Rothwell Town 0 Rothwell Town Sunday Team 3
An experimental side began brightly and had the better of the 1st half chances. The Sunday side troubled the Town defence with some accurate long balls with willing runners up front. Toward the end of the first half the Sunday side were firmly on top but the score remained 0-0 at half time. The second half saw 5 changes but the pattern remained the same. The Sunday side quickly began to dominate and were 2-0 up after 60 minutes. Things could have been worse had Matty Otley not made one of his customary penalty saves. The Town team who had expected to stroll past their Sunday counterparts all too often reverted to the horrors of the previous season with personal errors and in-fighting being the cause of most problems. The Sunday side battled for 90 minutes and grabbed a late third to provide a scoreline which reflected the woeful Town performance. A well deserved 3-0 defeat.
Otley, Rigg, Newbould, B.Parker, Kitching, Clark, Kime, R.Marshall, Foster, L.Smith, Bjelic Subs: Thirkell, K Parker, Pennington, Doyle, Ramsden.
Rothwell Town 4 vs Old Thornesians 1
The Yorkshire Old Boys Division 1 outfit arrived at Town looking for the same morale boosting win as we required. They left thoroughly beaten by a classy Town performance. A strong starting XI quickly made their mark on the game and dominated the Midfield from the off. Kris Parker opened his account for the season with an exquisite dinked finish over the opposition Number 1 after being sent one on one by Pennington. Town's 2nd wasn't far behind as 16 year old new boy Liam Clark hit the net with a delightful chip from the edge of the box. Some of Town's passing moves were incisive and reminiscent of 'the good old days'. Clark's second came from town's best move. Kris Parker received the ball, held it and laid it into the overlapping Pennington's path, he crossed accurately for a Clark tap in. The fourth came just before half time. Thirkell sent Pennington one on one and he finished coolly for a goal his all action performance deserved. Second half changes were made and Town continued to create chances against a visibly demoralised Thorns side. However as Town eased off the gas and lost a bit of shape Old Thornesians grabbed a consolation goal toward the end of the second half.
A morale boosting 4-1 win was well deserved and finally gave manager Paul Pennington something to smile about.
Briggs, Payne, Haresign, Kime, C.Thorp, Doyle, Thirkell, Pennington 1, Ford, K.Parker 1, Clark 2, Subs: Hawkins, R Marshall, Bjelic, Kitching, Firth
Rothwell Town 3 vs Kippax Athletic 2
A game billed as a mainly Reserve Team fixture lined up with several 'first teamers' in the starting line up including Ben Parker, Andy Kitching, Jamie Kime and Paul Bjelic.
The remainder of the team was made up to form a potential settled reserve side and several "fringe players" who may be considered for the 1st team at the start of the season.
As the game got under way it was clear to see that Town would need to settle into the game early and take control. A lack of communication semed to be Town's main concern. In the early minutes the game was slightly rushed by both teams, neither of them being able to get the ball on the deck and create any significant chances. Kippax were awarded a penalty for what seemed like an innocuous challenge. The Kippax player calmly slotted the ball home from the resulting kick leaving Marshall with little chance, 1-0 down. Town created chances and Nick Foster went close with a long range header but with just 10 minutes remaining in the 1st half a slightly fortunate bounce came Kippax's way giving them a one on one with Town's 'keeper, the striker cooly finished making it 2-0. The game was heading Kippax's way, who also hit the freshly glossed bar with a header from a corner, literally taking the paint off the woodwork. HALF TIME.
The 2nd half saw 8 changes to the starting line up. An immediate impact was made by the fresh players with openings being created. Bennett lashed home a scorcher from 18 yards just 10 mins in, 2-1 and back in it. Kris Parker levelled the scores 20 minutes into the 2nd half with a sweet, right footed peach from 25 yards into the top corner. 2-2. The confidence was now flowing through the team with the defence looking strong, midfield creative and strikers finding space and unforgiving in front of goal. The winning goal came with 15 minutes remaining. A clumsy challenge by the Kippax defender gave Town a free kick from the left wing. Bennett curled the cross beautifully to the far post where it was met with a crisp volley from 6 yards into the roof of the net by Purcell on his Town return. Now 3-2 up Town were able to alter the side around again. More chances were made but the damage was already done.
