18 July 2015
Chris Bradley's match picture album here
Alfreton Town tasted defeat for the first time in four pre-season outings but could count themselves unfortunate not to have gained at least a share of the spoils as Nicky Law's new-look side once again impressed.
The Reds took the lead on 12 minutes thanks to John Johnston's alertness and calm finish but then found themselves 3-1 down by the hour mark.
Despite playing their third game in a week against strong Football League opposition, Nicky Law's side refused to give in and reduced the arrears on 70 minutes through a superb 25 yard free kick strike from the impressive Andi Thanoj and the Reds were only denied an equaliser with two minutes left by a fantastic point-blank range save by former Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll which ensured the Magpies made it four wins from four.
Alfreton defender Tom Allan was fortunate on six minutes when his delayed clearance struck Notts striker Jimmy Spencer but thankfully the ball rebounded through to home keeper Nick Draper.
County produced a lovely flowing move through the middle on eight minutes which cut Alfreton open and Filip Valencic had the ball in the Alfreton net on but the effort was ruled out for offside.
Alfreton took the lead on 12 minutes when JOHN JOHNSTON capitalised on a defensive County error from a free kick to confidently round keeper Roy Carroll and stroke the ball into an empty net.
Notts hit back to create a chance for Gill Swerts but his shot took a slight deflection and flew into the arms of Draper who was well positioned on his front post.
Draper then produced a fine diving save to pluck a Spencer header out of the air after he had been picked out by a pinpoint cross from the Notts trialist right back, former Arsenal player Justin Hoyte, on 20 minutes then Alan Smith smacked an eight yarder against the face of the Alfreton crossbar on 25 minutes after the Reds for once failed to clear their lines.
In reply Dan Bradley broke through the middle but could not find a finish as the ball got caught underneath his feet.
Nick Draper went full length again on 28 minutes to push aside a dipping 20 yard free kick from Liam Noble as the visitors continued to press.
However, Notts were almost caught out again on the half-hour when a weak back pass from Hoyte almost enabled John Johnston to get in behind again but this time Roy Carroll came out and hacked clear.
The Magpies equalised on 33 minutes when a ball in from the right by Genaro Snijders picked out JIMMY SPENCER who produced a neat turn in the area before despatching a crisp 12 yarder past the diving Draper and into the far corner.
Johnston’s pace and tireless running continued to cause Notts problems and the Reds went close again on 45 minutes when a left wing cross from Ryan Wilson was met by an audacious back-heel by Sam Jones six yards out which flew into the grateful arms of Roy Carroll.
Alfreton made two changes at half-time with Joe Leesley replacing Joe Ironside up front and Sam Berry on for Ryan Wilson.
County made nine changes at the break and substitute Wes Atkinson put the visitors ahead on 48 minutes with a firm side-foot home from just inside the penalty area to finish a precision pull-back from Hoyte down the right.
Alfreton manager Nicky Law changed keepers on 54 minutes with trialist Fabian Spiess, ironically a former Magpie, taking over from Nick Draper who had a very good first half.
Alfreton’s first corner of the game came on 57 minutes when an Andi Thanoj shot was deflected by a defender and from the flag kick Todd Jordan couldn’t get his feet right on the front post and an opportunity disappeared.
County went 3-1 up on 60 minutes when substitute Hayden Hollis rose highest at the far post to head home a Adam Campbell corner, Todd Jordan requiring treatment in the process.
A triple substitution on 62 minutes saw Todd replaced by Stefan Galinski, Jason Paling come on for Sam Jones and striker Sam Smith on for Tom Allan.
Alfreton suffered a blow when John Johnston suddenly pulled up in full flight with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, Sam Jones returned in his place on 66 minutes.
The Reds reduced the arrears to 3-2 on 70 minutes when ANDI THANOJ produced a superb strike to despatch a 25 yard free kick up and over the wall which beat Carroll all ends up as it sped into the top of the net.
Alfreton continued to press to the end and Notts had double cause to thank keeper Carroll on 88 minutes when he saved a deflected Jason Paling shot and followed up to keep out a point blank follow up header from Joe Ironside.
Alfreton Town Team:
Substitutes (all used):
Fabian Spiess (GK)
Notts County Team:
Kyle De Silva
Substitute not used: Scott Loach (GK)
Man of the Match: Nick Draper
Referee: Nick Hopton of Derby