Friday, 19 August 2011

What happened to pre-season?

Wednesday 27th July - friendly
Easington United 2 East Riding CFA Juniors 1
Saturday 30th July - friendly
Easington United 2 Long Riston 0
Monday 1st August - friendly
Easington United An.XI 2 St Andrews 0

It's quite ironic that as the pre-season programme shifted up a gear, I shifted out of the area.  A mini-break "darn sarf" meant I missed out on the annual meeting with the East Riding County Juniors Rep side, while attendance at a CML Meeting ensured I passed up a first viewing of the new Stiffs management's first game in charge.
Having been heartily encouraged by the opening game effort against HPL champions Sculcoates, I set off to Old Windsor ("home to the Anglo-Saxon Kings of England") buoyed further by news of a couple of possible "new faces" in the side for the midweek meeting with the County Rep side.
And as I retired to the superb Beaumont Estate Hotel - accompanied by Mrs Slush, two very tired Slushettes and a KFC Bargain Family Bucket following a fantastic first day at Legoland - it was with spirits further lifted by confirmation that both had played in the night's 2-1 success.
All thrills & spills when the County Juniors come calling
I took a more detailed account of the night's events over breakfast the following morning; it had been the usual fast-tempo affair against some of the brightest young talent in the County.  Steve Harrod - back in an Ezzie shirt for the first time in three years - had netted a fine first and after the Juniors had cashed in on a Charlie error late on, Andy Martin had snatched the win with a very late penalty.
Both the aforementioned "King Harrod" and fellow new face "Sammo" had enjoyed the game and hopes were high that both would decide to sign for the coming campaign.  I departed for a day on the Pirates Landing, the Viking Rafts and the Atlantis submarine in extremely good spirits.

The King is back...but for how long?
By time I'd returned to the Humber Riviera, things had moved on a touch.  For a start the "King" had since decided against a return to Low Farm, while our other possible new recruit had cricket, a wedding and holidays to occupy his thoughts before turning attention to what his winter sporting pursuits would be.
And so it was a relatively familar side that took to the field against HPL Division 1 side Long Riston for our final home friendly of pre-season.

It's like playing against the Argies...
On a glorious afternoon the visitors provided just the sort of stubborn test required to bring everyone back down to earth after the fine performances that had preceded it.  Indeed it wasn't until Bezza and Frosty struck inside the last five minutes that Riston's spirit was broken.
Monday saw Stiffs management duo Danny Medforth and Lee McGeachy get their first taste of dugout action as the "Reserves" (as if you can term them that before the season actually starts?) entertained newly promoted HPL Premier Division outfit St Andrews.

Back home - the "dynamic duo"!
As with the previous midweek fixture, I was unable to attend due to other commitments; which in this case involved sitting in a sweltering Glapwell Community Hall for the CML Special General/Pre-Season Meeting.  Not my first choice of how to spend Yorkshire Day!
A phone call to Meddy at conclusion of the meeting gave me a brief report of what had been a very heartening night for the Stiffs' new boss.
Shane Keyworth and Jimmy Dawson had made their anticipated returns to the ranks following a spell at Withernsea and shared a goal apiece in a 2-0 win.
So, four friendlies, four positive results.  Next up, the Holderness Cup Winners Cup Final...

Most photos here courtesy of Burt Graham

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