An excellent second half performance from Town with a good team spirit. More of this when the season gets under way and last season will soon be forgotten.
A.Marshal, B.Parker, C.Smith, Kitching, Hawkins, R.Marshall, Kime(c), Firth, Ford, Bjelic, Foster. Subs; Otley, Newbould, Thorp, Purcell 1, Thirkell, Doyle, Bennett 1, K.Parker 1.
Rothwell Town 4 Vs Stepping Stones 1
With 17 players to choose from Town manager Pennington opted for a strong side in both halves following on from the Kippax game. A strong starting XI were tested and harried by a willing Stepping Stones side wanting to get one over on their most proximate rivals. Neil Doyle and Paul Bjelic, Town regulars both, opted to play for their Sunday side rather than leave them without two of their most influential players. Town on the other hand had players to fill the gaps left by Doyle and Bjelic. Both sides had chances but it was Town who broke the deadlock through the in- form Kris Parker. A Liam Clark throw down the right was flicked on by Thirkell into the menacing Parker's path. He duly obliged with a shot across goal under the keeper for 1-0. Half time saw changes as expected but 5 minutes into the second half, Jody Thirkell unleashed a 30 yard thunderbolt in off the far post leaving the Stones keeper no chance. Stones heads dropped and not long after Parker was set free by sub Bennett for 3-0. With legs heavy on a hot day chances were made and missed by Town but substitute Barry Haresign hit Town's fourth with a tap in after a good move down the right and a sweet Kime cross. As with the Thornesians game The Stones were allowed a consolation when Town boy Bjelic caught the Town defence napping and finished cooly with his left foot across keeper Otley.
An altogether solid Town performance against a side who tested and threatened in the first period but waned in the second. Another morale boosting win.
Otley, Rigg, Newbould, Purcell, B.Parker, Clark, Kime, Thirkell 1, Ford, K.Parker 2, Foster. Subs: Kitching, Haresign 1, Hawkins, Bennett, C.Smith, A. Marshall
Rothwell Town 2 Vs Tadcaster Albion Res 2
On a stiflingly hot day an emphasis of concentration and effort on positions was placed on the Town team rather than the result. Town started the game and immediately went on the attack with a ball from Parker drilled down the left wing for Ford to latch onto and cross the ball into the danger area where Bennett was waiting. The ball was cleared by the Tadcaster defence but it was obvious that Town were up for this game from the start. The early stages were dominated by Town with the occasional threat from counter attacks by Albion. Midway through the 1st half of an evenly balanced game Albion were awarded a free-kick 18 yards from goal after an innocuous challenge and a dive by the attacker. From this Tadcaster took the lead with a deflected shot which arked into the top corner past Otley. As the 1st half wore on and the sun beat down Town continued to create chances with Bennett and Kime both going close but the half time whistle went. 0-1. The 2nd half saw several changes by Town bringing on much needed fresh legs in the heat.
Again Town were looking bright from the re-start and were rewarded with a penalty 8 minutes in after a heavy and clumsy challenge on Bennett by the Tadcaster defender. With Bennett receiving traetment the ball was handed to Bjelic. A short run up and a drilled shot to the 'kepers right hand corner levelled the scores at one-a-piece.
Town continued to forge chances on a weary looking Albion defence but it was Tadcaster who restored their lead. A clear hand-ball was not penalised by the referee as Albion broke which led to a ball being laid off 25 yards from goal before being struck sweetly onto the top corner leaving Marshall little chance. 1-2 with 20 minutes remaining. Town refused to give in and continued plugging away, again Bennett going close but dragging his shot across goal. With just 10 minutes remaining an excellent cross from Clark found it's way into the box and Bjelic duly obliged with a finish to take his and Town pre-season tally to 2.
2-2 seemed like a fair result and it remained this way for the final 10 minutes as legs began to get heavy. Full Time and a well earned draw with an all-round excellent team performance just one week before the start of the season.
Team; Otley, Rigg, Newbould, Purcell, Kitching, Kime, Doyle, Ford, Bennett, Clark, K.Parker. Subs; Bjelic (2), Marshall, Foster, Hawkins, Whiteley, Smith, Firth.