Ironside 55; Bradley 70
- A big three points on the road for Harriers
- Ironside's 20th opened the scoring
- Bradley added a second on 70 mins
- Dogged defending sees out clean sheet
HARRIERS picked up three important National League North points with a 2-0 victory over Alfreton Town.
Second half strikes from Joe Ironside and Dan Bradley earned the victory for the team, who held on to keep a clean sheet with a composed defensive performance.
It came after a quiet first half in which the game was fairly even in terms of chances, though Harriers dictated play from the off.
Inside the opening dozen minutes, Fraser Horsfall drove a shot wide and Bradley went close for Harriers while Brendon Daniels looked a threat going forward for the home side.
McQuilkin struck off target on the quarter hour before Daniels and Disley went wide for Alfreton, Craig Westcarr almost giving them the head on 30 minutes as he tried to finish from inside a real scramble of bodies.
Hall saved well from Jennings soon after before Daniels aimed an effort off target, Harriers going mighty close on 38 as McQuilkin dragged a shot wide of the far post as the visitors broke away.
Bradley and Ironside had sniffs just before the interval, but Ironside had his team ahead just ten minutes after the resumption as he instinctively stabbed home Sonupé’s cross.
That opened the game up even more and a clever showing from Harriers saw them take advantage of the counter on numerous occasions, McQuilkin shooting off target on the hour, Ironside keeping goalkeeper Johansson honest between the sticks with another shot soon after.
On 70 minutes Croasdale set Bradley free on the break and he charged the length of the half before coolly finding the corner on the angle to double the team’s advantage.
Sonupé for Harriers and Westcarr for the hosts had half chances after that but, in truth, Harriers never looked like being breached on the night.
MATT Gardiner has urged Harriers to ‘go again’ at Alfreton on Tuesday night and banish the disappointment of Saturday’s draw with Salford City.
The reds were left reeling after being pegged back to a 4-4 draw at the hands of the league leaders, having been four goals to the good.
But Gardiner has citied the huge advantage of having the next game coming around so quickly, with Harriers now back in action as they prepare for the re-arranged trip to the Impact Arena.
For him it is about taking what positives can be drawn from the Salford match and ensuring the reaction is right come Tuesday night as the team go up against an Alfreton side on a high after a fine win over Southport at the weekend.
“We are trying to focus on any positive – we should have won the game and had three points but have come away with one,” said Gardiner.
“We will be looking for a quick reaction and to get going..." Matt Gardiner
“It did feel like a loss, but we go again now, and the great thing is that we’ve got a game to put it right straight away at Alfreton on Tuesday.
“We will be looking for a quick reaction and to get going… you always talk about reactions and it is about how we come back from it on Tuesday.”
On the topic of positive reactions, Alfreton themselves will be delighted to have delivered one themselves against Southport. A fantastic 3-1 success came courtesy of goals from Tom Allan, Brendon Daniels and Nyal Bell.
That was the ideal response to their own set-back; a 1-0 home to defeat to AFC Telford a week ago. The win moved tonight’s hosts a few points clear of the drop zone.
Harriers will likely still be without Liam Truslove through injury on Tuesday night, while Elton Ngwatala is edging closer to a return, with Jimmy O’Connor also not too far away.
Kick-off at Alfreton Town on Tuesday is at 7:45pm.
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James McQuilkin pre-match (initial tie)
Post Match Reaction