Reds power to opening victory as Nicky Law sets new record

FT: Buxton 1    4 Alfreton Town

03 July 2015

Bill Wheatcroft's excellent match picture album here

A couple of records were broken as Alfreton Town kicked off their pre-season campaign with a comfortable 4-1 win at Northern Premier League Premier Division club Buxton on Friday night.
 
  Nicky Law and Russ O'Neill became the longest serving management team in the Reds' history, ousting the late Jim Bullions [1960-1968] from top spot as they began their ninth season in charge.
 
  And although official records of friendlies are not kept, July 3rd was thought to be the earliest that the team had ever been involved in a pre-season game.
 
  A strong starting line-up for the Reds produced an attacking force that a Buxton side, littered with unnamed triallists, found difficult to contain and were particularly harassed by the pace of John Johnston in the early stages.
 
  Three times Johnston had shots blocked in the opening fifteen minutes, the first inadvertently by Andi Thanoj and the second by former Reds' defender Greg Young before ex-Alfreton keeper Phil Barnes parried, following a useful Ryan Wilson throw.
 
  Skipper Dan Bradley homed in on a Niall Heaton cross in the 21st minute only to have Barnes punch the ball clear at the last moment, but seconds later the Reds edged ahead when Young headed into his own net at the near post from another lethal cross by Heaton.
 
  It was 2-0 to the visitors by the 25th minute when Wilson's deep cross from the left was gleefully converted by Sam Jones from the far edge of the six-yard box, then three minutes later Joe lronside smashed the ball against the underside of the crossbar from six yards following a tenacious by-line run from Bradley.
 
  A woeful back-pass let Buxton into the game on the half-hour mark, leaving Liam Hardy with an easy tap-in, but hardly had the clock ticked into the 31st minute when Johnston latched on to a loose ball to beat Barnes audaciously from 25 yards and restore Alfreton's two-goal advantage.
 
  Barnes went on to deny both lronside and Jones, whilst Reds' keeper Lewis King confidently dealt with a sharp angled drive from the Buxton scorer.


HT: Buxton 1    3 Alfreton Town

A much-changed side took the field for the second half, yet Alfreton managed to maintain the pressure throughout, and were rewarded with a fourth goal in the 57th minute when Sam Smith slotted home a Reece Gray pass.
 
  Alex Stacey unleashed a ferocious drive in the 64th minute that King saved almost arrogantly, then back at the other end Smith glanced a header wide from a 76th minute Thanoj corner.
 
  Two minutes from time a fifth goal looked inevitable when Gray jinked his way through the area before blazing over when confronted with a clear scoring opportunity, but overall the performance was a satisfactory one that ticked a lot of boxes.

Alfreton Town Team:

First half:
1 Lewis King
2 Stefan Galinski
3 Ryan Wilson
4 Sam Berry
5 Todd Jordan
6 Dan Bradley
7 Andi Thanoj
8 John Johnston
9 Sam Jones
10 Joe Ironside
11 Niall Heaton

Second half:
1 Lewis King
2 Darcy O'Connor
3 Warren Holmes
4 Stefan Galinski
5 Steve Hancock
6 Aaron Jones
7 Sam Smith
8 Reece Gray
9 Macauley Davies
10 Cliff Mayo
11 Trialist

Buxton Team:
1 Phil Barnes
2 A Trialist
3 Jamie Green
4 Derek Niven
5 A Trialist
6 Greg Young
7 A Trialist
8 A Trialist
9 Ashley Worsfold
10 Liam Hardy
11 A Trialist
Substitutes:
12 Shamari Doyle
14 A Trialist
15 A Trialist
16 A Trialist
17 Alex Stacey
18 Tim Ryan

Attendance: 175

Man of the Match: John Johnston

Referee: Mr J Simpson of Stockport Match Reports

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