Colliers beaten in pre-season opener
Easington Colliery were beaten 2-0 in their opening pre-season game at Hebburn Town Reserves on Saturday afternoon.
Both Hebburn goals came in the first half, and it was a good first workout for the Colliers.
Joint manager Craig Hughes gave second half minutes to three new players – Aaron Forrest, Brad Thompson and Michael Robson.
Liam Adamson, Chris Pearson, Ian Redman and David Vincent were missing, but other than that, it was a full squad that made the trip to Hebburn.
Shaun Smith had a shot blocked inside the opening four minutes, but the game was only five minutes old when Hebburn Reserves broke the deadlock. Their number 10, wearing a bandana, picked up the possession on the edge of the penalty area and dinked a superb effort over Kyle Donaldson. It clipped the post on its way into the top corner.
Tom Goundry lifted a couple of early crosses into the penalty area, but good defending thwarted the Colliers.
With quarter of an hour played, Hebburn managed to get a couple of shots away, but neither could find the target.
Donaldson was forced into a good reaction save to prevent a deflected free-kick with 20 minutes on the clock, before Michael Cooke’s volley at the other end was saved.
Following a drinks break, a Brennan Ball teasing cross just evaded the far post, before Donaldson was forced into a save at the other end.
Smith just say couldn’t latch onto a Wood cross just before the half hour mark, while Jack Pounder fired a snapshot over a minute later.
The Colliers were looking the brighter side as the first half wore on, but they were failing to create any clear-cut chances.
Within the final 10 minutes of the first half, a crucial block prevented Pounder after a quick one-two with Lewis Green.
In the 42nd minute, the Colliers came agonisingly close to an equaliser. Wood’s cross found the towering Smith and his header was destined for the far corner. However, despite the ‘keeper being beaten, a defender was on the line to head the ball against the crossbar. It dropped to bounce on the line before Hebburn eventually cleared.
Smith had another effort that was saved in the 44th minute, before Hebburn doubled their lead against the run of play in first half injury time. With Easington playing a high line, Hebburn broke and played their forward in who rounded Donaldson and slotted home.
Following the break, playing in his first minute for the Colliers, Thompson almost scored. Kyle Middleton’s low ball found Thompson at the back post but his effort came back off the post.
Middleton and Thompson linked up once again four minutes later, with the latter just say failing to get onto another low ball.
In the 53rd minute, a Chris Freeman ball over the top gave Liam Cooke a chase. He latched onto it and took it round the ‘keeper but was pushed in the process. The referee waved away the penalty appeals and Hebburn were able to clear the danger.
A Middleton corner was saved in the 53rd minute, before Wood curled harmlessly wide.
Halfway through the first half, Liam Cooke weaved a way through two defenders to find room to shoot. His effort was deflected into the path of Thompson, but he could only blaze over.
Middleton had the ball in the net with 18 minutes to play, only for it to be ruled out as he was adjudged to have fouled the ‘keeper.
Pounder had an effort deflected behind for a corner late on, before the same man was inches away from converting Thompson’s low cross in injury time.
Despite being beaten, it was a good first workout for the Colliers who are next in action with a trip to Horden CW next Saturday.
Full-time: Hebburn Town Reserves 2-0 Easington Colliery
Next up for me is hopefully a game on Monday night before I go to Greece.
Easington Colliery: Donaldson, Metcalf (Freeman, 46′), O’Brien (Ball, 54′), Ball (Robson, 46′), Goundry, Green (Talbot, 71′), Wood, Michael Cooke (Middleton, 46′), Smith (Thompson, 46′), Pounder (Forrest, 46′) (Pounder, 77′), Talbot (Liam Cooke, 46’)
Unused sub: Lincoln Barrow