Alfreton Town manager Billy Heath was happy with his team’s performance as they lost narrowly 2-1 to a strong Nottingham Forest side in front of 1,799 at a sweltering lmpact Arena on Saturday.
After Dec Bacon gave Alfreton a 16th minute lead, Brennan Johnson levelled on 41 minutes and Karim Ansarifard hit a late winner for Forest.
But Heath said: “(It was) fantastic from start to finish. Every player was really, really good — (I was) pleased with commitment levels and performance levels.
“The players can be proud of themselves, playing against difficult opposition in this (hot) weather.
“l thought our back three today [Ryan Qualter, Shane Killock and Dominic Smith] were outstanding against quality players — also both keepers [Tom Nicholson and Jack Atkinson] were good and both made exceptional saves - all over the park we were good and gave as good as we got.”
Heath said pre-season was about getting minutes into players’ legs.
He added: “It’s difficult when you play a team with the quality that they’ve got, but we never embarrassed ourselves and gave as good as we got.
“The attitude and desire of the players is really good, and has been since the first training session — they’re all down-to-earth players who have come to the club for the right reasons.
“They all want to work hard, so if we achieve that consistently throughout the season then we’ll be okay — everyone’s attitude so far has been first class.”