Date:Thursday August 5 2010
WITH two days remaining until Accrington Stanley kick off their 2010/11 npower League Two campaign against Aldershot Town at The Crown Ground, we look at how our Pre-Season has gone.
This is the first of two additions of 'It's the final countdown' on Vital Accrington Stanley, with tomorrow previewing the season ahead and taking a more in depth look at our new signings as the season will be just ONE day away!
But for now we take a look at our Pre-Season games, results, performances, scorers and the trialists.
The Reds returned to training on July 1st, and like normal were joined by floods and floods of trialists, before taking part in their first match 12 days later, when we travelled the short distance to Clitheroe.
The team was made up mainly of trialists against the local non leaguers with former Burnley players Ben Hoskin and Oliver Devenney, former Macclesfield Town defender Sean Hessey, Danny McDonough, Dermot McCaffrey, Andy Parkinson, Michael Jukes, Ray Putterill, James Bennett, Marc Manga, Rory Boulding, Vessoko Gramero and Ryan Kendall.
God, that took me almost an hour to list those players out, I suppose it isn't as bad as when I had to write the lists of Argentinian trialists we had, now that was a real ball ache.
The game ended in a 3-3 draw, with John Coleman's men having to come from three goals down as Ashley Parillion, Alan Corr and Liam McManus all netted for the home side in the opening period.
Devenney did his reputation no harm as he scored a belter to put the Reds back into the game before one of the five Stanley first team players involved found the net. Phil Edwards with a towering header drew the Reds within touching distance before a Boulding goal levelled.
A 5-1 victory over minnows Heswall two days later was a massive improvement for Coleman, as Phil Edwards once again found the back of the net, to make it two in two, this time from the penalty spot, while the other four Stanley goals were scored by trialists.
That was the last game before Stanley headed to Cornwall for the Joma Challenge Cup, which the club had been invited too via their new shirt suppliers.
First up was Premier League new boys Blackpool, who stuttered to a 2-1 victory on the South coast with goals from former Red Brett Ormerod and Keith Southern. Jimmy Ryan was the man of the moment and the man of the match for Coleman's men, as he ran Ian Holloway's boys ragged in midfield and scored a superb effort in to Blackpool's top corner.
The next game, and what turned out to be Stanley's last of the tournament, the Reds once again hit five past their opposition, coming out 5-2 victors over hosts Bideford thanks to goals from Putterill, Boulding, Dukes, McConville and Parkinson.
Stanley almost found themselves in the Semi-Final of the competition, but were cruely knocked out as Blackpool beat Scottish Premier League side Kilmarnock in their last group game, meaning they progressed in the top two.
So back to East Lancashire it was,where over the next three games, which took place over five days, a total of eight goals would be scored for Stanley, as triumphs over Northwich Victoria, Southport and AFC Flyde were recorded.
Putterill, Boulding and Jukes once again all found themselves on the scoresheet, as they all netted second half goals to send Coley's men on the way to a 3-0 win at Northwich.
Conference side Southport were beaten 2-1, before the Reds were victorious over AFC Flyde in their penultimate pre-season game with goals from Putterill, Chris Turner and Charlie Barnett.
So all has gone well to date with just the one defeat, coming at the hands of the new top flight whipping boys Blackpool, who were flattered by a victory against the Reds.
Your probably wondering why there was no annual Burnley friendly at the Crown Ground. It's simple, the game had to be called off as the pitch wasn't going to be ready in time for the match, as Stanley's ground staff prepared the surface for the coming season.
So the game was switched to a behind closed doors game at the Clarets' training ground - Gawthorpe, as their Turf Moor pitch isn't yet fully prepared after a £750,000 revamp of the surface.
Brian Laws' men under performed on the day, after returning to England just 24 hours earlier following a seven day tour of Singapore, and Stanley took full advantage of that, taking a 2-0 lead into the half time break after a double from McConville.
But the Clarets hit back in the second half as their new signing Dean Marney, who singed on a free transfer from Hull City hit two past Alex Cisak, leaving a full time result of 2-2.
A highly respectable pre-season campaign from the Reds, although it isn't about results or performances at this stage, it is purely on fitness and preparing the squad for the season ahead, and that is exactly what we have done.
We lost a number of players at the end of last season, and that was gut wrenching to Stanley supporters as the two main goal threats in Bobby Grant and Michael Symes walked out on the club.
But they very well could have been replaced, as Coley has once again come up trumps and has signed some quality players who did look very impressive whilst on trial with the club.
Onwards and upwards for Stanley! Fingers crossed.
Date:Thursday August 5 2010
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