Alfreton Town boss John McDermott was delighted to see his side push League Two neighbours Mansfield Town all the way before losing today’s friendly 2-0 to two late high-quality finishes.
The National League North side kick-off their season with a visit from Blyth Spartans next weekend and McDermott said: “I was very pleased with that apart from the scoreline – no one likes to lose.
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“Overall I thought we were excellent. First half I thought we looked a threat going forward.
“After 15 minutes they had to change their system to match mine and that’s down to the players. They forced a League Two full-time team who are fancied for promotion to change for us. So we were doing something right.
“At half-time I think we deserved to go in at least 0-0.
“In the second half fitness comes into it and then they obviously brought another team on. They’ve got two teams to try and beat us with.
“If they’d kept the team on they started with I think we’d have got a result out of it.
“But it was fresh legs, sharpness, and someone who was playing for Chelsea not long ago who has made the difference with clever play and pace.”
He added: “Overall pre-season has been very good for us. We’ve managed to play against some good sides and we’ve done well going forward and not been bullied. That’s what our league is about.
“You have to be able to handle sustained pressure and then have the bravery to go and play when you can.”
New boss McDermott has had a busy summer, signing 16 players, but said: “I said today it doesn’t look like we have 16 new players. It looks like a few of them have been together for years.
“Now it’s all about having a clean bill of health for the first game.”