If ever the term “a game of two halves” was appropriate then Alfreton Town’s 2-2 draw at Curzon Ashton last night was a prime example.
The Reds looked down and out at the interval when two goals adrift, before a second half fightback secured a vital point.
Manager Chris Moyses said: “I’m absolutely delighted - as bad as we were first half we were good second half - that’s as good a performance as we’ve put in in a half.
“The first l apologise to the travelling fans that have come and watched that because it wasn’t good enough - but we sent them out with a clear task to put it right and they did.
“The lads obviously knew it wasn’t good enough and we had to get back in the game - we got back in quite early, gave ourselves a chance, went on to equalise and actually I thought we could have nicked the game to be fair.
“We had far more chances than they did second half and we far more of a threat going forward.
“We were rushing passes (in the first half) - we were going direct - we don’t need to go direct - we’ve got good footballers in the side who can look after the ball, and we just seemed to go from back to front very quickly.
“We spoke about being brave on the ball in the second half and we were. It was absolutely a point gained, any point away from home is a point gained.”
Alfreton had drawn level by the 56th minute as they produced a rapid response.
Joe Guest had given the hosts a 15th minute lead with a simple header from an even simpler right flank cross by Ben McKenna, then the same player struck again on 26 minutes after a flowing move, steering the ball low past Viktor Johansson.
All this came after Tom Platt had headed against the crossbar from a Brendon Daniels corner in the fifth minute, but the Reds rarely penetrated opposition territory from that point in the opening half.
Cue that half-time team talk and Alfreton were unrecognisable from earlier as Chris Sharp headed just wide from a Sam Topliss bye-line cross, but a repeat delivery from the full-back in the 50th minute allowed Tom Allan to head firmly past home keeper Cameron Mason from ten yards.
The equaliser arrived just six minutes later when Platt stabbed home a deep Daniels free-kick from close range, and for a while it looked very much as if the Reds’ momentum would carry them to a decisive third goal with Daniels at the heart of three good chances.
First of all on 63 minutes his deflected low drive was held by Mason, then 12 minutes later Daniel Shaw managed to block Daniels’ shot following Craig Westcarr’s lay-off from an Allan cross, and finally a lethal 76th minute corner had to be clawed away by Mason at full stretch as it swung towards the target.
Curzon played their part in trying to restore their lead, but a couple of good saves by Johansson and some determined defending kept them at bay and a precious point had been salvaged.
CURZON: Mason; Baillie, Guest, Hunt, Shaw, Regan, Rowney [Baker 20], Walker, Cummins [Brooke 30], Dunwoody, McKenna.
SUBS: Wharton, Clark, Thornley.
ALFRETON: Johansson; Topliss, Shiels, Beevers, Allan, Disley, Platt, Jennings [Marshall 45], Daniels, Sharp [Bell 71], Westcarr.
SUBS: Baxendale, Green, Wagner.
REF: Samuel Barrott