Alfreton Town pulled off a vital win against struggling Tamworth at the Impact Arena on Tuesday night, despite falling behind to a seventh minute goal, as well as being pegged back to 2-2 after establishing an interval lead.
Derby County loanee Michael Hoganson made a solid debut in place of the injured Andrai Jones, whilst Dan Bradley made way for Daniel Meadows in midfield and Darran Kempson continued in place of broken leg victim Michael Wylde, having replaced the defender at half-time in the Chester win.
It was Richard Peniket whose angled drive from ten yards beat Reds’ keeper Jon Worsnop following a Kevin Thornton pass, and it was not until the 14th minute that Tamworth keeper Cameron Belford was called into action when he fisted clear Tom Shaw’s header from a Bradley Wood cross.
Shaun Harrad and Meadows both went close as Alfreton tried to galvanise a response, then on the half hour mark Meadows’ by-line cross caused havoc before the midfielder fired inches wide from the ensuing corner.
Belford made a spectacular save from Harrad’s 37th minute free-kick, then Job Ayo Akinde’s shot from a Godfrey Poku pass was blocked at close range by the keeper.
Then five minutes before the break Akinde was tripped by Jordan Keane, the referee pointed to the spot and Harrad calmly slotted home the equaliser with his second penalty in two games and his sixth goal from eight appearances.
Right on the stroke of half-time Shaw’s shot was parried from Akinde’s cross, and when Josh Law’s corner triggered a goalmouth scramble Shaw was on hand to stab the ball past Belford from inside the six-yard box.
There was still time in the first half for Peniket to test Worsnop after cutting in from the right, and it took until the 64th minute for the Reds to mount their next telling attack with Akinde going close from a Law throw.
Tamworth still had not read the script though and conjured up an equaliser when Nick Fenton caught Matthew Godden as he chased a through-ball from Jack Evans, with Godden evening out the encounter from the ensuing penalty.
Manager Nicky Law threw Paul Clayton in the mix to go three up front with Kempson sacrificed from the defence and almost immediately his decision was rewarded when Akinde rifled home the loose ball from 16 yards after Harrad’s shot from Bradley’s 73rd minute pass had been blocked.
Akinde’s positive by-line run led to Harrad’s shot evading the back post, but Alfreton could relax from the 83rd minute onwards after Clayton had steered home Akinde’s cross from 12 yards to register a more meaningful 4-2 score-line.
Akinde went on to head over from Shaw’s deep cross, then well into added time Evans’ shot was comfortably held by Worsnop.
ALFRETON: Worsnop; Law, Kempson (Clayton 71), Fenton, Wood (Franklin HT), Poku, Meadows (Bradley 59), Shaw, Hoganson, Akinde, Harrad.
Subs not used: McFadzean, Andrews. Attendance: 594.