Posted by: Laura Hammond
Mon 18th July 2022
Written by Liam Henton
Reds suffer third defeat of pre-season.
Alfreton Town are still in search of their first pre-season goal after Grimsby Town visited the Impact Arena on Saturday and left 4-0 victors.
In front of a crowd of 407, it was the Mariners who started the stronger of the two sides.
Harry Clifton forced a good save from the Reds’ number one George Willis before Alfreton were dealt a huge blow just moments later when Matt Rhead was forced off with a hamstring issue after only eight minutes.
Billy Heath’s newest recruit, Tom Denton, entered the fray but the Reds found themselves behind on the quarter hour mark with a very well taken half volley from the dangerous Jon McAtee.
In the 20th minute, a miraculous save from Willis denied Gavan Holohan’s close range header from a corner.
The Mariners began to dominate, however, and doubled their lead with 25 minutes played when former Lincoln City defender Luke Waterfall headed home Jordan Maguire-Drew’s free kick.
Alfreton struggled to create anything of real note in the first half, but Scott Garner battled well and won an Alfreton corner following a half chance in the area after Conor Branson was cautioned.
There was a noticeable improvement from the Reds after the break, with new signing Lewis Whitham introduced on 56 minutes; giving the Reds a catalyst up front in his pre-season appearance.
Heath’s men played some of their best football of pre-season to date as Fraser Preston fired over Bailey Hobson did likewise after a great run from Dwayne Wiley.
In the 74th minute, Alfreton went close to reducing their arrears, which their second half showing arguably deserved, when George Cantrill won back possession deep in the Grimsby half before the ball found its way to Hobson, who fired just wide when in a good position.
Paul Hurst’s visitors extended their lead against the run of play with just over 10 minutes remaining when substitute Steven Wearne made it 3-0 after a Reds defensive mix up.
Whitham fashioned a clear chance moments later as he went one-on-one with Grimsby’s Ollie Battersby, but the keeper made himself big to block the forward’s effort.
The scoring was complete on 84 minutes when Mariners youngster Aaron Braithwaite converted from close range.
Alfreton went close to a late consolation as Battersby saved from Preston before Whitham found the side netting with the last action on the game.
Next up for the Reds is Chesterfield at the Impact Arena on Tuesday (July 19) at 7.30pm.
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