13 July 2013
Dave Pursglove's Burton Albion match picture album here
Alfreton Town manager Nicky Law was delighted with his side's display in red hot, stifling conditions which saw the Reds share the honours with League Two visitors Burton Albion.
Despite the searing heat, there was an impressive amount of endeavour from both sides with both managers proclaiming the game to be an 'excellent workout'.
"For the best part of the game I thought we did really well, again against opposition better than we are going to come up against, we held our own for long periods" reflected the Reds boss.
Alfreton looked assured and confident as they passed the ball around in the first half and they took the lead on 21 minutes when Josh Law's 20-yard free kick deflected off the defensive wall and diverted into the net past stranded Brewers keeper Dean Lyness.
Before that though the Reds had been indebted to stand-in goalkeeper Mats Morch whose outstretched leg denied Alex MacDonald a goal after the Burton man had burst through and fired off a low shot on 12 minutes.
Four minutes later, the impressive Tom Shaw saw a 20-yarder deflected off a defender for a corner.
MacDonald and former Red Jimmy Phillips were prominent in the Brewers attacks and the latter almost equalised on 32 minutes when his right-footed shot beat the diving Morch but smacked against the right-hand post.
Burton central defender Ian Sharps wasted a good chance on 34 minutes when he rose highest to meet a Phillips corner but put his header yards over the top.
Both sides made several changes at half-time and it was Burton who were the sharper side in the early stages of the second period.
However, the first real chance of the second half fell to former Brewer Kristian Ramsey-Dickson who will be disappointed at his final product when he turned neatly on the edge of the penalty area and created the space for a shot which lacked power to trouble Burton keeper Dean Lyness.
Minutes later a terrific flicked header from Paul Clayton sent Ramsey-Dickson into the penalty area but was denied the chance of a shot by a smart piece of defending by Ian Sharps.
While Burton had the lion's share of possession at times, Alfreton still looked solid and they created another opening for Danny Meadows on the hour when Abion substitute Rory Delap launched himself into another very good block.
Burton began to turn the screw down the flanks and they deservedly drew level on 70 minutes when a Jimmy Phillips corner was met by a glancing header from trialist Rory Delap which arrowed into the bottom far corner.
A rash of changes in the latter stages failed to alter Alfreton's resolve and another Josh Law free kick brought a sharp low save from Lyness.
Mats Morch denied Burton the lead on 83 minutes with a great save to keep out an angled Jimmy Phillips shot after the winger had got in round the back of Bradley Wood.
The Brewers had two more chances to claim a win but youngster Marcus Harness had his angled drive tipped away by the diving Morch despite the referee awarding a goal kick and in the last minute, Dominic Knowles was presented with a very good opportunity but he shot weakly at Morch.
Alfreton Town Team:
Bradley Wood (Trialist, 70)
Chris Westwood (Trialist, 70)
Connor Franklin (Trialist, h/t)
Danny Meadows (Trialist, 70)
Tom Shaw (Josh Law, 63)
Josh Law (Dan Bradley, h/t)
Alastair Taylor (Kristian Ramsey-Dickson, h/t)
Paul Clayton (Trialist, 70)
Ben Tomlinson (Trialist, 70)
Burton Albion Team:
Lee Bell (Jack Dyer, h/t)
Joe Doyle (Dominic Knowles, h/t)
Alex MacDonald (Marcus Harness, 61)
Matty Palmer (Robbie Weir, h/t)
Liam Slade (Rory Delap, h/t)
Michael Symes (Matty Palmer, 71)
Alfreton Town - Josh Law (21). Burton Albion - Rory Delap (70).
Man of the Match: Mats Morch
Referee: Nick Hopton