ALFRETON Town were handed a 4-1 defeat in their first pre-season outing as last season’s npower League Two champions showed their finishing class in front of goal.
The first outing of pre-season is always difficult, particularly with several new faces involved, but in front of a healthy crowd of 1,303 the Reds showed very well in the first half.
The new-look Reds squad settled quickly and there were several plus points despite the defeat.
Reds boss Nicky Law started five of his six summer signings, the sixth, Chris Senior coming on at half-time. There were also four trialists in the squad who all got pitch minutes, namely former Mansfield Town midfield man Tyrone Thompson, ex Spireite Jordan Edridge, former York City youth team captain Tom Richardson and striker Chib Chilaka - released by Bradford City.
Alfreton could perhaps consider themselves somewhat unfortunate to turn around a goal down when an unnamed Chesterfield trialist cut in from the right and beat new Alfreton keeper Dan Lowson with a low left-footed drive on the half-hour mark.
Half-time saw numerous changes on both sides and it was the Spireites who looked the stronger in the second period although Alfreton still had chances.
A lively-looking Jordan Bowery doubled the Blues’ lead on the hour when he swept home an eight-yard shot to finish a neat Chesterfield move.
Senior looked sharp up front for the Reds and he went close to scoring with a lovely curling effort which beat the visiting keeper but also the far post. Jordan Hall also produced a fine curling effort from the edge of the penalty area late on which brought a superb full length one-handed tip around for a corner from half-time blues substitute Tommy Lee.
Matt Wilson halved the deficit on 81 minutes when he powered a header into the roof of the net from eight yards to finish a corner.
Alfreton produced a brief flurry to suggest they were very much still in the game but it was the Blues who finished the stronger and when the impressive Jordan Bowery was sent through middle he finished coolly from ten yards past an exposed Dan Lowson on 84 minutes.
Three minutes later master marksman Jack Lester headed a cross into the far corner.
It was certainly a harsh looking final scoreline for Alfreton with the two late goals inflating the victory margin but John Sheridan’s side deserved the win overall from another good contest between the two sides.
Reds man of the match: Greg Young
Best Blue: Jordan Bowery.
Alfreton Town: 1 Dan Lowson, 2 Josh Law, 3 Connor Franklin, 4 Adie Hawes, 5 Greg Young, 6 Leigh Franks, 7 Jake Moult, 8 Levi Mackin, 9 Paul Clayton, 10 Nathan Arnold, 11 Anton Brown.
Substitutes used: 12 Matt Wilson, 14 Theo Streete, 15 Jordan Hall, 16 Nathan Jarman, 17 Chris Senior, 18 Tyrone Thompson (trialist), 19 Jordan Edridge (trialist), 20 Tom Richardson (trialist), Chib Chilaka (trialist),
Chesterfield; 1 Trialist, 2 Trialist, 3 Trialist, 8 Derek Niven, 11 Dwayne Mattis, 15 Aaron Downes, 19 Scott Boden, 20 Dan Gray, 24 Craig Clay, 27 Tendayi Darikwa 28 Nathan Smith.
Substitutes used: 4 Jamie Lowry, 5 Dean Holden, 6 Simon Ford, 7 Mark Allott, 10 Danny Whitaker, 14 Jack Lester, 21 Jordan Bowery, 23 Mark Randall, 25 Drew Talbot.
Referee: Nick Hopton of Derby
Goals: Alfreton Town - Matt Wilson (81). Chesterfield - trialist (30), Jordan Bowery (60 and 83), Jack Lester (87).
Reds man of the match: Greg Young.
Best blue: Jordan Bowery.