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17:00 30th March 2013


With Tony Diagne, Mo Fofana injured, plus Gomez Dali suspended, manager Gary Simpson was forced into three changes for this Blue Square Bet Premier game at Alfreton. Dan Gray, at right back with Tom Miller moving to the left, Alan Power and Craig Hobson were the trio coming in.

Alfreton kicked off but it was the Imps who were the first to press with the second of two corners within the opening minute ending with Jamie Taylor dragging a low effort across the box and out for a goal-kick.

City pushed forward again in the fifth minute and when a sweeping move down the left saw Hobson gain possession, he took a touch before picking out Jamie Taylor with an excellent centre; the latter headed goalwards only for Jordan Pickford to claim at the second attempt.

Drama ensued as, when Connor Franklin went in very late on Dan Gray close to the touchline, referee Ross Joyce had the easy option to produce a straight red. Gray was clearly in some discomfort as he was helped back to the dressing room and a minute later Adam Smith came on as his replacement with Jake Sheridan dropping back to right-back.

City continued to dominate play against their physical opponents with Taylor having a snap-shot held by Pickford after he hosts failed to deal with an Alan Power free-kick before Todd Jordan was booked for a mistimed challenge on Leigh Franks.

A scrappy period of play ensued before the overlapping Sheridan was sent flying by Theo Streete who was cautioned for his troubles. A long throw by Miller was then dropped by Pickford but Power was pulled up for a push when the loose ball ran free.

Just after the half-hour mark Hobson was denied by a superb save from Pickford after he was picked up by Sheridan whilst at the other end Nat Brown was forced to hack away after a cross into the City box caused problems.

A teasing centre from Paul Turnbull saw Hobson come close to connecting and an inswinging Smith corner was claimed by Pickford as the Imps pushed forward again. A City free-kick then ended up seeing Taylor cross for Brown who saw his first time shot blocked by a home defender.

The domination eventually paid off in the 41st minute with Craig Hobson bagging an excellent first for the Club to give the Imps the lead. The goal came after referee Joyce let play carry on after Hobson was pushed and when he received the ball back from Taylor on the right the big striker planted a superb left-footed effort into the top right corner of Pickford's goal.

As the Fourth Official indicated that a minimum of three minutes were to be added on Miller was left grounded by a Paul Clayton arm but the offender escaped without punishment.

The half ended with Darran Kempson clipping the top of Farman's bar after Alfreton's first corner saw the ball land at the centre-back's feet.

HT: Alfreton 0 Imps 1

Both sides emerged unchanged for the start of the second half and the Imps were quick to push forward with Smith forcing Pickford into a save 90 seconds in following a Miller throw.

City's next attack ended with Sheridan getting the better of his marker before squaring for Power who saw his goalbound effort blocked by Kempson. Smith then had another effort claimed by Pickford as the Imps pressed for a second.

A double Afreton switch came along in the 55th minute with Nathan Arnold and Daniel Meadows replacing Paul Clayton and Steven Hewitt whilst a couple of minutes later Vadaine Oliver came on for Craig Hobson up front for the Imps.

The Imps continued to press the hosts back with Smith skipping past a number of chances before squaring for Power who drilled over; Town's response saw Soares drill well wide.

Oliver was quickly in the action, flicking a ball on for Taylor who saw his low effort smothered by Pickford before Sheridan won what turned out to be an unproductive corner on the right.

The lively Smith the won another corner which was punched away by Pickford before a Power free-kick saw the Town punch clear, taking out both Taylor and Streete in te process.

With the game just entering its final quarter hour Scott Boden replaced Ben Tomlinson for the home side but the action remained in the City offensive third with good interplay between Taylor and Oliver seeing with the latter denied by a fine Pickford save before former went for the loose ball only to be penalised for a foul. The yellow card which went to the striker was harsh to say the least.

It wasn't long before the Imps were pressing forward again though and when Brown did well to intercept a ball, his forward clearance saw Oliver beat the advancing Pickford to the ball and with the goal at his mercy, the substitute duly slotted home to double the Imps' advantage with nine minutes remaining.

Jake Jones replaced for Jamie Taylor a couple of minutes later before Farman was forced to tip behind a Soares free-kick for a corner which was headed away by Oliver.

Farman was booked in the 89th minute for delaying the taking of a free-kick and as the Imps won another free-kick the Fourth Official indicated that a minimum of four minutes were to be added on.

Oliver followed Farman into the book after leaving a foot in on Quinn midway through the extra stages and this proved to be the last action of the game with the travelling fans quick to salute what turned out to be another totally professional performance by the Imps.

FT: Alfreton 0 Imps 2

City: Paul Farman, Dan Gray, Andrew Boyce, Nat Brown, Tom Miller, Todd Jordan, Paul Turnbull, Alan Power, Jake Sheridan, Jamie Taylor, Craig Hobson.

subs: Adam Smith (for Gray 10), Vadaine Oliver (for Hobson 57), Nicky Nicolau, Jake Jones (for Taylor 83), David Preece.

goals: Hobson (41), Oliver (81)

bookings: Jordan (19), Taylor (79), Farman (89), Oliver (90+2)

Alfreton: Jordan Pickford, Connor Franklin, Adam Quinn, Darran Kempson, Anton Brown, Louie Soares, Paul Clayton, Leigh Franks, Theo Streete, Steven Hewitt, Ben Tomlinson.

subs: Dan Bradley, Nathan Arnold (for Clayton 55), Daniel Meadows (for Hewitt 55), Scott Boden (for Tomlinson 76), Jordan Rose.

bookings: Streete (26)

sending off: Franklin (6)

Referee: Ross Joyce
Assistants: Richard Woodward & Joe Simpson
Fourth Official: David McNamara

Attendance: 1,189 (456 City supporters)


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.