Hednesford Town’s FA Cup hopes were ended for another year after a hat-trick from Alfreton’s Jordan Robertson saw the away side through in a six goal thriller which also saw the Pitmen playing with ten men for well over an hour.
The Pitmen started brightly and could have gone ahead inside the opening minute when the ball fell to Andy Todd in the box, but his hard driven effort was deflected behind for a goal-kick.
Following a flurry of corners in the tenth minute, the ball came out to Sean Williams on the edge of the box and his cross picked out Matt Regan, but the defender just couldn’t quite get enough on the ball.
Hednesford finally made their pressure pay off in the 13th minute when Ahmed Obeng cut inside and fired a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box, past Matt Duke.
It took the visitors just six minutes to respond as the Pitmen failed to properly clear the ball at the back and Ryan Wilson’s header back in was fired home by Robertson from inside the six-yard box.
Things went from bad to worse for the home side as two minutes later it was 2-1 when a long ball forward was misjudged by the Hednesford keeper Dave Parton and Dan Bradley took advantage to slide it home into an empty net.
A mad ten minutes for the home side was completed in the 27th minute as Bradley broke clear and was adjudged to have to been brought down by Parton inside the box and he was dismissed with a straight red card.
Substitute goalkeeper Lloyd Ransome made his way on for striker Nathan Modest, but his first action was to pick the ball up out of the net as Robertson fired in his second from the spot.
Bernard McNally’s side didn’t let their reduction in numbers affect their game and they continued to attack at every chance, had it not been for a good block on a Williams shot just before half-time then the scores could have been closer going into the break.
After Ransome was forced into an early second half save the home side really put the pressure on the visitors with Obeng seeing a shot blocked before being tripped inside the area, only for it to go unnoticed by the officials.
On the hour mark there was another call for a penalty from the home side as Tom Thorley was felled inside the box, but a free-kick was awarded instead.
Hednesford were dealt a further blow as Alfreton scored their fourth in the 62nd minute. Substitute Jamie Jackson broke clear and he found Robertson in the box, who after composing himself, fired home to complete his hat-trick.
The Pitmen responded though and earned a penalty of their own as Adam Thomas was brought down. The resulting John Disney spot-kick was saved by the legs of the keeper, but he managed to slide home the rebound.
Although there were 15 minutes remaining and the home side had a lot of possession, there was little in the way of clear-cut chances and after playing out four minutes of added time it would be Alfreton that would progress into the next round.
Hednesford Town: Parton, Disney, Regan, Bailey, Todd (Thomas 71), Trainer, Williams, Thorley, Modest (Ransome 27), Obeng, James
Subs not used: Perry, Digie, Ennis, McQuilkin, Patterson
Alfreton Town: Duke, Moyo (Jackson 46), Galinski, Allan, Heaton, Jordan, Wilson, Thanoj, Bradley, Jones, Robertson (Ironside 79)
Sub not used: Draper
Star Man: Jordan Robertson
Entertainment Rating: Four Stars