Away day blues for the Reds, despite early goal

Pre-season friendly between Alfreton Town and Mansfield Town - Saturday July 29th 2017. Alfreton manager John McDermott. Picture: Chris Etchells
Pre-season friendly between Alfreton Town and Mansfield Town - Saturday July 29th 2017. Alfreton manager John McDermott. Picture: Chris Etchells
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It was another difficult day for manager John McDermott as he watched his National League North Alfreton Town side slip to a second away defeat in four days, despite taking a lead inside 33 seconds at Darlington on Saturday.

“Before the game l fancied us. l thought if we could get it down and pass it with good tempo, with people in right areas, we could press them early,” said the manager.

“And we did. We got the goal, but then (there was) silly defending at key times.”

Chris Sharp’s opener came after Craig Disley fed Craig Westcarr on the left before home keeper Adam Bartlett presented the striker with a simple tap-in.

Just over a minute later Darlington capitalised on the Reds’ defensive dithers through James Caton from six yards to make 1-1 on the way to a 4-1 victory.

Disley’s drive wide and Sharp’s glancing header that was held by Bartlett boded well for Alfreton — however, Sharp landed heavily and had to be replaced by Andre Johnson before the game had reached its quarter mark.

McDermott added: “Then we were beaten too easily for the second goal — all of a sudden we were chasing the game.”

Bradley Wood, who impressed on his return to the Reds from Lincoln City, heading off the line in vain from David Syers in the build-up to the second goal in the 37th minute through Josh Gillies.

Ten minutes after the break David Ferguson slotted home after Reds’ keeper Chris Elliott parried a Syers shot. It was 4-1 eight minutes later when Gillies pounced after a Ferguson shot had been blocked.