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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 11 Aug 12 at 16:45 PM

Hitman Strikes Again

A first half header from Danny Hattersley was enough to claim all three points for County on the opening day of the season at Edgeley Park as Jim Gannon's young side gave a disciplined display against a tough Alfreton outfit.

The visitors began the game with a style and purpose unexpected by many County supporters as they created three goal scoring opportunities in the opening five minutes, veteran Iyesden Christie proving a handful for the Hatters back four.

Indeed Ben Tomlinson had the ball in Ian Ormson's net on 7 minutes, although the whistle had already gone for offside.

County's first attack of note had seen Sam Sheridan playing a neat through ball for Craig Hobson with Darran Kempson quick to snuff out the danger.

Ormson was forced into action again on 11 minutes, making a good blocking save from Christie as the visitors pushed forward again.

Good play from the Hatters, keeping the ball with good passing and movement brought their best chance of the half as Phil Barnes made a superb double save from Sheridan and Hobson, the second of which gave County their first corner on 14 minutes.

From Barnes punched clearance the visitors almost took the lead on the counter attack, Tomlinson picking up the ball on the half way before chipping goal wards from 35 yards, his effort just clearing the bar.

Alex Kenyon struck the Alfreton post on 21 minutes with a shot from 25 yards as the Hatters looked to get a foothold in the match.

Nathan Arnold, the most lively of the Alfreton attackers, created an opportunity for himself as he danced around the County defence to slide a shot just passed Ormson's post on 23 minutes, before coming even closer when he rounded Ormson only to see his shot cleared off the line superbly by James Tunnicliffe on 32 minutes

The visitors, who were enraging the home support with some of their tackling, had two players spoken to by the referee within a couple of minutes. Josh Law following poor challenge on Kenyon and Dan Bradley after a poor challenge on Jon Nolan.

The game changed in County's favour on 35 minutes as Hattersley headed home to give them a lead they weren't to surrender.

A superb break by Nolan and Kenyon made space for Sean Newton on the left, his superb cross being met with aplomb by the Hatters hitman on edge of 6 yard box

Barnes then kept his side in the game with a full length save to deny Nolan a first goal in County colours on 37 minutes after good work from Hattersley.

Christie, still causing the County defence problems, had efforts blocked by Sheridan and Tunnicliffe as the visitors looked for a leveller.

Sheridan's match was over as the half came to an end as a poor challenge from Kempson saw him leave the pitch on a stretcher, the Alfreton skipper being shown a yellow card from referee Joyce on 44 minutes. Danny Whitehead replacing the stricken Sheridan

HT: County 1 Alfreton 0

The visitors physical approach to the match was still in evidence as Whitehead was soon in the wars himself as a strong challenge from Connor Franklin left him in a heap on 52 minutes. Simon Russell finding himself in the refs book after bringing down Nolan from behind on 55 minutes

Their attacking options were increased as they brought on striker Paul Clayton Anton Brown with Law wasting an opportunity from a free kick, blasting high and wide whilst Theo Streete, with a neat turn to lose Newton, shot just wide on 61 minutes.

Although keeper Barnes was proving to be their best player as he pulled off a stunning save to keep his side in the game on 65 minutes

Whitehead's cross, after great work from Nolan, found Hattersley on the edge of the 6 yard box. The strikers header looked all ends up a goal, until Barnes' fingertip save.

Kempson, constantly jeered throughout the half, felt the full force of a Nolan challenge on 71 minutes to earn a few words from the referee.

The visitors were still looking dangerous on the break as Russell curled a deft effort just wide of Ormson's goal on 73 minutes and Clayton heading over from a corner kick.

Bradley eventually found his way into the referees book after yet another foul on Nolan on 77 minutes.

Danny Rowe, making a welcome return to Edgeley Park, replacing Kenyon was soon in action finding Nolan on the left. Good play between by Nolan and Hobson almost sees Hattersley in on goal. Rowe then found Newton on the left only for fullback's cross to be deflected behind.

Jordan Fagbola replaced Whitehead on 81 minutes, with the youngster still struggling after the earlier knock.

With the game drawing to a close Barnes made another good save to deny Hattersley a second goal with Arnold missing a glorious opportunity to level, heading over the bar when it appeared easier to score.

FT County 1 Alfreton 0

Starting XI: Ormson, Halls, Newton, Connor, O'Donnell, Tunnicliffe, Kenyon (Rowe), Hattersley, Hobson, Sheridan (Whitehead), Nolan.

Subs: King, Whitehead (Fagbola), Piergianni, Rowe, Fagbola.

ATT: 3,448 (146)

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