Shakers pre-season starts with a win at Stainton ParkThe teams:
First Half: 1 Trevor Carson, 2 Shane Byrne, 3 Gareth Roberts, 4 Euan Holden, 5 Adam Lockwood, 6 Nathan Cameron, 7 Craig Jones, 8 Tom Soares, 9 Ashley Grimes, 10 Andy Bishop, 11 Sam Sheridan (trialist)
Second Half: GK Rob Lainton (trialist), 2 Shane Byrne, 5 Adam Lockwood, 12 Richard Hinds (trialist), 14 Shaun Harrad, 15 Ben Potter (trialist), 16 Jeremy Byame (trialist), 17 Greg McDermott, 18 John Rooney (trialist), 19 Chris Sedgwick (trialist), 22 Carl Finnegan (trialist) Sub: Aidan Chippendale
There’s not much you can read from the first pre-season game of a new campaign. Be they long established contracted players, returning from injury or even on trial – it’s about getting the legs moving in a competitive game, getting minutes on the pitch and getting the brain working.
The first half certainly showed some signs of rust as the cobwebs were shaken free
Radcliffe Borough began the game on the front foot and quickly swarmed at a new looking Shakers defence, but Nathan Cameron will prove to be a solid robust and large defender for the forthcoming season. Twice in the opening exchanges he threw his body at challenges and left Radcliffe players on the floor without showing any signs of movement himself.
When the home side did get around Cameron, it was down the flanks that they looked to deliver the ball into the box, and one third minutes cross looked inviting for the Radcliffe strikers, but the ball flew far too deep to be worthy of any effort on goal.
Craig Jones showed signs again that he could also be a key player this season with some clever one touch passes, one to lay off Andy Bishop inside five minutes, but the effort on goal brought a quick clearance from an equally large Radcliffe Borough centre half.
Radcliffe Borough’s large centre half almost put Bury back in front after seven minutes. A Craig Jones cross saw the defender leap to head the ball towards his own keeper from the edge of the box, but his keeper was two feet in front of him and just about managed to hold the header.
Andy Bishop showed good determination on 12 minutes by winning the ball close to the area, He quickly released Craig Jones on goal, but a challenge came in that caught man before ball, earning the Shakers a free kick from close range. Euan Holden’s free kick curled around the Radcliffe wall, but flew high over the crossbar.
The home side took the lead on 20 minutes and showed plenty of skill in doing so. The quick fire Number 10 showed excellent composure, skill and determination in bringing the ball down, turning and firing a crisp shot across Trevor Carson to open the scoring.
Goal: Radcliffe Borough 1 Bury 0 (20)
Bury attempted to get back in the game almost immediately, Craig Jones collected the ball out wide and cut inside to the front of the area, he was looking for the shot on goal as he drifted past three defenders, but the shot when it did come was well blocked by the home defence and pushed away for a corner. From the resulting delivery, the ball was half cleared before Holden attempted to lob the ball back into the box. It looked like handball and certainly from the supporters around that end, it sounded like a hand had been used, but any decision was quickly waved away by the referee.
Bury’s best move of the half came on the half hour, crisp, sharp and very fast passing between Andy Bishop, Ashley Grimes and Craig Jones in and around the Radcliffe area, but the final shot from Bishop from just inside the box was again blocked and cleared.
Bishop had another effort moments later, but this time fired the ball low and hard straight down the keepers throat, whilst Ashley Grimes did break through just before the half time whistle, but the offside flag killed his run dead.
Half time: Radcliffe Borough 1 Bury 0
At the break, Kevin Blackwell changed all players with the exception of Adam Lockwood and Shane Byrne coming back out. Aidan Chippendale was left as the only player on the bench as the second period got underway.
The classic game of two halves got underway with a completely different looking Bury putting pressure on quickly, within three minutes a zipped ball into the box from Chris Sedgwick found John Rooney in a good position. He pulled the trigger with a stern shot on target that was somehow pushed away for a Bury corner.
The delivery came in high into the box from the corner, and Richard Hinds rose high above everyone but flashed his header high over the bar. Two minutes later and Shaun Harrad, who grabbed a hat trick in the same game last season, saw the goalkeeper tested with a good strike from outside the area.
Harrad again stung the keeper’s hands two minutes later, this time from a curling effort from just inside the box. Within sixty seconds another shot, but this time straight at the keeper and again well held. John Rooney showed a pair of quick feet on the hour, before again forcing the keeper to make a save and keep his side in the lead.
Shane Byrne completed his first hour of competitive football in over ten months soon after and was replaced by trialist Aidan Chippendale, who immediately put that extra zip into the Shakers side.
Within five minutes, Bury were level. A good cross from the corner from Carl Finnegan found Shaun Harrad; he rose and planted an excellent shot across the keeper into the bottom corner of the Borough goal.
Goal: Radcliffe Borough 1 Bury 1 (Harrad 68)
Within three minutes of equalising, Bury were in front, this time the impressive Chippendale floated the ball into the box, where Richard Hinds again rose and looped the ball above the Borough keeper to give the Shakers the advantage.
With the home side running out of steam, and played on a pitch that even the referee said needed a trim, the Shakers held on to claim the win with some ease. Trialist keeper Rob Lainton had an easy 45 minute and hardly saw the ball in the second half, whilst Jeremy Byame also impressed with a pair of quick feet and dazzling skills.
The aim of the afternoon was a success, they got minutes in, they started to think as footballers and the manager found made another decision on certain trialists.
Final Score: Radcliffe Borough 1 Bury 2