First half strikes from Mansfield’s Matt Green and Alfreton’s Adam Priestly resulted in a 1-1 draw at a sun-drenched Impact Arena this afternoon.
Green had put Stags ahead with an early close range tap in before Priestly responded close to the half-hour mark.
Stags fielded a strong line-up which included an un-named trialist left-back.
Mansfield created a flurry of chances, mostly in the first-half, with midfielder Kevan Hurst and forward Danny Rose at the heart of Stags’ good play.
It took Adam Murray’s side only two minutes to first threaten the Alfreton goal when George Taft’s header from eight yards was cleared off the line following a Kevan Hurst corner
And it was Hurst who was the architect for Stags early breakthrough with five minutes played when his deep cross from the right flank could only be pushed in front of the goal line by a back-peddling Fabien Spiess, the Alfreton goalkeeper.
It was a poor error from the Reds’ goalkeeper, who tried to tip it over for a corner but got it horribly wrong, allowing Green to tap the ball into the net from two yards.
Alfreton first tested the Stags goal on 11 minutes after Rhys Bennett had conceded a free kick.
But Dan Bradley’s resulting effort, from almost 30 yards, clipped the top of the Stags’ defensive wall, allowing Scott Shearer to gather routinely.
With quarter of an hour played, Danny Rose headed goalwards from inside the box after a Ashley Hemmings left-wing cross, but it was straight at goalkeeper Spiess.
A minute later, Hurst again provided from the right and Green’s header forced another corner after the ball cannoned off an Alfreton defender.
Green should have added to his tally midway through the first period when Rose crossed well from the right, but the advancing Green sent his header over the bar from inside the goal area.
Alfreton tried their luck on goal a minute later but Dan Bradley’s swerving drive flew off target.
The home side equalised on 29 minutes in a rare first-half attack.
A long ball from the Reds’ defence was flicked into the box and Adam Priestly raced away before placing his well-hit shot into the far corner of the goal.
A minute later, the dangerous Hurst whipped in another low ball from the right-flank and Spiess had to get down low to tip it around the post.
Alfreton then enjoyed their best spell of the half.
Joe Doyle, the blonde-haired right back, delivered from the right but Priestly failed to get enough power on his shot as the ball sailed into Shearer’s grasp.
Stags almost regained their advantage moments before the half-time interval.
Hurst again caused problems down the right, getting beyond an Alfreton defender, before pulling it back for Ashley Hemmings, but his curling effort from 18-yards was sent just wide.
Chris Clements then forced a corner in the last moments of the first half after his attempt from the right side of the box clipped an Alfreton player to bobble out for a corner.
Two minutes after the restart, Green struck hard from 25 yards, but it was straight at Spiess.
Hitman Green fired again from a similar angle, and the shot this time was deflected before being denied by a diving Spiess.
On 55, Mitchell Rose climbed off the bench to replace Ashley Hemmings.
Two minutes later, Rose did well to turn the ball behind for a corner after a dangerous right-wing cross infront of the Stags goal almost found a home man, but for Rose’s intervention.
Alfreton had a succession of corners, but a combination of poor delivery and cute Stags’ defending ensured that Shearer wasn’t called upon.
On 66, CJ Hamilton replaced the outstanding Kevan Hurst as Stags made their second change.
Hurst’s departure paved the way for Clements to put his mark on set pieces and it almost paid dividends on 69 minutes. The midfielder’s delivery from the left touch-line was pin point as Rhys Bennett rose well to connect, but his header was directed agonisingly across goal and around the post.
Hamilton, a new signing from Sheffield United, made his presence known when he sent a teasing low ball across the home goal, but nobody was able to connect to make it count.
An-unamed Stags’ trialised then drew a shot from Spiess as Stags enjoyed a dominant spell in the second half.
Stags’ old boy Craig Westcarr, now playing for Alfreton, was introduced into the action, replacing Joe Doyle with 12 minutes of normal time remaining.
The second half petered out in the sizzling temperatures - a contrast to the first period which saw more goalmouth action.
Stags almost won it in the dying moments when Danny Rose let fly after a CJ Hamilton assist on the left, but Spiess was well behind it.
ALFRETON: Spice, Doyle (Westcarr 74), Heaton (Smith 45), McGowan, Jordan, Nyoni, Monkhouse, Keane (Allan 45), Bradley, Priestly (Wilson 45), Clayton (Garnett 45)
STAGS: Shearer, Bennett, Pearce, Taft, Collins (C), Trialist, Hemmings (M. Rose 55), Clements, Hurst (Hamilton 66), D. Rose, Green (Baxendale 73).
SUBS NOT USED: Jensen, Shires, Humphries, McGuire, Hakeem, N. Blake
REFEREE: Dave Plowright
Attendance: 612 (269)