28 July 2012
Bill Wheatcroft and Dave Pursglove's match picture album here
Burnley Mad website match report here
An experimental Alfreton Town fell to defeat against a slick-passing Burnley development side in a decent contest as the Reds' pre-season build-up continued.
This time there were three un-named trialists with starting shirts and another one on the bench and the home side understandably struggled for cohesion at times.
However, Nicky Law's side did create a handful of decent first half chances but Clarets keeper Jon Stewart, who had a successful loan spell at the Impact Arena at the end of the 2011/12 season, proved equal to everything that came his way.
Burnley threatened first with just two minutes gone but Steve Hewitt's 25 yarder was comfortably saved by Phil Barnes.
An immediate riposte saw Theo Streete find himself clear but his 18 yarder was parried away in style by Stewart.
The visitors took the lead on ten minutes when George Porter put Mehdi Lazaar clear and he rifled hom a low ten yard angled shot past Barnes.
Alfreton replied and one raid ended with Nathan Arnold being sent away but his shot was blocked away for a corner by Stewart. From Dan Bradley's flag kick, skipper Darran Kempson got up well but headed back across goal and well past the post.
Alfreton pieced together some good moves with Nathan Arnold particularly impressive but his best efforts were denied by Stewart.
Lazaar was prominent for the visitors and he spoiled another good chance when he flashed a volley over the top at the far post.
Both sides ejoyed good spells of possession with Alfreton's a more patient build-up compared with a swift-raiding Burnley side.
Alfreton continued to enjoy some space down the right but Josh Law's driven shot from the right of the penalty area arrived quickly at the feet of Arnold who had to snatch at the chance in front of goal and the ball flew wide.
It was Burnley who went closest before the break though, Macdonald's cross setting Porter up for a shot which flashed into the side netting at the far post.
Burnley doubled their lead on 48 minutes when Joe Jackson despatched a near post header to finish an Archie Love cross.
Numerous changes were made by both sides in the second half and Alfreton remained in contention through sheer hard work.
Ant Wilson had replaced one of the striking trialists at half-time and after he won a 51st minute corner down the right, from Bradley's well-flighted flag kick, Kempson got up well but his header dropped just over the bar.
Former Mansfield Town right back Luke O'Neill got to the byline and pulled back for Macdonald whose shot was clutched out of the air by Barnes.
As the Reds responded, a Simon Russell corner saw a header from a trialist flash narrowly over.
The visitors wrapped up victory with a third goal came on 75 minutes with a cross from the left by Adam Evans saw Steve Hewitt's deft touch divert the ball into the far corner.
Alfreton Town Team:
1. Phil Barnes
2. Josh Law
3. Connor Franklin (Simon Russell, 65)
4. Darran Kempson
5. Adam Quinn (Leigh Franks, 65)
7. Theo Strteete (Trialist, 77)
9. Trialist (Anthony Wilson, h/t)
10. Nathan Arnold
Dan Bradley (Danny Meadows 57)
1. Jon Stewart
2. Luke O'Neill (Aryn Williams 65)
3. Alex Coleman
4. Tom Anderson
5. Kevin Long (Jack Errington 65)
6. Steve Hewitt
7. George Porter (Luke Gallagher 65)
8. Archie Love
9. Joe Jackson
10. Alex Macdonald (Adam Evans 65)
11. Mehdi Lazaar (Shay McCartan 75)
Man of the Match: Nathan Arnold
Referee: Tim Walker of Belper