Saturday, 21 July 2012

Rubbing Salt into the Town wounds


A LATE GOAL from Colin Anderson was not quite enough as Town slipped to a second successive pre-season defeat against Pickering Town on Saturday.

Anderson, who scored over 20 goals last season, slotted home a low, right-wing cross from Steve Banks ten minutes from time, but it proved to be no more than a consolation after an earlier brace from Pickering's Liam Salt.

The visitors, from the Northern Counties East League, arrived with a vibrant, young team, but Town matched them for much of a low-key opening period. Carl Chillingsworth twice came close with headed opportunities, while Steve Butterworth chipped an effort just over the top.

But Pickering would have felt a little unfortunate not to be ahead at the break as their front two of Salt and Carl Stewart both saw efforts come back off the woodwork.

Town began the second half on top, but their good approach play was all-too-often let down by a poor final ball and it was the visitors who grabbed the initiative with two goals in less than a minute on the hour mark.

Lyle Hillier did well down the right to create the opener for Salt, and the two combined again for the second moments later. Hillier was sent tumbling in the penalty area by Town keeper Steve Craggs, following a lovely dummy from Stewart, and Salt drilled home from the spot to make it 2-0.

It was all Pickering now and Hillier was at the heart of everything. He nearly found the target himself with a low drive before setting up Thomas Reid, who was only denied by the legs of Craggs.

Tom Fenwick and Ged Dalton then saw efforts cleared off the line as Town were desperately hanging on, but slowly they began to get a foothold in the match and gave themselves a lifeline with ten minutes left.

Stu Dunn combined well with Banks down the right, and new signing from Tow Low Town pulled the ball back for Anderson to roll home from close range.

Suddenly, Town sensed a comeback and they had the opportunities to draw level. Sam Vernalls, who had replaced Chillingsworth in attack, fired over from 18 yards three minutes later, before Marcus Laing somehow headed wide from 6 yards with the goal at his mercy.

So another disappointing result, although aspects of the performance were encouraging. The passing was, at times, very good, while Banks and Dunn impressed again, as did Nathan Hemingbrough down the left.

But once again it was lapses of concentration at the back that has proved costly, and these are mistakes which have to be eradicated ahead of the visit of Shildon on Wednesday evening.

Manager Mark Fanning, however, was not so forthcoming in his praise. "I was disappointed with the performance. I asked them to keep possession better than on Monday and at times they did, but overall not well enough.

I felt that too many were not at the races today against what was an average opponent. I expect much better on Wednesday night."

TOWN - Craggs, Dunn, Bowman, Banks, Hickman, Caisley, Colman, Butterworth(S), Anderson, Chillingsworth, Hemingbrough. Subs - Smurthwaite, Hardy, Laing, Vernalls, Bell, Cook.

PICKERING - McDowell, Readman, Craig, Hillier, Sturdy, Danby, Willstrap, Conner, Salt, Stewart, Shepherd. Subs - Dalton, Reid, Fenwick.

Referee; D. Coulson.


  1. Pre season must be treated as a learning curve, new players to bed in and get to know they're team mates. Bit of a negative report for a Pre season game? As long as the boys put it right when the money games kick off I don't think the gaffer will be too worried.

  2. Do you think it is negative? Oh, I thought I was picking on the positives? I would prefer to maybe call it an honest assessment??
    I agree with your thoughts on pre-season however, and I am sure things will be right for the big kick off.

  3. Its a good honest report, quite kind to you really.

  4. Pre season means less than Guff,Its just about getting the players Fitness up to make sure they`re ready for the Long Season.