Alfreton lose their way as Harriers hit back to send Reds to first-round defeat
ALFRETON Town made an early exit from the FA Trophy when Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Kidderminster Harriers put them out at the first hurdle at the Impact Arena.
Though Dan Bradley gave the Reds an 18th-minute lead – scoring against his former employers for the second time in nine weeks – goals from Danny Pilkington, Chey Dunkley and Ryan Rowe put paid to the hosts' aspirations.
Alfreton's preparations were hampered by the loss of central defenders Ross Killock and Leigh Franks through injury following the midweek draw at Hyde, though that double blow was partly offset by the return of Darran Kempson after missing five games.
Theo Streete dropped back to partner him in the back four.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Danny Emerton, on loan from Hull City, made his first start supporting the attack on the left of midfield, while Ben Tomlinson reverted to the bench.
Bradley started and finished the move that gave Alfreton the hope of another cup run, when he played the ball to Nathan Arnold on the edge of the area.
The Reds' skipper knocked the ball wide to Daniel Meadows, whose cross was laid back by Paul Clayton for Bradley to hammer a deflected 22-yarder past Harriers goalkeeper Danny Lewis.
But the lead only lasted 16 minutes before Pilkington pounced on a long clearance from Josh Gowling to steer the ball rather too easily past Jon Stewart after the goalkeeper hesitated.
In the minutes leading up to half-time, Streete needed to block a full-blooded drive from Marvin Johnson and Stewart pulled off a brilliant save to thwart Callum Gittings.
Seven minutes after the break, Stewart misjudged Kempson's square pass and the keeper needed a second attempt to recover as Jamille Matt pounced.
Tomlinson just failed to make contact in front of goal as Arnold whipped in a wicked cross from the left after 73 minutes.
The tie had its moments without ever sparkling in the continuous rain and a replay was beginning to look inevitable when Dunkley forced the ball in at the far post from a Lee Vaughan corner with 14 minutes remaining.
The chance for Kidderminster to edge ahead came when Stewart could not keep hold of a slippery Streete back header, the ball squirming over the line for a corner kick.
After 84 minutes, the killer third Harriers goal followed strong appeals for a penalty at the other end when Vaughan appeared to handle a Meadows effort.
Kidderminster broke swiftly and Rowe steered the ball low past Stewart from an angle.
Right at the end, Stewart denied Harriers a fourth goal when Keith Briggs sent Nathan Blissett scampering clear but by then the damage had been done for Alfreton.