03 August 2011
Match picture album here
ALFRETON Town's 1-0 win at Matlock Town may not have achieved the global recognition of events 72 hours earlier, but with 13 fewer goals, this was surely a more useful workout for the Reds just ten days prior to their Conference Premier debut.
Chris Senior's 87th minute strike from eight yards, that went in off the back post from Nathan Jarman's clinical pass, was enough to separate the teams in a tight contest in which Matlock created clear chances to counter Alfreton's territorial advantage.
The pick of the first half action saw Paul Clayton head over from Nathan Arnold's cross in the 18th minute, while Tyeisse Nightingale forced Dan Lowson into a finger-tip save 13 minutes later.
Jamie Mullan had a low drive held by Jon Kennedy 13 minutes into the second half, then in response on the hour Simon Sturdy's effort from a Chris Bettney free-kick had to be scrambled behind for a corner.
Jordan Hall had a shot repelled by Matlock keeper Kennedy from Josh Law's long throw on 65 minutes, then both Clayton and Jake Moult met a similar barrier with useful attempts to break the deadlock.
Lee Whittington almost found a way through for the Gladiators in the 79th minute, but his strong low drive was held by Lowson, then Anton Brown had to throw himself in the path of Kris Bowler's shot to prevent the hosts taking an 83rd minute lead.
Matlock's squad contained no less than six former Reds' players in Bowler, Nightingale, Bettney, Steve Warne, Ryan Mallon and Michael Harcourt, but the most notable performance of a former Impact Arena favourite was the flawless one of referee Matt Walsh.
Matt is third in the all-time Alfreton Town appearances list with 320 games as a tenacious midfielder in two spells between 1989 and 1997, having scored 72 goals in the process, and would not normally be allowed to officiate in a competitive match involving his former club.
Alfreton Town Team:
1 Dan Lowson
2 Josh Law
3 Anton Brown
4 Theo Streete
5 Greg Young (c) (Adie Hawes, 69)
6 Matt Wilson (Jordan Hall, h/t)
7 Nathan Jarman (Chris Senior, h/t)
8 Levi Mackin (Jake Moult , h/t)
9 Paul Clayton (Nathan Jarman, 72)
10 Drew Broughton (Jamie Mullan, h/t)
11 Nathan Arnold (Connor Franklin, h/t)
All substitutes used.
Matlock Town Team:
1 Jon Kennedy
2 Michael Harcourt (Ben Algar, 57)
3 Adam Yates
4 Liam King
5 Simon Sturdy (Kris Witcombe, 85)
6 James Lukic (c)
7 Chris Bettney (Kris Bowler, 75)
8 Lee whittington
9 TJ Nightingale (Will Kendall, 84)
10 Gareth Davies (Steve Warne, 66)
11 Ryan Mallon (James Knowles, 80)
Substitute not used; Nick Buxton
Man of the Match: Jamie Mullan
Referee: Matt Walsh of Sheffield