Gainsborough Trinity 0 Cleethorpes Town 0
By David Simpson
WIND THE WINNER IN STALEMATE!
The final slice of pre-season action ended goalless on a very windy afternoon at Northolme. Clee enjoyed the best of the first half, playing some neat football. However, the breakthrough would not come and keeper Theo Richardson produced several good stops after the break to deny Gainsborough, which ensured that the Owls left with a creditable draw.
Matt Bloomer and Matty Powell oversaw team affairs for the day and a debut was handed to recent loan signing Brandon Buckley.
The side lined up as follows:
Goal: Theo Richardson
Defence: Tim Lowe, Ben Clappison, Oli Donald, Jon Oglesby
Midfield: Jack Richardson, Alex Flett (c), Ben Davies, Brandon Buckley
Attack: Brody Robertson, Josh Batty
Subs: Adam Millson, Jack Boswell, Lewis Collins, Jack Fixter, Andy Taylor
Buoyed by the victory over Spalding, the visitors started confidently. In the 8th minute, fine play involving Oglesby and Buckley set-up Robertson. The striker fired narrowly the wrong side of the upright.
Captain Flett unleashed a superb cross-field pass to locate the lively Oglesby. His teasing cross was met by the head of Batty but the chance flashed wide.
Higher-ranked Trinity gradually began to find their footing as the encounter reached the half-hour mark. Stopper Richardson was brought into the action to make a double-save from a wind-assisted free-kick by Hannah.
The best chance arrived after 41 minutes. Batty cleverly held his run to spring the offside trap and did the hard work by rounding home keeper Green. As the forward went to roll the ball into the net, central-defender Maguire arrived from nowhere to save his side with a block.
HT Gainsborough Trinity 0 Cleethorpes Town 0
With the management anxious to give the whole squad some game time ahead of next week’s big kick-off at Ilkeston, all five subs were introduced during the course of the second 45.
Richardson made three outstanding saves for the Owls in the skirmishes after the interval. The pick was in the 58th minute, when he acrobatically flew through the air to tip away a Hannah drive that was bound for the top corner. Not to be outdone, Green was also at full-stretch to keep out an effort from Oglesby.
The many changes and the prevailing weather did not help the flow of the game, with a 0-0 now seemingly likely. In fact, the Clee rearguard could be pleased with their afternoon’s work to keep a clean sheet against last season’s 6th placed side from the division higher.
FT Gainsborough Trinity 0 Cleethorpes Town 0 Attendance: tbc
Overall, a pleasing performance! The shape of the side seemed pretty good to me, with Ben Davies and Alex Flett forming a very promising partnership in midfield.
Young Brandon Buckley looked good during his hour on the field. However, everyone should bear in mind that the 18-year old will need some time to adjust to the hectic nature of NPL football. Theo Richardson could be delighted with his glovework.
So, that is pre-season done and dusted! We should all be optimistic for the challenges ahead – I think a good season awaits!
Finally, we now know our FA Cup opponents. Congratulations to Melton Town for achieving a notable upset, scoring two late goals to win 2-1 at Worksop Town. A journey to Leicestershire then on Saturday 24th August and the Club will be running an executive coach. Full details will be published tomorrow.
Saturday 17th August – 3pm
Ilkeston Town – BetVictor Northern Premier League South-East
New Manor Ground, Awsworth Road, Ilkeston, DE7 8JF
Adults £7, Concessions £4, Under 16s free
UP THE OWLS!