ALFRETON Town manager Nicky Law was in a far better mood after seeing his side pick up their first Blue Square Bet Premier Division point of the season on Tuesday night.
Law had to watch his side concede three goals in uncharacteristic fashion and miss two first-half penalties as they went down 3-1 in last Saturday’s opening game of the season at Hayes & Yeading United.
Jamie Mullan got the Reds’ goal but the Reds boss felt his side had thrown the game away rather than go down to a superior team on the day.
On Tuesday night, Law’s side were much better defensively when they kept a first clean sheet of the campaign in a hard-fought goalless draw with Southport.
However, the manager was equally as pleased with events at the other end of the pitch despite drawing a blank in front of goal.
Striker Anthony Wilson came off the bench with 20 minutes left to make his first appearance in an Alfreton shirt since having an operation operation on a knee injury in summer which ruled him out of all the pre-season build-up.
Law said: “It is a massive bonus to have Anthony back earlier that we thought he would be. He only had a cameo part and it is going to take a couple of weeks for him to build up match fitness, but he looked totally at home and relished the fray when he came on.”
Wilson’s physical presence up front will be a welcome addition for the side. After moving from Belper Town just under 15 months ago, he scored ten goals in 29 appearances last season, nine of which were from the bench.
The point against Southport was well received by Law who felt it was far more of an indicator as to how his side can perform.
“It was a fiercely contested game and we are disappointed not to win it. There wasn’t a great deal in it but it is a good point to get us off the mark,” said the Reds boss.
“The last thing we wanted to do was come off tonight with zero points again and the draw gives us something to build on.”
Law is also mindful of the need to get the squad numbers and balance right with the August 31st transfer window looming.
He added: “Having looked at a few things already, there are areas that are being flagged up where we can improve and there may be a few things happening before the transfer window closes on August 31.”
A testing period lies ahead for Alfreton. The Reds are at home again on Saturday when Forest Green Rovers are the visitors for a 3pm kick-off.
Next Tuesday brings a trip to Darlington (7.45pm) and the following Saturday sees Wrexham at the Impact Arena before a trip to York City on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm).