Newcastle Town 0 Frickley 1
Newcastle browned off by vintage Gavin Allott strike
18th August 1973 we won 4-0 away at Ilkeston
14th August 1999 we won 2-1 away at Winsford United
These were the 2 previous occasions when we won our first game of the season away from home (courtesy John Longbottom).
Had we been more efficient / clinical in front of goal we'd have been adding to that list before half time. As it was, we had to wait until the 69th minute for Gavin Allott to get our first & his 89th goal. It was classic Gav, receives a good through ball, bullies a defender, into the box, gives the keeper 'the eyes', back of the net, wheels away to corner flag.
Ben Wiles made his first start after his recent loan signing & Bloor & Baldwin both featured on the bench. That aside it was pretty much the starting 11 from most of the friendlies.
Les Verts looked to have taken the lead in the 7th minute, a Gav header found Jason Yates who fired home but the liner put his flag up for offside - I was smack in line & he must have been off by millimetres, if at all. Then Jammer & Haze set up Gav but he put a bit of a 9 iron under it & it went over the bar. Ben Wiles showed great technique to hit a cracking half volley inches over. He then followed up with another effort from distance (a wormburner - thank you Jon Hood) which had the keeper at full stretch. As the pitch is set in a cycling velodrome it would be an analogy to say that whilst Frickley were going through the gears, Newcastle were still wobbling around with the stabilisers on.
It was attack after attack - Big Gav with some great set up work for Dugdale who snatched his shot a bit & it went wide, then Ben Wiles sets up Yatesy who curled his shot just wide of the post.
HALF TIME 0-0
Newcastle came back into a bit in the 2nd half, they were at home & they finished 7th last season so they weren't looking to simply make up the numbers & their number 11 looked particularly lively but the Pole In Goal had virtually nowt to do - he dominated his box when crosses came in & saved a couple of routine efforts.
The Greens are back on the front foot however & Gav had a header saved at the foot of the post. Then Gav & Wiles had a great interchange that left Ben with a great opportunity but he actually had too many options & the chance went. Steve Hopewell replaced Wiles shortly afterwards - I like the look of young Ben, got to say. More penalty box pinball & Frickley had about 4 chances in the same move, it just refused to lodge in the onion bag.
Then Gav did what Gav does best & shortly afterwards was looking to repeat the dose when a defender hacked him down & this ultimately lead to Rhys Davies replacing the Big Man. Final sub was Teddy Bloor replacing Josh Nodder. The ref found almost 10 extra minutes to play after the 90 were up but the boys saw it out without too much anxiety.
Not the finished article today but the lads played some lovely passing football through midfield & this combined with penetrative through balls meant that there would only be 1 winner. Obviously 1 swallow doesn't make a Spring but it makes for a pleasant journey home!
WEBMASTER MOTM - Ben Wiles was impressive until he tired, Gav played a captains knock, Yatesy & Nodder did the biz in midfield & a clean sheet tells you that the back line did it's job but the first Glitterball of the season goes to Rich Patterson. Broke down their attacks & set ours in motion, well done sir!
101 in the ground, 25% of them were fans of the Green Machine - forza forza forza
Next up is Cleethorpes on Tuesday - see you there