Quakers gave themselves too much to do with an uncharacteristic charitable display against Alfreton.
After dominating the first 20 minutes, they conceded two goals in nine minutes, and after Josh Gillies pulled a goal back, went 4-1 down by the hour mark.
There was a late fightback, in which Quakers scored twice in a minute, but they couldn’t force the equaliser.
Quakers put the Alfreton defence under immediate pressure with a long throw by Gary Brown into the box, but Kev Burgess was pulled up for a foul, then Hardy went down under a challenge from Terry Kennedy, but the ref waved play on.
Quakers had another chance on 4 minutes when another Brown throw caused problems, and Liam Hardy set up Gillies six yards out, but couldn’t get a clean touch.
On 7 minutes Gillies sent Hardy away in the inside left position, and he sidestepped a defender on the edge of the box and curled a right foot shot over the top.
Terry Galbraith nearly put Quakers in front on 11 minutes. He interecpeted a crossfield pass in his own half, steamed forward, beat two men and hit a left foot shot that Fabian Spiess pushed away for a corner.
Quakers nearly scored from the corner, when the ball came out to Thompson, who then chipped the ball to the far post where Mark Beck headed wide.
Alfreton took the lead against the run of play on 22 minutes, when they broke away from a throw in and Liam Hearn put the ball through for Craig Westcarr to run on and slip past the advancing Peter Jameson.
Quakers nearly equalised when Beck kept the ball in on the far side, played the ball inside for Gillies, who sidestepped a defender and hit a low shot that Spiess parried away.
But Alfreton broke away on 31 minutes, and a won a right wing corner that Brad McGowan headed against the crossbar, and Liam Hearn headed in the rebound for the second.
Quakers responded with a free kick into the box by Phil Turnbull that dropped for Gillies, but the keeper blocked his shot.
Quakers pulled a goal back on 40 minutes. He was tripped by McGowan as he made a run forward, and he clipped the ball right footed over the defensive wall into the bottom corner for his first goal for the club.
But within two minutes, Alfreton were 3-1 up when Andy Monkhouse fired home left footed from a right wing cross.
Quakers had a penalty shout on 48 minutes when Hardy and McGowan chased a diagonal ball across the Alfreton box, Hardy went down but the ref pointed for a goal kick. Then on 52 minutes Hardy controlled a long ball, took aim, and fired just wide from 30 yards.
Turnbull then chipped a delightful ball from the right into the box, where Galbraith just failed to get a touch.
Quakers got caught on the counter again though on 63 minutes, when Westcarr, on the right, played the ball inside for Bradley, who ran into the box, and even though he appeared to be tripped by Jameson, the ball ran on for Hearn to tap in.
Quakers tried to respond, and Gary Brown, who had been upfield for a setpiece, chested the ball down, swivelled and hit a right foot volley that went just wide.
But again Alfreton broke into the box, Quakers couldn’t get the ball away, and Hearn won possession but blazed over from six yards.
Gillies pulled a goal back on 75 minutes. Sub Amar Purewal was held back 25 yards out, and Gillies coolly curled the free kick over the wall and into the net
Quakers got another back, when Beck nodded down a right wing cross for Purewal to slot home
It was all Darlo after that. Turnbull had a shot blocked from the edge of the area, and Leon Scott’s volley was saved at full stretch by Speiss.
And in the last seconds Spiess saved from Cartman’s flick at point blank range
Team: Jameson, Hunter (sub Purewal 71), Galbraith, Turnbull, Burgess, Brown, Thompson (sub Mitchell 61), Scott, Beck, Hardy (sub Cartman 61), Gillies
Subs: Bell, Nowakowski,
Booking: Brown, Turnbull
Spiess, Allan, Jordan, Kennedy (sub Heaton 63), McGowan, Nyoni, Wilson, Hearn (sub Garnett 85), Monkhouse, Bradley, Westcarr (sub Smith 90+6)
Subs: Smith, Priestly
Goals: Westcarr 22 mins 0-1, Hearn 31 mins 0-2, Gillies 40 mins, 1-2, Monkhouse 43 mins, 1-3, Hearn 63 1-4. Gillies 75 mins, 2-4, Purewal 76 mins, 3-4.
Bookings: McGowan, Jordan, Smith
Referee: Simon Mather (Manchester)