'The fans deserve that' - Alfreton Town boss Billy Heath dedicates cup win to club supporters

Alfreton Town celebrate their cup glory.
Alfreton Town celebrate their cup glory.

Delighted Alfreton Town boss Billy Heath has dedicated his team's Derbyshire Senior Cup win to the club's fans.

The Reds beat Mickleover Sports 2-1 at Pride Park on Wednesday night thanks to Danny O'Brien's late winner.

And a delighted Heath said: "After an up and down season that was one for the fans.

"We've had some great performances, we've had some poor performances - it's been an horrendous week so it was massively important that we won this game and massively important that we got some silverware - it was good for the fans.

"The effort that the players put in tonight was superb, l was surprised that we got as much out of them because we played Saturday, we played Monday, we've got virtually half the squad sat behind us and we've got players all over the place - some were playing on will.

"We started the game well with a 4-4-2 formation that we've not played all season, but that was our only option with the players available, which was comfortable for the majority of the players."

A bright start by the Reds, who were forced to play a makeshift rearguard with Tom Platt at right back and Nathan Hotte at the heart of the defence alongside Tom Allan, was rewarded in the ninth minute when O'Brien cleverly chipped a Jordan Sinnott cross home from a tight angle.

Both Richard Peniket and O'Brien again went close as Alfreton dominated the first 25 minutes, Sinnott then seeing his effort hacked off the line from an O'Brien cross.

Mickleover thought they would draw level on 28 minutes when a swift break led to McDonald outwitting Sam Ramsbottom only to see his shot headed off the line and against the crossbar by Hotte, the move having evolved from a Peniket shot at the other end that Sports' keeper Lewis King had parried.

Six minutes after the break there was another let-off for the Reds when Hotte's misjudged back pass meant that Ramsbottom could only clear the ball against McDonald, with the rebound trickling wide.

Mickleover deservedly drew level on 68 minutes after Ramsbottom had impeded McDonald, who calmly smashed home the ensuing penalty kick.

David Lynch, who perhaps should not have been playing because of an injury, finally limped off after the equaliser to allow Development Team defender Kieron Hinchley his chance to shine in the illustrious setting.

Both sides were suffering fatigue as they played their second game in 48 hours, and in the Reds' case their third game in five days, and it was only with four minutes remaining that the issue was finally settled when Dec Bacon's cross from the left-side bye-line was finished in style by O'Brien from ten yards.