Alfreton Town 0 - 1 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 1054 (756 from Mansfield)
Date: 13 July 2019
Martin Shaw at the Impact Arena
Mansfield Town beat Alfreton Town from Conference North 1-0 in this afternoon’s pre-season friendly. The only goal of the game came after 82 minutes when Alistair Smith smashed into the net from close range after Otis Khan did very well to play in Mal Benning on the left, and Benning’s low ball for perfect for Smith. A very nice goal. The Stags had two trialists on show. One of them, an attacking midfielder, really caught the eye at the start of the second half, firstly with a run from the halfway line to the edge of the area on the right and his cross-shot across goal went just wide of the left post, then more good play to set up a shot for Alistair Smith from 22 yards which was blocked, and finally being involved in a super move, as he did well really well to set Alex MacDonald away on the right, MacDonald’s cross was delightful and Khan knocked over the bar from close range. The Stags’ other good chance of the second half came from another great cross from Benning and MacDonald’s flying header was tipped over. Really good see MacDonald back and playing well after the scare of his injury in Portugal but a scan showed he was ok. The trialist attacking midfielder faded after his promising start but after the game boss Dempster said that he’ll take a further look at him in training. Up front, Andy Cook showed strength to hold the ball up, but did give the ball away on a couple of occasions, and if I was picking my side for the first league game of the season, he would be behind Nicky Maynard and Danny Rose at this stage, but there are plenty of pre-season games to go yet. Matt Preston had a superb game at the back in the second half, totally dominant.
The first half was a quiet affair. CJ Hamilton looked dangerous for Mansfield on the left, but on the other side Omari Sterling-James didn’t get into the game much after he had impressed at Bradford PA. Nicky Maynard hardly had a touch up front, Danny Rose did well in the air, but had little to feed off. Young left back Kian Sketchley, from last season’s youth team, did well, growing into the game nicely after being called up late to replace the ill Jason Law. As the half time whistle blew, boss Dempster was straight over to young Sketchley to shake his hand. In central defence, both Krystian Pearce and Ryan Sweeney looked good. Jacob Mellis showed some flashes of quality with a few nice passes and set pieces. The other trialist today played at right back, and played the first 66 minutes of the game. He didn’t especially catch the eye but may get more opportunities to impress in training.
"Four points clear as Lincoln are McCaffreyised", CHAD headline, April 1975