 42nd minute.

A positive run by Steven Hewitt saw his 47th minute shot held by Ross, then the keeper was quick to gather Clayton’s effort after Hewitt had pounced upon a Kevin Roberts error.

Barnes was in action again in the 50th minute, this time as Reed latched on to an Anderson corner, but two minutes later United were shaken when Franks headed home completely unmarked at the near post from a Law corner.

Dan Bradley’s tame 25 yarder was held by Ross, then the Reds’ midfielder managed to clear the danger as Reed played Berry through in the 78th minute.

Roberts’ cross-shot from wide right was caught comfortably by Barnes, then with nine minutes to go Clayton played Daniel Meadows to the by-line where a corner was won.

The anticipated onslaught by the hosts never materialised as their fans became increasingly frustrated, but the points were safely on their way back to Derbyshire when Arnold unleashed a ferocious angled drive from just outside the area after running on to Clayton’s 89th minute pass.

And just for good measure Clayton notched the third goal from eight yards three minutes into added time from Meadows’ cross.

ALFRETON: Barnes; Law, Kempson, Franks, Franklin, Streete, Bradley, Meadows, Hewitt, Arnold, Clayton. Subs not used: Taylor, Soares, Boden, Worsold, Tomlinson.

ATTENDANCE: 1779 (29 from Alfreton)