Posted by: Laura Hammond
Mon 4th July 2022
Written by Liam Henton
Reds hold League One opposition to draw in impressive first pre-season outing.
Fifty-six days after the conclusion of the 2021/22 season Alfreton Town took to the Impact Arena pitch for the opening outing of pre-season as preparations for the new National League North campaign began.
Billy Heath’s squad, which included a healthy contingent of last season’s team, faced stiff opposition in a strong side from Sky Bet League One side Sheffield Wednesday.
In front of an impressive turnout of 1,946 spectators, a resilient and committed performance from the Reds saw them record a credible draw with their illustrious opponents.
The first action of any note took place in the 13th minute when Adeniran drove from mid-field for the visitors before the ball fell to the experienced Barry Bannan, who saw his half volley deflect wide for a corner.
On 22 minutes a brave block from Danny Preston denied Adeniran before Jay Glover’s header was expertly saved by the ever reliable George Willis.
Just two minutes later, Dele Bashiru showed all his strength to beat his man and force Willis in to another save.
With 25 minutes on the clock, the impressive number 7 trialist for the Reds turned and flashed a shot wide of the post.
Danny Preston was forced off with an arm injury on 33 minutes after colliding with the wall and was replaced by the hard working Henri Wilder, one of the new recruits signed from Southern League Premier Central side Tamworth FC.
Four minutes before half time, Dayle Southwell’s freekick was helped on by Dwayne Wiley to Conor Branson, who saw his header held by former Alfreton Town loanee keeper Cameron Dawson at close range.
HALF TIME – Reds 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday
Only Henri Wilder and Adam Lund returned for the second half as the Reds made nine changes from their first half Xl.
The Owls went close within the opening 60 seconds of the second half as Patterson’s shot was blocked by a trialist.
Alfreton created their clearest chance of the game on 58 minutes when Adam Lund’s powerful header flew over the bar from a corner taken by a trialist.
George Byers fired over the bar on 69 minutes for Wednesday and Hunt saw a tame shot easily saved by recent Reds signing Jake Askew with eight minutes to go as the match largely petered out in the closing stages.
Overall Billy Heath would have been very pleased with the workout and defensive solidarity show as everyone in an Alfreton shirt put in a real shift.
? Billy Heath shares his thoughts after stalemate with the Owls.
— Alfreton Town FC (@AlfretonTownFC) July 3, 2022
Next up the Reds host National League Play off finalists Solihull Moors at the Impact Arena on Saturday (July 9).
Picture credit – Alfreton Town FC
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