Winsford Utd 1

Alfreton Town 0

JOHN Bingham's players have responded in fine style to the looming threat of their manager's downfall by securing two successive wins since last week's unofficial ultimatum to the United chief.

The latest win was no exhibition of fine flowing football but it was a hard fought victory against a team themselves giving every ounce of their commitment to escape the lower reaches of the Unibond Premier League.

Last season Blues would most probably have conceded a point or three against such determined opposition but this time the defence, apart from a few dodgy first half moments, looked to have matters in hand. New signing Mark Jones, a stalwart of neighbours Northwich Vics, slotted into the right back berth in place of the suspended Dave German and may turn out to be a useful addition in this present climate of yellow card waving.

Moreover it shows Utd's determination to increase the squad with quality cover.

The all important strike came eight minutes into the second half.

Visiting 'keeper Massey, who looked uneasy all afternoon with crosses, dropped the ball under pressure from Jock Russell and when the loose ball fell for Paul Newton the midfielder drilled the ball home from the edge of the area.

Both sides enjoyed numerous opportunities, starting in the third minute when Newton's deep cross eluded Massey only for Darren Lyons to head wide with the goal invitingly unguarded. Massey misjudged another cross minutes later, but Paul Allen's shot from an acute angle was cleared off the line.

Alfreton hit back and had the ball in the net only for a raised flag to mute the midlanders' celebrations. The miss of the match came five minutes before the break, a low cross deflected kindly into the path of Phil Stafford but the forward somehow fell over the ball with an empty net gaping only five yards in front of him.

Blues enjoyed more of the second half and apart from the goal, Lyons powered a shot against the bar and Jock Russell had a couple of opportunities to extend the lead.

Alfreton were not altogether quiet but United 'keeper John Bagnall was not really seriously tested. Winsford's second win in four days lifted them out of the bottom three and into a better looking position just below mid-table.

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