Zack Kotwica had an afternoon to remember as he struck a hat-trick for Gloucester City in a showstopping performance, with Luke Hopper capping off a comfortable victory over Alfreton Town.

It was a dream start for Tim Harris’ men as a great bit of awareness and work ethic from top scorer Luke Hopper was pounced on by Zack Kotwica.

Hopper, not giving up on the ball, powered to the byline and lashed the ball across and with confusion reigning between Spiess and McGowan, Kotwica capitalised on the loose ball from six yards and smashed home into an empty net.

It was another returning man to the team that should have been on the scoresheet as Joe Hanks dropped a pinpoint cross into Chris Knowles 12 yards out, but Knowles could only head over.

Gloucester were having all the possession and Alfreton weren’t really at the races as Luke Thomas and Hanks worked a short corner well, before Thomas curled a stunning effort that went inches wide.

Alfreton began to get a grasp on the game and were it not for an incredible stop by Jasbir Singh, they would have been level.

After the ball ricocheted around the box, it fell to Wesley Atkinson who shot back across Singh who, somehow, adjusted to get to the ball and stop it on the line.

Luke Thomas was performing up to his usual high standards as he sold Richards a beautiful dummy before crossing to Hopper, but it took an excellent bit of goalkeeping by Spiess to smother the Tigers top scorer’s shot.

As the second half started the Tigers kept up the pressure, as some lovely intricate play by Hanks, Kotwica and Hopper with a series of flicks saw Hopper beat the offside trap but shoot wide.

Luke Thomas unleashed a stunning strike from 30 yards that rattled off the crossbar and cannoned away from danger.

Alfreton were coming into the game more and more and had a great chance with centre half Brad McGowan, who flicked a glancing header towards goal that shaved the outside of the psot.

Kotwica had his second, though, as Luke Thomas’ tame effort could only be parried by Spiess into the path of Zack Kotwica, who had his second tap in from inside the six yard box.

The former Cheltenham man was firing on all cylinders, and when he was fouled in the box for a penalty, all eyes were on him as he stepped up to take the spot kick.

A stuttered run up later, and Kotwica had an extremely well deserved hat trick as he fired a thunderous penalty past Singh.

In the dying moments of the game, Hopper robbed possession on halfway and, after carrying forward for 40 yards, unleashed a stunning cross-goal shot past Spiess, to add the icing on a very delicious cake for Tim Harris’ side.

Gloucester City: Singh (capt), K. Thomas, Hall, Deaman, Avery, Knowles, Hanks (McGrory 83’), Williams, Hopper, Kotwica (Parker 88’), L. Thomas

Subs not used: King, Hamilton, Moseley

Alfreton Town: Spiess, Richards, Wilson, Jordan, McGowan, Monkhouse (capt), Shelton (Smith 76’), Atkinson (Marshall 62’), Westcarr, Hearn (Allan 83’), McFadzean

Subs not used: Heaton, Kennedy

Referee: Josh Smith

Attendance: 435

Star man: Zack Kotwica

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