In Celtic ensured they will be in the Conference North next season in a game that had a tired, end of season feel to it.
What little action there was in the first half was centred mainly at the Celtic end, though Jack Higgins went close from a corner, it was Alfreton that took a deserved lead. The excellent Joe Leesley got the better of Oliver Crowley to fire in a low cross to the near post. Under pressure from Jack Higgins, Sam Jones got a toe to the ball and turned into the net.
Alfreton looked the more likely to score, with Leesley forcing Tony McMillan into a sharp stop, and Lindon Meikle should have done better when Alfreton broke quickly from a corner. Celtic’s only effort on target was a trundling shot from Adam Farrell that Matt Duke scooped up. McMillan was called into action a couple of times more in the half as Alfreton looked content to sit on the one goal lead.
The second half was more of the same, Alfreton looking the more likely to score, and Celtic lacking that final pass. Leesley went close a couple of times, but never really looked convincing about it, though Leesley’s low cross through the box should have had somebody on the end of it, and when Sam Jones was one-on-one with Tony McMillan, he really should have scored.
In stoppage time, Celtic came alive. Jack Higgins forced Duke into a cracking save when it looked like Celtic would punish Alfreton for their profligacy, and then, deep into stoppage time, Crowley got the better of Leesley, sent Danny Burns scampering down the line, and finally a move came off, Adam Farrell chested down to Jack Higgins who fired accurately and with enough power to put his shot just beyond the fingertips of Duke and into the bottom corner.
Alfreton shaded the game, but good Celtic defending and wayward shooting gave Celtic the glimmer of hope and they took it, moving to twelfth and certain safety.
|10||Meikle, Lindon||> 59|
|11||Bradley, Dan||> 76|
|12||Jackson, Jamie||< 59|
|14||Smith, Sam||< 76|