City opened their pre-season with a 4-0 win at Lincoln United yesterday, and across the country our League Two rivals have begun to do the same. Although you can tell absolutely nothing by pre-season results, it is still interesting to see how our rivals fare.
Hitchin Town 1 Stevenage 1
Stevenage played two different line ups in each half, but struggled to break down a resolute Hitchin Town. Former Imps keeper Chris Day, by now 50 or something, started the second half in goal, but it was a more recent name that introduced himself to his new club. Former Bromley man Blair Turgott carved a goal for himself with a run and shot, not unlike the goal he scored against us earlier in the season.
Stevenage gave a run out to transfer-listed winger Tom Pett as well as centre half Fraser Franks who has been attracting interest from several suitors, one rumoured to be Lincoln City, although there is nothing to substantiate that other than mindless internet gossip.
St Neots Town 0 Cambridge United 1
The U’s left it late to grab their first pre-season win, and they did it without Ade Azeez, the player who recently chose the over City. He watched on as another new face, Jabo Ibhere scored the decisive goal just minutes before the final whistle.
A strong-looking pre-season has seen Cambridge become many people’s ‘dark horses’ for a promotion assault, but this was a low-key opener for them. David Amoo, another new arrival from Partick Thistle, showed flashes of his ability without troubling St Neots full-backs. The highly-rated former Gillingham man, Emmanuel Osadebemi had a ‘raw energy’ according to the Cambridge News, but might have to hone his skills to be more effective.
East Grinstead 1 Crawley 6
All of our League Two rivals seemed to open with ties against local non-league opponents, and Crawley made good use of the opportunity to show new manager Harry Kewell what they could do. Matt Harrold scored a brace while Enzio Boldewijn, Jimmy Smith, Dean Cox and Panutche Camara all registered goals as well.
Kidsgrove 0 Port Vale 6
Just like with Lincoln United yesterday, Kidsgrove were delighted to see 1400 fans turn up for their prestige friendly against Port Vale. Sadly, also like yesterday, there was no chink of light on the pitch for the minnows as they were steam-rollered by two separate line ups in each half. Tyrone Barnett scored twice early on, just as Matt Green did. Huddersfield Town youngster Rekeil Pyke, who is joining Vale on loan, added the third three minutes into the second half, and the fourth on 69 minutes.
The 19-year old striker scored an even better goal on 69 minutes when he brought the ball down on the left side of the area before curling a shot low inside the far post from around 16 yards. Returning hero Tom Pope grabbed a fifth before Cristian Montano ended the rout five minutes from time.
Sutton United 0 Coventry City 1
It was 1989 all over again at Gander Green Lane, only Coventry City are now in the basement division and this wasn’t the FA Cup. The Sky Blues followed suit and fielded two separate sides in each half, handing debuts to all nine of their summer signings. Despite having new signings Maxime Biamou and Marc McNulty on the pitch, it was left to 22-year old trialist Greg Moorhouse to grab the winner. Moorhouse is on trial from Irish club Glentoran, and he certainly made an impression by separating the two sides.
Slough 0 Wycombe 0
There was no routine win for City’s opponents on August 5th. Gareth Ainsworth featured a number of trialists, and beefcake forward Ade Akinfenwa was rested too. It was only due to an inspired performance from Slough’s keeper Jack Turner that kept Wycombe at bay, particularly after the break. It could have been very different had the lft-back ‘A Trialist’ not been clattered after releasing a shot from the halfway line after three minutes. The referee blew for a foul, unawares the outstanding shot had beaten the keeper from nigh on 80-yards out. Dayle Southwell came on for the final 45 and had chances saved as well as hitting the bar, whilst Danny Rowe also had a good effort stopped.
No, not that Danny Rowe (right), he’s at Ipswich.
Yes, that’s right. Another Danny Rowe (pictured top).