Mis-firing Alfreton fall to fourth straight defeat
Alfreton Town battled and huffed and puffed but were left to rue missed chances yet again as hosts Chester struck three times to hand the Reds a fourth straight league defeat on Tuesday night.
It was the third game without scoring as former Reds loanee Danny Elliott converted a penalty on 20 after Josh Clackstone was judged to have blocked a shot from Elliott in the box with his hand.
Two second half goals came as Jamie Morgan drove a low finish inside the box into the far corner past George Willis and substitute Anthony Dudley then scored a fine solo goal after he was found down the right and cut into the box before curling one into the far corner.
The Reds started the contest well and throughout the game played some good football and had plenty of possession in stages. Bobby Johnson clipped a pass through to Jake Day but he just couldn't quite reach it as he clattered into Louis Gray in the Chester net.
But the hosts were awarded a penalty on 20 minutes Clackstone blocked a shot from Elliott with his arm. The Referee was quick to give the decision and Elliott converted the penalty to give the hosts the lead despite the promising start from Alfreton.
Elliott then fired over the bar after a sharp turn inside the Reds box, Nicky Walker responding but seeing his shot go wide of the far post in the area.
Gray saved a low free kick from Johnson, then Connor Branson connected with a low free kick taken on the right from Walker but the ball went wide of the near post.
Willis then made a big save just before the break to palm away Danny Livesey's header destined for the bottom corner as Alfreton went into the break just a goal behind.
The second half saw a topsy turvy affair which mounted frustration on the Reds' current form. Elliott showed good strength to hold off Toby Lees but his shot was blocked with Will Goodwin nearly connecting on the loose ball at the far post.
The Seals continued to push and Lees had to clear a John Johnston cross, the Chester winger then mis-cued a shot before Clackstone cleared yet another cross from Goodwin.
Willis pulled off another vital save to parry Johnston's near post shot behind for a corner, before Alfreton then had two big chances as Bradley hammered a shot off the underside of the bar inside the box on 55, Danny Clarke firing the rebound over the bar.
Two minutes later we hit the woodwork again as Chester didn't deal with a Clackstone long throw, Branson hitting the post inside the box.
With 61 gone, it was 2-0 as Morgan on the overlap collected a pass and fired low across Willis into the bottom corner inside the box.
Bradley fired a free kick into the wall from 23 yards, Branson then fired over the bar five minutes later, while for Chester, Johnston fired too high.
But Dudley made it 3-0 with a fine solo goal which saw him curl the ball into the far corner, Dom Smith heading over for the Reds in their final effort of the game.
It was another night to forget for Alfreton who played well in stages but once again couldn't find the target despite playing some good football.
They will need to pick themselves up again and look to correct the form and the slide as they head to Southport on Saturday, kick off 3pm.
ATFCXI: Willis, Clackstone, Fox, Walker, Lees, Branson, Smith, Bradley (c), Day (Clarke 22), Johnson (Reeves 67), Atkinson.
Subs Not Used: Lund, Unwin-Marris, Williams.