Posted by: Laura Hammond
Mon 11th July 2022
Written by Liam Henton
Reds suffer narrow defeat against National League opposition.
Alfreton Town fell to a slender defeat in their latest pre-season test, in the sweltering Impact Arena heat, on Saturday (July 9) afternoon against National League play-off finalists Solihull Moors.
It was a physical and competitive work out for the most part and Billy Heath was no doubt pleased with what he saw, especially considering the difficult conditions for both sides.
Alfreton started well and Dayle Southwell’s fifth minute deflected freekick was held by Louie Moulden in the Moors goal.
The visitors, enjoying their first game since their agonising play-off defeat against Grimsby Town, began to come into the game as Ryan Barnett’s scuffed shot went wide of the post on 16 minutes.
Ten minutes later George Willis was called in to action for the first time as he held Alex Reid’s header from a Jamey Osborne free-kick.
The electric Bailey Hobson embarked on a lung bursting run down the right on 33 minutes and with the Reds two on two, striker Matt Rhead fired over the bar.
The only goal of the game arrived on 41 minutes when new recruit Ollie Brown’s defensive error presented Reid with an opportunity which he fired past Reds keeper Willis from a tight angle with the aid of a deflection.
A minute before half time, Rhead was presented with a chance after a lapse in concentration from the visitors back line, but could only shoot wide of the post from 25 yards.
The second half was a much more quiet and sedate spectacle. Only Willis returned for Alfreton as several changes were made by both sides.
Danny Preston was declared fit and made an appearance while new signing Brad Dockerty from Bradford Park Avenue made his first appearance of pre-season.
With 14 minutes to play, the dangerous Joe Sbarra was denied by Willis before the Reds’ shot stopper was at his brilliant best to tip an Andrew Dallas effort over the bar with a tremendous save.
Connor Branson’s well-struck low free-kick was well saved by the Solihull keeper in the 79th minute before Heath’s side almost snatched a notable draw, but the Alfreton trialist saw his shot blocked by the keeper with virtually the last kick of the game.
Next up Alfreton host National League side Notts County at the Impact on Tuesday (July 12) evening. 7.45pm kick-off.
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