Craig Priest writes...
Saturday’s wash out postponement was certainly annoying after what was already a long break from action, Wednesday’s match with Alfreton will mark two weeks since our memorable victory over Lincoln City in the FA Cup but also mark two weeks since our last competitive fixture – two weeks is a long time in football.
All momentum, all steam and all the euphoria from the previous game will have pretty much gone which can sometimes either be a blessing or a burden, for Stags its usually the latter – who remembers our trip to Newport in February after a break from football – whatever happens on Boxing Day, I hope Paul Cox ensures there’s is no repeat of rustiness, it’s time to pick up where we left off.
This means no talk of Liverpool and focus on the BSBP in what will be a tough test against Nicky Law’s Alfreton who are going steady in 17th. Games against Alfreton in recent years have always proved tasty and I’m sure this Boxing Day showdown will be just as action packed! Last term, the reds first in the BSBP, was an indifferent one an awful first half of the season where the reds were whipping boys was followed by a solid climb post Christmas which included a run of seven wins in eight games; defeat to us at the Impact Arena (6-3) the only blotch on the paper. This term has seen more of a solid start and as the Reds approach Christmas they are again in a bit of form in the league at least with one loss in five outings which includes two draws and a thrilling 4-3 victory over arguably the league’s toughest side, Newport.
One thing you should never do against Alfreton is under estimate them, they will fight for every ball and battle for every point – I honestly think out of all of the Boxing Day fixtures this will be the best.
To be honest there’s little else left to be said, it will definitely be nice to have some football again and a bigger crowd because of the Liverpool ticket deal will also help things, but it’s important to focus on the BSBP and putting some points on board, we’ve three games prior to Liverpool, that’s nine points up for grabs – six of them against Alfreton, let’s go and get them!!
LAST TIME WE MET
Last season’s encounters were nothing short of spectacular, at Field Mill as was the Reds arrived for their first ever league meeting with us and did more than match us – grabbing a 2-0 half time lead as Anton Brown and Paul Clayton capitalised on poor defending. The second half was somewhat crazy as Alfreton saw Anthony Wilson and Greg Young sent off. Matt Green tucked home a penalty on 75 minutes before Lindon Meikle netted an absolute belter with four minutes later to snatch an undeserved point, Andy Todd then made sure it was all three points in the dying seconds of the match as he squirmed home Green’s driven effort.
The reverse fixture earlier this calendar year was even more unbelievable, on the back of a 7-0 hammering of Barrow, Stags were in rampant form and netted six in the first league meeting at the Impact Arena – however don’t let that fool you as it was one hell of a battle.
Alfreton led on six minutes through Jake Moult in a crazy end to end opening before former Red Anthony Howell smashed in to level on 16 minutes. The hosts led again on 20 minutes through Nathan Jarman; however Stags fought back and swung things around to led 4-2 through Martin Riley, Matt Green and a rocket from the on fire Anthony Howell.
Things were looking good going into the break but on the stroke of half time Alfreton grabbed another to make it 4-3 through Anton Brown. The second half was close and things remained close until three minutes from full time, Exodus Geohaghon thumped home a header before minutes later Matt Green made it 6-3 as the Reds defence went to sleep.
Prior to last season the sides had only met in the FA Trophy competitive action wise, those games too were incident fuelled and now meetings with the Reds hold so much more fire and x-factor than the numerous pre-season friendly’s from bygone years.
With no game on Saturday it’s pretty much as you were with everyone up for selection apart from Ross Dyer and Ryan Tafazolli.
Too stuffed with Christmas dinner to move and can’t make it to the One Call Stadium then be sure to join me for regular updates from 2pm via our MM-LIVE Page – due to the Christmas schedule and staffing, I can’t guarantee that coverage will go out on 106.9FM so please play safe by coming directly to this website.
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