It was a warm evening down at Teesdale Park for our second preseason match against the ambitious Division Two Redcar Town.
We started very brightly, controlling possession and looking very dangerous going forward. New signings Steve Roberts and Famara Jatta both at the fore. Quarter of an hour in, and after a few half chances were squandered, the deadlock was broken. A fine flowing passing move down resulted in a deep Craig Hutchinson cross being headed down at the far post by Luke Hogan (never lost a header all night) for Jamie Davis to apply the finish from inside the 6 yard box. 1-0.
Hutchinson’s and Roberts’s movement and link up were causing havoc. Hutchy was sent through by Stevie but the strikers lob didn’t have the height to beat the onrushing keeper. Roberts cutting in from the left, skipped passed a defender but his shot flashed past the near post.
Very pleasing to watch the attacking play from us.
It took til the half hour mark to add to our tally. Good possession lead to Nathan Guru adding a bit of urgency with a fantastic diagonal pass for Luke Hogan, whose sublime first touch was perfect for him to poke home under the keeper. 2-0.
On the stroke of half time the visitors were awarded a penalty that no one else in the ground thought was a penalty. Even the Redcar Town players were bemused but it is the officials preseason too so we’ll forgive them, this time. Famara Jatta with a well-timed clearance then half a second later the Town striker innocuously tripped over the midfielders outstretched leg. Penalty. Supposedly. The spot kick was converted. 2-1.
At the break a host of personnel changes and a change in shape.
3 minutes in and we added our third. Sub Alex Hutchinson (Big Hutchy) with a lovely flick released Craig Hutchinson (Little Hutchy) who was brought down just as he was about to pull the trigger. Big Hutchy coolly slotted the penalty low to the keepers left. 3-1.
From that point he second half was a much more even affair with Redcar Town having more of the ball and creating a greater threat to Wilkinson’s goal.
As is often the case in these games the number of chances leads to a disjointed performance but with the aim of getting minutes into the lads’ legs and time on the ball the objective was very much achieved over the piece.
The visitors had the last word in terms of goals.
In a particularly sloppy period from us Town capitalised fully with a good cross from the right resulting in a free header nodded home at the far post. 3-2.
A decent crowd. A fantastic first half. And a good workout in the second.
We are back at Teesdale Park next Wednesday with the annual Peter Morris Cup match versus Guisborough Town!