Pre-season begins with workout against Reading

Credit Graham Burrell

Normally, if I do a match article, I put the score in the headline.

I’m not going to do that for pre-season friendlies, because I feel in terms of results, there’s nothing to be gleaned from them. For the record, City lost 1-0 today, but gave a run out to 22 players through the game, getting vital minutes into both senior players, and some second-year academy players.

There were some points to note, other than the Tyrell Ashcroft goal that gave the home side their 1-0 win. Firstly, Joe Walsh was not involved in the game, which may hint at further injury problems, but that hasn’t been confirmed. There was no place in the squad for Anthony Scully, Regan Poole, Sean Roughan, Cohen Bramall or new signing Lewis Fiorini, although with it being early in the pre-season campaign there’s little to be concerned about.

The team for the first half saw Sam Long make his first start for the club in goal, with Josh Simpson, Max Melbourne, Lewis Montsma, Kobi Boffah, Liam Bridcutt, Conor McGrandles, Remy Longdon, Tayo Tucker, Freddie Draper and Chris Maguire outfield. For the record, Remy Longdon was formerly known as Howarth.

Details of the game are sketchy, but the tweets the media team put out did suggest a busy half for new signing Chris Maguire, making a chance for Draper and going closest for the Imps himself. There was a decent save from Sam Long, which you can see in the tweet below. It came from an effort from Andy Yiadom, a seasoned professional with lots of Championship experience.

In the second half, a trialist took his place between the sticks, with Tayo Edun, Adam Jackson, Hayden Cann, Mekhi Angol, Max Sanders, Billy Brooks, James Jones, Tom Hopper, Jovon Makama and Theo Archibald making up the outfield players. There are no details for the second half, aside from the 69th-minute goal that won the game for Reading. By the sounds of their match report, there wasn’t an awful lot to write about for us, bar a few forays forward.

Remember, this result means nothing at all, not really. it’s good to see the young lads being integrated into the first-team setup and there’s no doubt fans will be delighted to see Freddie Draper handed a chance. Last pre-season, Jovon Makama got some minutes and has wound up with a contract, which could bode well for Draper.

The other thing I want to note is the appearance of Max Melbourne. We know he’s been told he can find another club, but unlike some teams, it’s refreshing to see him being included in these games and around the squad. Who knows, a strong pre-season could see him force his way back into Michael’s plans, and I feel him being included is showing some respect to the player. Some clubs make senior players train with the kids and freeze them out completely, which Michael has not done with Max.