ALFRETON Town’s stunning victory over Stockport County on Tuesday night came out of adversity.
With Leigh Franks suspended for three games after being sent off against Telford last Saturday and Greg Young out with a hamstring strain, the Reds were down to 15 fit players and could only name four substitutes.
Then, in the pre-match warm up, central defender Adam Quinn pulled up with a calf injury and had to be replaced by Jake Moult who had been named on the bench.
Manager Nicky Law said: “We had an 11 and three subs plus Dan Lowson [goalkeeper], and after Quinny had come off before the game had started, it we had picked up any more knocks we could have been in trouble.”
Nathan Jarman’s hat-trick against Stockport was the first by a Reds player since Liam Hearn hit three when Alfreton, reduced to ten men from the ninth minute, produced an awesome display to record a 6-0 home win over then play-off chasing Guiseley almost 11 months to the day ago.
That win was a season defining win and manager Nicky Law feels the win over Stockport could have the same effect.
He explained: “The win over Guiseley last year told us we could beat anybody in the division and also said we were good enough to go on and win the league.
“The Stockport game can have the same effect on us.
“It is maybe a definite turning point of the season. The win will give the lads a big confidence lift but they now have a lot of hard work between now and the end of the season.”
Law also had words of praise for both hat-trick man Jarman and target man Paul Clayton.
He said: “Jarmo handled the first penalty we had with maturity. At 2-0 up it was a pressure moment. If he had missed it, it would have given them hope and who knows what would have happened.
“But he is a big bubbly character and he handled the situation well. At 3-0 we were then well set to go on and win the game.
“I have been critical of Paul Clayton before this season, but the last two games, Paul has been something more like the Clayton of last year. He has put himself about, bossed defenders and won a lot of headers for us. Anthony Wilson has also worked very hard alongside him.”
After two home games, Alfreton are on the road for the next two, starting with a trip to Sincil Bank to face Lincoln City.
It is a venue where the Reds have already won this season, a 2-1 FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay success back on November 1.
The following Saturday sees Alfreton travel to face Kettering Town.
ATFC Supporters’ Association transport for Lincoln this Saturday departs at 10.30am and seats can be booked by contacting Mark Thorpe on 01773 836251.