Alfreton Town began the defence of their Derbyshire Senior Cup title with a 2-0 win over Heanor Town at the lmpact Arena with a first-half brace from top scorer Amari Morgan-Smith enough to see the Reds progress last night.
The opener after seven minutes saw Morgan-Smith smash home an astute pass from David Lynch from the edge of the area, but a lengthy delay ensued as Lynch was caught in the process and eventually stretchered off to await an ambulance.
The second goal after 28 minutes came after good approach work by Dec Bacon, the striker squeezing home his angled drive via crossbar and post with Dale Whitham following up to make sure.
Heanor had precious few chances in this period, but contributed more after the break with both Kyle Daley and Jessie Vowles going close.
But it needed a good save from visiting keeper Jordan Pierrepoint to keep out Harvey Grice and the post came to the Lions’ rescue when Whitham found space to shoot.
Reds’ assistant manager Mark Carroll was pleased with his side’s performance and said: “We did what we had to do.
“We knew they were unbeaten in their league and gave them respect accordingly. It was a good work-out and a good performance on a heavy pitch.
“The injuries to David Lynch and Josh Wilde will stretch our resources for the upcoming games at Chester and Hereford, but we will have a discussion tomorrow night in training and go there and make things difficult for the opposition.
“Amari took his chances well and young Harvey Grice was unlucky not to score after coming on as sub.”
Heanor’s joint manager Glenn Clarence was proud of his players and said: “Playing a side that’s three or four leagues higher their quality’s going to show.
“We just didn’t want to get mullered tonight or embarrassed and we certainly didn’t.
“Obviously they had a lot of possession and a lot of chances in our third, but we kept clear-cut chances to a minimum and it was 0-0 for the last hour, so yes we’re proud of our lads and it’s on to the bread and butter of the league,
“We’d like to thank Alfreton for their hospitality and we hope the lad that got injured in the first half is alright.
“We need to concentrate on the league now. We’re joint top with two games in hand and have the FA Vase coming up.”
ALFRETON: Andrew; Clackstone, Smith, Qualter, Wilde (Bennett 38), Lynch (Whitham 7), Thacker, Branson, Bacon, Blake, Morgan-Smith (Grice 65). Subs not used: Clarke, Atkinson.
HEANOR: Pierrepoint; Ritchie-Smith, Horne, Craddock, Roulston, Hall, Daley, Thornbury, Hazeldine (Birks 65), Sleigh (Debrouwer 73), Ball (Vowles 58). Subs not used: Pratt, Carlisle.
REFEREE: Reece Davies.