Posted by: Laura Hammond
Fri 29th July 2022
Written by Liam Henton
Reds secure stunning pre-season victory.
In front of one of the biggest crowds ever seen at the Impact Arena, Alfreton Town notched up their maiden win of pre-season by dispatching a strong Derby County side courtesy of Fraser Preston and Dayle Southwell goals.
The Rams’ squad included several first team players, which undoubtedly provided a confidence boost in the Reds’ dressing room post game.
The first action saw Southwell’s free-kick held by experienced goalkeeper Scott Loach in the second minute.
Alfreton took a well deserved lead in the 13th minute when F. Preston showed remarkable composure to round Loach and fire calmly into an empty net as the Reds finally had their first goal of pre-season.
The dangerous Eiran Cashin could only head wide when unchallenged as the Rams tried to respond, but in truth it was Billy Heath’s men who looked the more likely to add to their advantage.
Tom Denton headed wide from a Southwell free-kick on 19 minutes before seeing another of his headers deflect for a corner seven minutes later.
Everyone in a Reds shirt was playing at the top of their game, but for all of Alfreton’s hard work the Rams almost snatched an equalizer when Cashin’s powerful free header was superbly cleared off the line by the exceptional Danny Preston.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half, the Reds got their just rewards when they doubled their lead. An error from Craig Forsyth presented the ball to the tireless Southwell who showed amicable composure to keep his cool as he rounded Rams substitute keeper Harrison Foulkes to slot into an empty net.
Both sides made a plethora of changes as the second half progressed with Denton amongst the players withdrawn for Alfreton as he continues to work on his fitness.
The changes inevitably altered the momentum of the game and the impressive Sean Robertson found the top corner with a peach of a finish from long distance to beat George Willis in the Alfreton goal as Derby made it 2-1.
The Reds, however, showed grit and determination to stand strong against their EFL opponents.
Bailey Hobson’s audacious long range effort almost forced a fumble from Foulkes but he grasped at the second attempt on 89 minutes.
Alfreton substitute keeper Jake Askew was called in to action in the final moments of the game as he thwarted Louie Sibley with an excellent save to secure victory over the Rams.
Alfreton wrap up their pre-season with a short trip to Long Eaton United’s newly refurbished Grange Park on Saturday before the long-awaited curtain raiser of the National League North campaign arrives with the visit of Chester FC to Impact Arena on Saturday, August 6.
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