Alfreton Town manager Nicky Law expressed his relief after watching his side finally see off a battling Belper Town team to win this season’s Derbyshire Senior Cup after a 4-3 penalty shoot-out success.
The Reds were held to a goalless draw at the end of 90 minutes by a spirited Belper Town side who ply their football two rungs down the football pyramid.
The tie then went into a penalty shoot-out which Alfreton edged 4-3 in the end to claim the trophy for the first time since the 2002/03 season.
The long-serving Reds boss said: “I am pleased or the players and pleased for the supporters.
“I thought we huffed and puffed a bit but give them (Belper Town) credit. They snapped into every tackle, they competed for every ball, and they made it hard work for us.
“They didn’t let us settle, and (even) when we did settle, we were a little bit anxious and a little bit edgy and it was a tough game which could have gone either way really”.
Law admitted that the game plan going into the club’s first Senior Cup Final since 2008 was just to forget all about last Saturday’s disappointing 3-0 home league defeat by Stockport County.
“I was disappointed Saturday. I don’t think it was a 3-0 game. We’ve gone for it a little bit at 1-0 and had we scored we would have been back in it.
“But, back to tonight, we knew they would come and have a really good go at us and we knew they would be 100 per cent flat out and if we weren’t right, we would struggle.
“If I am honest, we came in at half-time and we had toiled. We just said we had to match it, we had to try and run them out of it and to be fair to them, they kept going and they made a real good game of it.
“It would have been disappointing to have lost it. We said before the game, ‘You are in a final, you want to win it’.
“The pitch was difficult but we are pleased to have won it.”
The success represents Law’s second piece of silverware with Alfreton having previously lifted the 2010/2011 Conference North title.
This Saturday, Alfreton Town bring the curtain down on the 2015/16 season with a tough-looking trip to second-placed North Ferriby United.
Kick-off at North Ferriby’s Eon Visial Media Stadium is 3pm.