Pre-Season Friendly – 12th September 2020
The term pre- season friendly tends to conjure up a picture of a football match with nothing at stake, played with a lack of pace, bite, and intensity. There hadn’t previously been any such matches at The Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium this pre- season. Unfortunately, with a good crowd in The Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium, today’s match, the last in a long, long, warm up, was the only one to look decidedly “pre- season”.
A trialist started at right back, with Ryan Cooper getting a start in midfield. Josh Street was injured, meaning that The Robins played with only Mark Simpson and Liam Flanagan up front. In a change of formation Brad Freer played as a midfielder, just in behind the front two.
Wombwell Main may ply their trade a level below Town, in the Premier Division of The Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior Football League, but they soon showed they were not to be taken lightly. Dylan Parkin was required to charge out of his area, to put paid to an early threat from Wombwell.
Selby soon suffered a blow as Ryan Cooper was forced to leave the field to be replaced by Archie Brown.
Dylan Parkin was nearly caught out at his near post by a shot cum cross, which he was relieved to divert wide for a corner. Town were not imposing themselves, and there was little of attacking note from them, until Jon-Paul Vass cut in from the left with a mazy run, before unleashing a shot that crashed against the underside of the cross bar, bouncing out. Wombwell’s goalkeeper, Dale Crossland smothered the ball,just as Mark Simpson looked to profit from the rebound.
At the other end the trialist right back earned himself a deserved round of applause after covering good ground, and making a great tackle, to snuff out a Wombwell attack on the left side of Selby’s penalty area.
Coming onto the ball from deep, Zeph Thomas just couldn’t keep his long range shot down. Almost immediately, the same player was on the end of a good passing move, bursting into the box, only to see the Wombwell goalkeeper make a fine block at full stretch.
More good passing saw Archie Brown feed Brad Freer storming towards goal. This time the cross was desperately turned behind by a stretching defender. The corner came to nothing even though the goalkeeper made a mess of claiming the centre. Zeph Thomas had a shot narrowly wide, beforeArchie Brown had the goalkeeper fully extended with a fizzing shot destined for the corner of the net.
Time for the top scorer, Liam Flanagan, to get into the act as he loosed off a couple of shots which both flew over the bar. His next attempt was a free kick from 30 yards out. This time he didn’t get the elevation required, and the wall blocked the kick. Brad Freer hit the rebound over the top.
After this activity at the Wombwell end, The Robins had the mother of all let offs immediately before the half time whistle. The ball came to the left side of Town’s area to Wombwell’s Danny Frost, (remember him?) With acres of space, and only the goalkeeper to beat, he somehow failed to properly connectwith the ball, and the golden chance was lost.
It was no surprise that there were no goals at half time.
Myles Lawman, Nick Kennedy, and Reuben Pearse replaced The Trialist, Zeph Thomas, and Archie Brown.
Immediately Selby showed more intent. Liam Flanagan was just over with a shot; a Mark Simpson shot was blocked by the ‘keeper. Liam Flanagan forced another save; before a driving Jon-Paul Vass forced a corner. The goalkeeper failed to claim the cross, Ryan Gothard shooting wide under pressure from defenders. A tricky dribble from Liam Flanagan earned him the space for a shot, which the ‘keeper saved. Brad Freer went on a mazy, driving run of his own, only to run out of pitch.
It looked like a Selby goal might be on the cards, and sure enough, the longed for event finally arrived. A ball across the box found Mark Simpson, in the clear, on the left side of the area. He was able to cut in, and drive his shot through the exposed goalkeeper. Almost immediately Town were nearly on the scoresheet again, as first Liam Flanagan, then Mark Simson were thwarted by the opposition goalkeeper. As more substitutions were made, Charlie Clamp rifled a 30 yard shot just wide.
With two more trialists, Brett Lucas, and Cameron Collins coming on, it was virtually all change Town. Perhaps it was not surprising that their tempo slowed, allowing Wombwell back into a game, that Town had been controlling.
Wombwell had the ball in the net, only to be brought back by the offside flag. A header from a corner meant routine shot stopping work for Dylan Parkin, for the first time.
Back at the other end, Cameron Collins set up Brad Freer with a good cross field ball only for the resulting shot to be wide. The midfield trialist almost set up Liam Flanagan with a threaded through ball, only for the striker to be unable to take it in his stride.
Wombwell gave the ball away cheaply just outside their area. This allowed Brad Freer to advance towards the goalkeeper, before making sure that full toll was extracted for the error, as he coolly side footed the ball into the corner of the net.
Straight after kick off, Town were on the attack again, the midfield trialist poking his shot just wide of an almost open goal.
If Wombwell had been generous for Selby’s second goal, then it was time to return the favour. A lazy pass in midfield, and the ball was given away cheaply. A pass to a forward running into the channel, free from any challenge. No problem to slide the ball past the stranded Dylan Parkin.
Another move, with Wombwell advancing past the pedestrian Selby defence, brought a terrific point blank stop from Dylan Parkin. This time, the offside flag again brought dismay to the opposition.
There was just time for Brad Freer to earn himself a yellow card, and for Liam Flanagan to hit ,yet another shot over the bar , before the final whistle was blown.
Next week (Covid permitting) Town begin their season in earnest with a trip to Litherland REMCYA in the FA Vase. The Robins need the fillip of serious competition to boost their performance levels. Keep your eye on the Selby Town website to make yourself aware of any restrictions or provisions for match attendance. If you can, please make the trip to Liverpool to support the team. They will appreciate it.
Goal Scorers: Mark Simpson 60’, Brad Freer 74’, Unknown 80’
Selby Town: Dylan Parkin, Trialist A, Jon-Paul Vass, Zeph Thomas, Ryan Gothard, George Bissett, Ryan Cooper, Charlie Clamp, Liam Flanagan, Brad Freer, Mark Simpson.
Subs: Reuben Pearse, Myles Lawman, Nick Kennedy, Cameron Collins, Archie Brown, Brett Lucas, Trialist B, Trialist C.
Wombwell Main FC: Dale Crossland, Ben Knox, Regan Wilde, Jamie Knox, Simon Chadburn, Ashley Emmett, Kieran Hirst, Jake Simon, Ryan Wingrove, Danny frost, Jake Jackson.
Subs: Sam Jones, Ben Davies, Aaron Tate, Ross Edwards, Sam Ackroyd.
Report: Phil Dearnley
Photos: Harvey Brewster