Huntington Rovers 0-3 Garforth Town
Maude in East Leeds
(Photo - Sean Hunter struck the second Garforth goal. Photo courtesy of Malcolm Bryce)
It was possibly the perfect start to pre-season for Garforth last night with a comfortable 3-0 win over York League side Huntington Rovers.
Garforth's line up consisted mostly of new signings, with Ryan Donoghue and Sean Hunter the only players from last season to start the game.
It was a fairly close first half, as there were opportunities at either end. After 15 minutes, Hunter had had a decent effort from the edge of the box, whilst at the other end, a Huntington player had shot wide from a tight angle.
31 minutes in there was another chance for our opponents as they hit the bar with a long-range effort. However, it was Garforth who would take the lead soon after, as debutant Ollie Maude curled in a beauty from outside the box into the top corner with his right foot.
Harry Croft, who featured for the Under 21s last season and was leading the line for Town on the night, had a couple of chances and on occasion was linking up well with Hunter, who also looked dynamic and a handful for the Huntington defence. Croft saw his header from a corner go wide in what would be the last meaningful chance of the first half.
Garforth made a couple of half time substitutions, including the entrance to the pitch of Luke McCrum and Adam Turner. Hunter soon made it 2-0 with a tap in from close range, after Turner's effort had gone close.
Turner would soon get on the scoresheet himself, as he made it 3-0 after 57 minutes. His flick on in the air continued its course towards the goal and settled in the far corner of the net.
Whilst Huntington had been competitive in the first half, the difference in fitness levels began to become apparent in the second half, testament to Garforth's hard work in pre-season training so far. Town thus began to control the rest of the game.
Garforth also adapted well to playing a new formation from the outset of this match, and the system worked quite well to get the best out of the available players. The shape allowed several chances to be created and the players showed tactical maturity to be able to play it. In particular, 17-year-old defender Jack Lazenby, a new arrival this summer, impressed for his composure and maturity throughout the game. Town's movement of the ball was also a positive, as they often retained possession well throughout the game.
All in all it was a good workout for Garforth, who now have something to build on for the rest of pre-season. Next up is tomorrow's trip to Guisborough, which will help Town prepare for our FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie against Northern League side Sunderland RCA at the start of August. More first team players from last season are expected to feature, as well as a couple of new signings.
Report by Samuel Bannister