Alfreton Town gave a very good account of themselves in their first pre-season run-out as a full-strength Birmingham City took the honours with a 3-1 victory at a sun-drenched Impact Arena.
The first chance went to Championship side Birmingham after just two minutes when Koby Arthur set up Nikola Zigic who skied his shot over.
Blue Square Premier side Alfreton took the lead on four minutes when a lovely ball across the edge of the six-yard area from Danny Meadows gave Kristian Ramsey-Dickson the chance to slot home at the far post.
Lively sixteen-year-old Arthur broke forward but fired wide from 20 yards as City started to string passes together.
Birmingham drew level on 20 minutes when Olly Lees buried the ball into the top right corner after a shot from Akwasi Asante had been blocked. Two minutes later Paul Clayton shaped to shoot just inside the City penalty area but was denied by a great block by Paul Robinson.
Just after half-an-hour, the visitors were handed the lead by Reds signing Chris Westwood who stooped to head a cross from the right but steered it inside the left-hand upright and City had a 2-1 lead. Michael Wylde produced an excellent block deep in the home penalty area to stop an Arthur cross and as Alfreton responded with a Josh Law free kick which sped through the penalty area. City changed 11 players at half-time with Alfreton making eight changes. The Blues extended their lead on 47 minutes when Andrew Shinnie’s low strike took a deflection. Alfreton’s rejigged side simply could not gain possession against a slick passing City. The trialist home keeper produced a superb save on the hour to keep out Chris Burke’s powerful drive. Alfreton pressed but City deservedly took the spoils.