21 July 2012
Dave Pursglove's match picture album here
Alfreton Town could count themselves considerably unlucky to taste a 2-0 defeat against what was essentially a Leeds United reserve side which contained four players with first team experience.
Nicky Law's side created chances throughout the 90 minutes, saw a late header hit a post and had the ball in the net twice, both efforts ruled out for offside, but their profligacy cost them dearly in the end.
The Reds began in very confident fashion, stringing passes together and gaining good progress and after just five minutes Nathan Arnold held off a challenge from the last defender and got in an angled eight-yard shot which visiting keeper Paul Rachubka kept out with his legs.
Seven minutes later Arnold cut across the edge of the penalty area and forced a smart low save from Rachubka with a well-struck shot.
Ross Killock went very close for the visitors with a downward header which cleared the left-hand post by inches from Zac Thompson's curling free-kick.
The midfield battle was one to savour with Dan Bradley and Anton Brown strongly prominent before the latter departed with bruised toes on 34 minutes.
Both sides enjoyed good possession after that although without really making the goalkeepers work too hard in the remainder of the first half.
The hosts began the second half well and Arnold twice more found space in the left-hand side of the visiting penalty area but both his shots lacked potency.
After Darran Kempson was adjudged to have fouled Simon Leniguan in the area, Alfreton's new goalkeeper Phil Barnes saved a 51st minute Zac Thompson penalty and produced an outstanding stop to keep out Thompson's close range follow up.
Leeds were not to be denied and they took the lead on the hour when the lively Dominic Poleonburst through from the right past Darran Kempson and fired in a low shot past Barnes from ten yards.
A second goal followed on 70 minutes with Thompson's curling ball through the penalty area arriving at the feet of Lewis Turner at the far post who fired into the roof of the net
Leeds looked the sharper in the second half but Alfreton battled well and continued to create chances to the end, unfortunately none of which were taken, substitute trialist Tom Denton going the closest with a header which came back off the inside of the far post and rebounded into the grateful arms of Rachubka.
Alfreton Town Team:
1 Phil Barnes, 2 Josh Law, 3 Connor Franklin, 4 Darran Kempson, 5 Adam Quinn, 6 Dan Bradley, 8 Anton Brown (Daniel Meadows 34), 9 Trialist (Paul Clayton, 60), 14 Simon Russell (Trialist, 55), 11 Trialist (Trialist, h/t), 12 Nathan Arnold.
Leeds United Team:
1 Paul Rachubka, 2 Sam Byram (Monty Gimpel, 81), 3 Charlie Taylor, 4 Zac Thompson (c), 5 Ross Killock, 6 Trialist, 7 Nathan Turner, 8 Charlie Clamp (Jordan Snodin 68), 9 Dominic Poleon, 10 Simon Leniguan (Sanchez Payne 84), 11 Lewis Turner.
Substitutes not used: Eric Grimes (GK) and Scott Harrison.
Man of the Match: Dan Bradley
Referee: Mr Rob Shoebridge of Ripley