Reds hit by Hattersley
Stockport County 1, Alfreton Town 0
Alfreton Town may have fallen to an opening day defeat in their Blue Square Bet Premier encounter at Edgeley Park on Saturday, but it was a positive performance from the Reds with several chances created, albeit none taken.
Manager Nicky Law introduced six new players during the course of the 90 minutes as keeper Phil Barnes produced a string of brilliant saves, Simon Russell and Dan Bradley added strength to the midfield and Ben Tomlinson linked well with Iyesden Christie up front.
Christie was withdrawn at half-time, but there was a late cameo role for remaining debutant Tom Denton to show his aerial skills after replacing Tomlinson with 14 minutes of the game left.
Just 50 seconds had elapsed when journeyman Christie curled a shot around the back post after Nathan Arnold had kept the ball in play close to the right-hand corner flag.
Tomlinson then had a shot blocked from a 12th minute Russell corner, then three minutes later an amazing double save by Barnes prevented the deadlock from being broken.
A goal looked a certainty as Sam Sheridan unleashed a powerful shot from the edge of the area but Barnes not only managed to parry the stinging drive but changed direction to turn behind Hobson’s follow-up.
Then from Sheridan’s corner Barnes punched clear twice to set up another break, that ended with Tomlinson’s extraordinary lob from almost the half-way line dipping just over the crossbar with Stockport keeper Ian Ormson a helpless spectator.
Russell’s 18th minute free-kick had to be headed behind by Tunnicliffe in the 18th minute, then three minutes later a rare mistake by Barnes needed Darran Kempson’s intervention after his clearance had gone straight to Hobson, with Alex Kenyon grazing the outside of the post at the conclusion of the move.
In the 33rd minute came Alfreton’s best chance of the game.
A superb pass from Christie sent Arnold scampering clear down the left, then after the keeper had been calmly circumnavigated defender Tunnicliffe somehow managed to clear Arnold’s delivery off the line.
And Stockport took full advantage of their reprieve by scoring the only goal in the 35th minute in the most simple fashion, with Danny Hattersley heading Sean Newton’s cross in from four yards.
Barnes was active again three minutes later turning behind Jon Nolan’s angled volley, then on 43 minutes Christie’s hooked shot was blocked from a long Franks’ throw.
Theo Streete replaced Christie at the interval, dropping into the right-back slot with Josh Law moving into midfield and Arnold spearheading the attack alongside Tomlinson.
Russell fired wide after Law’s cross had been teed up by Arnold, then Paul Clayton headed over from a 76th minute Russell corner as Alfreton continued to press.
Barnes stuck out a leg to thwart Hattersley yet again with seven minutes remaining, then a stooping header by Arnold just evaded the bar from a Denton lay-off.
Alfreton: Barnes; Law, Kempson, Franks, Franklin, Russell, Bradley, Arnold, Brown (Clayton 56), Tomlinson (Denon 76), Christie (Streete h/t).
Attendance: 3,448 (inc. 146 from Alfreton).
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Weather for Chesterfield
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North