Referee takes centre stage as 10-man Welsh side condemn Reds to defeat
NICKY Law was sent to the stands as Alfreton Town fell to a 2-1 home defeat against Wrexham, who finished with 10 men but still had enough to climb to the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier.
The Reds manager fell foul of Essex referee Michael Bull at the end of the first half after seeing his side battle back to level.
Alfreton started positively at the Impact Arena, with Paul Clayton forcing a save from Cameroon international keeper Joslain Mayebi after only 55 seconds.
But the Reds fell behind in the 16th minute when Joe Clarke's left-wing corner caused havoc in the box, with Danny Wright's header deflecting off an Alfreton defender before Neil Ashton got the final touch to score.
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Wrexham's lead lasted 16 minutes before the Reds drew level when Ben Tomlinson drilled Josh Law's free kick in from 10 yards after Jay Harris was booked for scything down Anton Brown.
Wrexham thought they had regained the lead four minutes before half-time but Rob Ogleby's shot from Wright's pass was disallowed for offside.
In the last minute of the first period, Law was controversially sent to the stands after the referee took exception to his comments, leaving his assistant, Russ O'Neill, to hold the reins for the home side.
The Reds were handed a numerical advantage in the 49th minute when in-form Wrexham striker Wright was sent off for a second bookable offence after needlessly fouling Leigh Franks right in front of the home dugout.
Two minutes later, a superb through ball from Tomlinson sent Nathan Arnold scampering through but Mayebi saved.
The referee was having a busy evening and following a further altercation in front of the Wrexham dugout, visiting assistant manager Billy Barr was also given his marching orders.
Wrexham scored what proved to be the decisive goal in the 75th minute when Clarke embarked on a solo run before slotting the ball low past keeper Phil Barnes.