U18s Start Pre-Season With Draw
Saturday, 14th Jul 2012 20:02
Town's U18s were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw at Kirkley and Pakefield against the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division side's first team in their opening pre-season friendly in front of new academy director Bryan Klug.
Byron Lawrence was left out of the squad in preparation for the first-team's trip to Holland, although the 16-year-old first-year scholar, who made his senior debut on the final day of last season at Doncaster, was watching from the sidelines.
The game got off to a bad start for Kirkley's Lee Hunter who was stretchered off after just ten minutes following an innocuous block.
The hosts' Scott Manning found the back of Town's net after 16 minutes but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Scott Woodcock blazed over from a good position five minutes later, prior to Russell Stock forcing Town’s Norwegian keeper Michael Crowe to parry his effort away for a corner soon after.
The Blues’ first opportunity came just after the half hour mark when Tom Winter hit an effort from just outside the box that Kirkley keeper Jordan Smith got down low to push round a post.
Skipper Gunnar Thorsteinsson dragged his shot wide before Kyle Baker hit the bar for the home side with a good shot from the left.
Both teams made a host of substitutions at half-time and throughout the second half, with a number of Town's new first-year scholars getting a run out.
The hosts were denied by a linesman's flag for the second time on the hour mark, before Mark Timlin crashed a freekick against a post on 66 minutes after Thorsteinsson had been fouled 20 yards out.
Winter was inches away from connecting with Timlin's left wing cross five minutes later. However, the hosts finished the stronger with Michael Tacon wasting their best chance on 73 when he pulled his shot wide.
In front of watching first team staff members Chris Hutchings and Sean McCarthy, none of the Town side really stood out, with the game having the feel of a typical first pre-season fixture being used as a fitness exercise for both sides.
U18s: Crowe (Tongue 60), Hammond, October, Sowunmi, Thorsteinsson, Leddy (Willbye 46), Acott (Robinson 46), Meikle (Berkane 46), Winter, Bishop (Clarke 60), Timlin.
Report: James Ager
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