Alfreton lose five-goal thriller at Chester despite Rhead's double
NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH Chester FC 3
Hardy 30, Weeks 81, Cowan 90+2
Alfreton Town 2
Rhead 80, 87
Dan Cowan's injury-time winner won a dramatic and ill-tempered clash on Saturday as hosts Chester overcame Alfreton Town.
Chester had led from the 30th minute when James Hardy was allowed too much time and space in the box to pick his spot, but there had been desperate action at either end ten minutes earlier.
John Johnston had forced keeper George Willis to parry at the near post, then from the former Reds' winger's second attempt Adam Lund had to clear off the line.
In response Josh Clackstone unleashed a fearsome drive that spun off a defender and just cleared the crossbar.
After the break Alfreton showed more purpose with runs from Elliott Reeves and Bailey Hobson almost setting up Matt Rhead, but Hobson was smashed into the perimeter in front of the main stand by a shocking tackle from Danny Livesey on 72 that saw the Chester defender red-carded.
The Reds pushed forward with the aim of capitalising on their numerical advantage and were rewarded ten minutes from time when Rhead lashed home a loose ball in crowded territory to level the score at 1-1.
Parity only lasted around 60 seconds though before Declan Weeks restored the Seals' advantage with another easy finish, with a fracas then developing in front of the dugouts that resulted in Chester's joint manager Anthony Johnson being sent off.
Back came Alfreton and a superb looping header by Rhead from a Clackstone cross had them level for a second time with three minutes of regular time remaining.
But with six minutes of added time indicated Chester pressed again and a clear header from Dan Cowan from a right-wing corner was enough to settle the issue.
Report via Alfreton Town FC.