Alford Town kept their title hopes alive with a 6-1 victory over Mablethorpe Athletic on Tuesday night.
Mablethorpe went into this match 11 points clear of Alford at the top of the league. Although Alford have two games in hand, they badly needed to win.
Not only did Alford win, they hammered Athletic 6-1.
Louth Town’s Jack Wightwick was on their side which gave them an advantage. However, unlike the last time these sides met Wightwick was not the main reason they won.
Wightwick had an excellent game and scored twice like he did in their 4-2 cup triumph recently. All the Alford players performed well enough to win with or without him though.
Alford took an early lead in fortuitous circumstances. A free kick by Andi Reeson somehow looped into the net from about 40-yards.
Mablethorpe equalized just five minutes later through Danny Marshall. The youngster controlled a free kick by Adam Brownson and fired in his first goal since signing for the club.
The equalizer was followed by a near miss from Jake Marshall after good work down the left by Andrew Wyer.
Brownson then had a free kick well saved by Andrew White. The resulting corner was swung in by Alex Carter and Courtney Skeldon connected with a header that Paul Nicholas blocked off the line.
At the other end Jamie Pittam made a great double save to keep out Michael Limb’s effort and the follow up by Joe Irving.
In the 40th minute Alford restored their lead through Wightwick, who raced clear and had his first attempt saved by Pittam. He then scored the rebound with a spectacular scissor kick that flew in off the crossbar - as seen in the video.
Just four minutes later Michael Brown slotted in a low cross from Paul Nicholas to give Alford a 3-1 lead at the interval.
Seconds after the half time whistle was blown something happened that resulted in a red card for both teams. Players suddenly crowded round each other as though there had been an off the ball incident.
It was hard to see who did what from the sidelines. The referee was well placed to deem that Reeson and Brownson were the offenders.
For that reason they were shown straight reds and did not return for the second half.
Alford’s fourth came in the 53rd minute when Irving whipped in a corner from the left and Phil Gilson headed home at the near post.
Things went from bad to worse for Mablethorpe as Skeldon missed a couple of chances before Alford added a fifth. On that occasion Mablethorpe failed to clear their lines allowing Tom Lempard to score from 10-yards.
Mablethorpe never gave up no matter how hopeless it looked and almost pulled a goal back when substitute Anthony Parnell crossed to Mathew Sirett, whose header struck the crossbar.
Pittam made more saves to deny Irving and Ashley Rasmussan as Alford searched for a sixth goal. They eventually got it late on - it should certainly not have been given though.
Wightwick took a shot that clearly hit the side netting and rolled behind the goal. Pittam went to fetch the ball for a goal kick only to find that a goal was awarded.
Every Mablethorpe player was astonished as were many, if not all the spectators. It didn’t matter greatly as Alford were already home and dry, but it was still an injustice and made the final score more flattering. Alford were the better side and deserved their three points.
Mablethorpe’s Mick Stubbs was underwhelmed. He said: “It was a disappointing night for us after such a good performance against Immingham Bluestone.
“We looked flat at times and made some bad mistakes. We also missed chances that would have kept us in the game. Alford were the better team, but they were fortunate to win by five goals.
“We will put this one behind us and can bounce back on Saturday.”
Mablethorpe are next in action on Saturday, April 18, at home to North Thoresby in the league (2.30pm).