Team – Kane Gregory, Nathan Campbell, Jake Anderson, Ben Cross, Lewis Guest, Ricky Sheppard, George Warren (C), Sam Clifton, Preston Bee, Alex Cairo, Jack Crago. Sub. Ged King.
An excellent performance and deserved win for the young reserves against SWPL West side Millbrook at Mill Road in our first pre-season friendly. With players missing (holidays, injuries and unavailability) it was expected to be a very difficult afternoon. The lads had other ideas, however, and played impeccably to produce a great result.
With good shape and controlled possession we matched Millbrook in the early stages and went close with 3 efforts but Millbrook took a first-half lead from a fine cross which was volleyed home. Just before half-time, Millbrook extended their lead when a soft shot evaded defenders and found the bottom corner.
Second-half was a different storey however as we controlled the match throughout. Lewis Guest scored our first from a corner and George Warren’s clever shot came down off the crossbar as we pressed for the equaliser. That came soon after as Ricky Sheppard threaded a great ball into Jack Crago whose tenacity forced a penalty from which he made no mistake. Defensively, we remained solid at the back with composed performances which enabled us to play out.
We seemed to pick the right moments to play it short and then long and Millbrook couldn’t handle the pace of our play. Sam Clifton and George had an exceptional game in the middle of the park and gave us great promise for the forthcoming season as they joined up the play and brought everyone into the game.
Following clever play from Jake Anderson, Crago again panicked their defence into a mistake and his finish was emphatic to put us ahead. Alex Cairo then put in Ricky Sheppard who lobbed the keeper to underline our supremacy.
First teamers Cross, Sheppard and Crago, offered us valuable experience and as a unit the football we played was excellent. A great start which bodes well for the season.