• Amar Sharma

Clarke nets the winner as Alfreton beat the Bucks

Danny Clarke’s goal in the second half sealed a first win of the new season and a third game unbeaten in the National League North as Alfreton Town claimed an impressive and organised win at Telford United on Saturday afternoon.


Clarke planted home a cross come shot from Elliott Reeves after a neat turn by the forward inside the box from a few yards out to seal the three points on Halloween and move Town to tenth in the table.


The first half was one which saw limited clear cut openings. Dan Bradley had the first effort of the game on 14 minutes as he collected a Bobby Johnson pass before striding forward and firing low and wide of the far post from 25 yards.


The Bucks responded with James Hardy running into space before firing over George Willis' crossbar. Johnson then came closest on 17 with a stunning effort which bounced off the post and Clarke could only fire the rebound over.


Aaron Williams looked to flick the ball into the far corner from a cross on the right but Willis held the effort, then Reeves fired wide when well placed from a Reds corner which was half cleared by the Bucks.


Hardy then floated a free kick into the far post but Shane Sutton couldn't direct his header goal-wards on the dive.

Willis held a low free kick following a foul from James Jones before the Reds centre back nearly directed the ball into his own net after a cross from the right was turned onto the post.


Alfreton came close with 37 gone as Reeves and Clarke linked well, with the former testing Russ Griffiths who had to tip the shot over the bar from inside the D.


The second half saw Telford press early on, Willis saved from Williams' effort from outside the area before Jones headed a Theo Streete ball behind for a corner.


Alfreton then had a penalty shout waved away as Dom Smith rose highest to win the ball ahead of the on-rushing Griffiths, Smith was taken out and the referee pointed to the spot, only for the linesman to flag for offside with that decision ultimately being final.


Jones curled one at Griffiths from the edge of the area before Telford countered and Jones and Nathan Fox blocked well to deny Hardy inside the D.


With 70 minutes gone, Alfreton took the lead as Bradley played Reeves through inside the box. He turned before his cross-come shot found Clarke who planted the ball home to give the Reds the lead and the edge in what had been an even game.


The Bucks went more direct with ten to go and Willis denied several efforts; the first from outside the box before getting his hands in the way of a low shot on the right side of the box.


The hosts' best chance came on 88 as a Brendon Daniels corner was cleared before a shot came in through a crowd of bodies which went inches wide of the post.


Several corners came in stoppage time with keeper Griffiths coming up for both but the Reds cleared and sealed the points.


It was a fantastic display all over the park from Alfreton who maintained their unbeaten start to the National League North and grabbed a first win of the season.


Next, Alfreton face AFC Fylde at the Impact Arena on Tuesday, as the Coasters arrive looking to continue their 100 per cent start to the season, kick off is 7.45pm.


Alfreton: Willis, Atkinson, Fox, Branson, Jones, Lees, Smith, Bradley (c), Clarke, Reeves (Walker 89), Johnson (Williams 82).

Subs Not Used: Lund, Unwin-Marris, Day.