Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Two Minutes With... Alfreton Town

Alfreton were the first team to visit The Hive in 2014, as Barnet were looking to pick up their first points of the year. Reds fan James (@I_amjimcrooks) made the trip to North London and gives his thoughts in the latest instalment.
Saturday 4th January 2014
Barnet v Alfreton Town
9th           3rd
Previous game:
Luton Town 2-1 Barnet
Alfreton Town 1-0 Wrexham
How did you get to the game?
I travelled separately from the rest of the Alfreton support. Coming to the ground on the tube, I got my first sight of The Hive on the approach to Canons Park Station.
What did you make of The Hive?
Initial impressions were of a small but tidy looking ground. 
I know there had been a lot of interest in this fixture amongst Alfreton fans, and a second bus had been filled for the long trip to Harrow. 
I arrived before the rest of the Alfreton faithful and decided to grab a coffee and watch the last 15 minutes of the Blackburn v Man City FA Cup tie. The facilities, whilst impressive, left me with little impression that I was at Barnet. I get the feeling that the club hasn't fully settled in to its new home. 
What did you make of the game?
It was a tight affair, with the better of the chances undoubtedly going to Barnet and for that I would say they deserved their win. Alfreton missed the work rate and aerial ability of Paul Clayton who was missing through illness.
The goal that decided the game was worthy of winning any game.
The away support was vocal throughout, with the home fans finding their voice in the last 20 minutes. 
Praise must go to the ground staff: the pitch looked excellent despite the recent weather. 
Who (from either side) impressed you?
The midfield of Barnet looked good on the ball with plenty of slick passing to try and drag the Alfreton defence out of position. David Stephens was awarded the man of the match and I would say this was fair enough; however, Alfreton did play to his strengths.
Who (from either side) could have done better?
John Akinde is a frustrating player for me, as he looks dangerous on the ball and can at times be un-playable but doesn't have the work rate needed to play as a lone striker. 
Was the score line a fair reflection on the game?
There wasn’t much between the sides, but Barnet deserved the points for creating more clear-cut chances. They could have won by a bigger margin in the end too. 
Who do you play next and how do you think you’ll do?
We next play on Tuesday night, away at Lincoln City. This is as close as we get to a local derby with Mansfield Town now in League Two. Sincil Bank has been a happy hunting ground for Alfreton since their promotion into the Conference, so I'm quietly confident of a positive result there. 
Price of match day ticket
7/10 – I paid £17 which is expensive, but is not out of line with other prices at this level. Some fans paid £20 to sit down however and this caused some confusion: seated supporters entered through the same turnstile as standing, we were unsure why you would pay extra when no one was checking. 
Purchases made at the ground
9/10 – Nice cup of coffee at a decent price, friendly catering staff. Good choice of beer in the bar, although I wasn't drinking so can't comment on quality. 
8/10 – Nice, new terraced stand for away fans. 
Quality of football
7/10 – Quite a scrappy game due to the conditions. Both sides looked good when getting the ball down and passing. Barnet had that bit more quality. 
Overall experience
8/10 – Decent game of football played in poor conditions but on a surprisingly good surface. A fair result with Barnet taking the three points. I believe both sides will be looking at a play-off place at the end of the season. 
Total = 39/50
Post Match
Table – Barnet 6th / Alfreton 3rd
Following game
Lincoln City v Alfreton Town (7th January)
Chester v Barnet (18th January)

Thanks James!
If you’ve been to The Hive this season, give me a shout and you can be your club’s voice. Additionally, if you know you’re heading down for your game, let me know - @Luuuce_x

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