PREVIEW: Reds searching for first win against Spartans

Alfreton Town will be searching for their first win of the season as they welcome Blyth Spartans to the Impact Arena.

The Reds got off the mark for the season in midweek with a 1-1 draw at home to Boston United.

An Amari Morgan-Smith penalty gave the Reds the lead, but the Reds could only claim a point after a mistake by Jack Atkinson gave Jake Wright a simple finish.

Despite not having a win to their name this season, it has been a good start from Alfreton so far this season, with a late defeat at the hands of Brackley and a draw with a rampant looking Boston.


The Opposition

Blyth Spartans have only had one game so far this season, falling to a 2-1 defeat at home to Gloucester City.

The Spartans finished sixth in the National League North last season, eventually losing to Altrincham on penalties in the play-offs.

Since then, Blyth have lost some of the best players, with their top goal scorer Dan Maguire moving to York City this summer.


Ones to Watch

The Spartans have looked to replace Maguire with former Matlock and Chesterfield striker Jake Orrell.

But Spartans mainstay Robbie Dale has remained with the club. Dale joined Blyth Spartans back in 2005, going on to play for the club over 600 times in his 14 years with the club.

Former Newcastle midfielder Lee Clarke is at the helm for the Spartans, having developed his managerial chops with Huddersfield, Birmingham City and Bury previously.


Previous Meetings

Alfreton and Blyth Spartans have met 12 times in their history, with Alfreton winning six times and drawing four.

The Reds have gone seven games without defeat against Blyth, not falling to the Spartans since 2009.

At the Impact Arena last season, Alfreton overcame Blyth Spartans with a 3-1 win. Tom Denton scored twice with Tom Platt adding the third.


Team News

Reds midfielder Dale Whitham was substituted at half time against Boston after taking a knock in the first half. So far there has been no update on the midfielder’s fitness.

Besides the injury to Whitham, Billy Heath is unlikely to change much of his side, having played the same 11 for Alfreton’s previous two games.


Heath’s Thoughts

Despite being favourites heading into the game, Heath doesn’t want Alfreton’s approach to Blyth Spartans to be any different to any of their games so far this season.

Heath said: “The mindset needs to be set on winning in every game, I don’t expect Blyth to be weaker than any of the sides we’ve played so far.

“As long as the boys continue to work hard and put a shift in for every game the wins will start coming and things will start to happen.”

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