25 July 2015
Bill Wheatcroft and Adam Ogden's Match Picture Album here
Alfreton Town continued their positive pre-season with a 4-2 win at Stocksbridge Park Steels on Saturday, after twice falling behind to their Evostick First Division [South] hosts.
On a tricky pitch early promise from the Reds, which had seen Sam Jones head over from a seventh minute Dan Bradley cross and an Andi Thanoj free-kick six minutes later that Martyn Scully almost headed into his own net, seemed to have evaporated when an 18th minute Adam Hinchcliffe corner led to the opening goal.
Opinion was divided as to whether an Alfreton defender or Brandon Cardwell had headed the ball past Reds' keeper Nick Draper, but the Stocksbridge defender certainly wheeled away in celebration and the hosts' official website later confirmed he was the scorer.
Within 60 seconds though Joe lronside had picked his spot with an angled left-foot drive from a precision Niall Heaton cross, but the latter then dragged a glorious chance wide ten minutes later.
Stocksbridge regained the lead on 35 minutes, again from a corner, Cardwell again applying the finishing touch after the ball had bobbled around the box.
Alfreton emerged from the break with purpose, and within 19 minutes of the restart had established a 4-2 lead, Joe Leesley superbly heading home a Bradley cross from eight yards to restore parity on 50 minutes.
Seven minutes later Sam Smith stretched out a long leg to divert yet another Bradley cross past keeper Sam Andrew from six yards, then the scoring was completed by Jason Paling in the 64th minute with a close-range stooping header from a Cliff Moyo cross.
Paling went close with another header two minutes later, again from a Moyo cross, then a further quality delivery from Bradley saw Smith head inches wide.
Leesley almost pulled off the goal of the day with an intuitive flick with the outside of his boot after good approach work by Paling, the ball just evading the back post.
Steels were kept at bay throughout the second half, with Draper hardly touching the ball, but an isolated chance that fell to Lee Garside perhaps should have been converted.
Alfreton Town Team:
Tom Allan [Stefan Galinski h/t]
Todd Jordan [Sam Berry h/t]
Andi Thanoj [Jason Paling 55 mins]
Sam Jones [Joe Leesley h/t]
Joe lronside [Sam Smith h/t]
Jamie Jackson [Joe lronside 66] [trialist 70]
Stocksbridge Park Steels Team:
Cardwell [Laight 66]
Reay [McFadyen 55]
Hinchcliffe [Thompson 66]
Critchlow [Hoyle 60]
Man of the Match: Dan Bradley
Referee: Ashley Guest of Sheffield