Alfreton Town’s actions in the FA Cup spoke louder than any words could for manager Billy Heath.
The Reds brushed aside fourth round qualifying opponents St Neots Town on Saturday with four goals inside 27 first half minutes.
It was enough to ensure their name was in the hat for the prestigious competition’s first round proper draw on Monday evening.
And Boss Heath was delighted for the players who will be looking to end a run of four straight National League North losses to bed when they visit Chester this weekend.
“We spoke long and hard during the week and actions speak words - it was massively important that we really showed what we were about - we talked about that, we worked on that, because what people expect first and foremost is that we work hard, be aggressive, put people on the front foot and that’s what we did,” said Heath.
“It was massively important that we started the game well, especially after last week, it was hugely important that we came out of the traps fast, we showed them our teeth early and from minute one we were on the front foot.”
A brace of goals each for Curtis Bateson and James Clifton saw Alfreton into an unassailable lead before half time at the Impact Arena.
“l thought Curtis Bateson was fantastic - a real shining light with his goals and his performance,” said Heath. “There were some good performances and we needed that, but the most important thing was that we worked hard.”
Heath also gave new signing Sam Hird his first start for the club having joined Alfreton for the rest of the season on Friday and was pleased with the former Chesterfield man.
He said: “The gift that Sam gives us is that he can play both centre-half and midfield quite comfortably.
“l thought him and Nathan [Hotte] were magnificent in the middle of the park. Sam gives that experience, that little bit of know-how in key moments and he picks the right options on and off the ball. First half, they [Hird and Hotte] snuffed out anything they [St. Neots] had to offer.”
Saturday’s win saw Alfreton scoop £25,000 in prize money, added to what they’ve already earned this season from ties with Sutton Coldfield and Mickleover Sports.
And, while the club eagerly awaits a first round tie at home to Fleetwood Town over the weekend of 9th-12th November, it’s back to the bread and butter of the league for now.
“We’ve got to start picking points up in the league because we know we’ve not been good enough in the league and now we’ve got to make sure we get something next week at Chester, then [Tuesday 30th] we go to FC United of Manchester,” added Heath.