15 July 2014
Dave Pursglove's match picture album here
Former Ivory Coast under-20 striker Armand Gnanuillet led the way with a first half hat-trick as last season's League Two Chesterfield took a firm grip of Tuesday night's pre-season friendly at the Impact Arena.
Alfreton Town's first outing of the campaign saw just five familiar faces on view [six, if you count the superb job of running the line by stand-in assistant referee Pam Adams, the club's Kit Manager] - Paul Clayton and Tom Shaw were on extended contracts and Bradley Wood re-signed, whilst defender Lathaniel Rowe-Turner and keeper Jon Stewart were welcomed back after successful loan spells.
There was also a start for Lee Stevenson, who had been on a brief loan a couple of seasons ago, whilst Jay McFadzean was a late substitute having made one appearance for the Reds last season.
Duane Courtney was given the responsibility of captaincy, but former Hereford United skipper Luke Graham was the first to draw applause with a goal-line clearance from Jay O'Shea's 14th minute angled drive.
However, Gnanuillet struck within a minute to fire past Stewart from the edge of the area from a Gary Roberts cross, then in response Graham headed over from a Dan Gray free-kick and Gray's shot was diverted behind by Chesterfield skipper Ian Evatt.
Gnanuillet's second goal was a simple back-post header from a deep O'Shea cross midway through the first half and he completed his treble three minutes before the break with a low drive from a Roberts' through-ball.
Between the second and third goals Gray curled a free-kick into the side-netting as Alfreton began to show promise, and Clayton was unfortunate to see his shot from a Nathan Hicks cross blocked by the attentive Sam Hird.
The second half was defragmented by numerous changes involving several unnamed trialists for both sides, whilst the majority of Chesterfield's team in the latter stages made reporting nigh on impossible by wearing numberless shirts.
Even Alfreton's goal in the 63rd minute was a bit of a "Whodunnit", with Trialist no. 19 pouncing to tap in from close range after Chesterfield's trialist keeper had fumbled a cross from the left just two minutes after replacing Jay Lynch.
It was 4-1 to the visitors by the 65th minute, and although there was no mistaking Rowe-Turner's spectacular header into his own net the identity of the crosser from the left remains a mystery.
The scoring concluded in the 69th minute with Charlie Raglan stroking home a trialist's cross from six yards, but the save of the night was made by Stewart four minutes from time from a trialist's stinging drive - the keeper promptly replaced by [you've guessed it] a trialist.
Alfreton Town Team:
Jon Stewart [trialist 86]
Bradley Wood [Jay McFadzean 72]
Duane Courtney [trialist h/t]
Chris Smith [Jordan Keane 59]
Lee Stevenson [trialist 80]
Paul Clayton [trialist h/t]
Nathan Hicks [trialist h/t]
Jake Sheridan [trialist 72]
Lynch [trialist 61]; Darikwa [trialist 68], Jones [Featherstone 61], Hird [Raglan 68], Morsy [trialist 61], Ryan [Humphreys 52], O'Shea [Boco 25], Roberts [trialist 65], Gardner [trialist 65], Gnanduillet [Morgan 52], Evatt.
Man of the Match: Lee Stevenson
Referee: Nick Hopton of Derby