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Alfreton take Walsall to FA Cup second-round replay

Billy Heath’s side claimed a goalless draw (Barrington Coombs/PA)
Billy Heath’s side claimed a goalless draw (Barrington Coombs/PA)

Alfreton’s hopes of reaching the FA Cup third round for the first time in their history remain alive following a battling 0-0 home draw with Walsall.

There was little to choose between the National League North hosts and the Saddlers, who ply their trade two divisions higher.

The Derbyshire part-timers will travel to the Midlands for the replay still optimistic that they can land a trip to Championship Southampton, who await the winners.

Walsall were controversially denied a third-minute opener when Alfreton keeper George Willis was awarded a free-kick, even though he did not appear to have been impeded as he helped an inswinging Ryan Stirk corner into his own net.

At the other end, Adam Lund’s long throws caused issues for the Saddlers’ defence with Jackson Smith making a flying save to keep out Dwayne Wiley’s header after the home midfielder had hurled the ball into the box.

The visitors squandered an excellent opportunity to forge in front early in the second period when an unopposed Isaac Hutchinson fired wastefully over from eight yards.

But Alfreton midfielder Harrison Perritt twice went close to winning the tie for Town – his first attempt bouncing just wide and the second forcing a smart parry by Smith.