Reds XI Lose To A First Half Strike.
Athersley Rec. 1-0 Barnsley XI
A very youthful Reds XI side that featured many Under 18s players and trialists, took on local side Athersley Rec, losing by a single goal.
Head of Academy Coaching Mark Burton fielded a number of players, making multiple substitutions throughout in order to help the squad gain fitness ahead of the new season.
The first half began with the Reds dominating possession and chances, which set the tone for the match. Charlie Harris was dictating the play from midfield, spraying passes to the energetic Matty Templeton and Dylan Mottley-Henry operating down the wings.
The first real chance of the match fell to James Carvell, who ran down the left hand-side before gliding past three defenders, but he couldn’t keep his shot down and it flew over the bar.
Shortly after, Jacob Brown came close with a towering header following some more good wing play from Mottley-Henry to set him up. It took until the 20th minute for the home side to register their first shot on target, which Aaron Murphy was equal too in the Barnsley goal.
However, despite Murphy’s good save, it was the opposition number one who was still the busiest. Following a pinpoint Harris corner, Brown leapt highest again, only for his header to be expertly tipped over the bar.
Just before the break the only goal of the game was produced, through a mistake in the Reds defence. Ryan Smith capitalised on the error by smashing home off the underside of the bar.
The second half saw a much changed team as members of the Reds squad and trialists alike were switched. Again, the Reds were dominating the possession but Athersley’s defensive approach to the game was working, not allowing any real chances or openings.
There were huge claims for a penalty as Omani was brought down in the box, but the referee waved the protests away much to the relief of the home side.
The only real effort of the half in a match that was a tough test for the Reds, came from Templeton. The tricky winger – who had been substituted back onto the pitch after coming off at half time – played a neat one two with Harris before surging into the box, but the ‘keeper again did well to save with his legs.
The full time whistle went shortly after which saw the Reds XI suffer defeat, but gain a good work-out in preparation for the new campaign beginning.
Full Time: Athersley Rec 1-0 Reds.
Reds XI: Murphy, Kebbie, Lang, Lovelle, Templeton, Mottley-Henry, Harris, Cissi, Carvell, Ash, Brown.