Barnstoneworth AA2 remain undefeated in pre-season with 1-0 victory over Pheonix on Saturday at Waverly synthetic. There was a mixture of old and new faces in the squad but the shock inclusion was the returning Barney Bad Boy Ian Rodgers. He appeared back after falling out with all of his new teammates at Glebe Wanderers Over 35’s after only 2 weeks!
From the off you could see both teams were up for it but neither team could really take advantage of early chances. Trialist goalkeeper Gordon impressed from the start with a couple of good saves and also looked comfortable with the ball at his feet. The only goal of the game came midway through the first half thanks to trialist Keiran who ended up one on one with the goalie thanks to lovely through ball by returning right back Rodgers. Kieran connected well with the ball but the goalie should have probably done better and kept it out! Pheonix created some good chances to equalise before half time but more heroics from Gordon in goal and brave defending from centre half pairing Wynton Fictoor and Scottish Stevie kept Barnstoneworth ahead at the break.
A couple of changes were made at half time with Rodgers being replaced with cramp. He claimed it was because he took his prematch Magnesium tablet on an empty stomach rather than his lack of fitness training! Barnstoneworth were the better side in the second half due to Baldy Nick and Dave Thompson controlling the central midfield area which lead to chances being created for Forsty, Cosmo and Mackay but they couldn't convert. The best chance of the second half fell to Thompson who had won the ball in the centre circle and played it forward to Mackay who held the ball up under intense pressure from the centre half before rolling it into the path of Thompson who put the ball just passed the post. Phoenix threw everything at Barnstoneworth in the last 10 minutes but couldn't find an equaliser. Their frustration was obvious with only 2 minutes to go their striker went in late and high on Barnstoneworth left back Junior who was lucky to avoid serious injury. The referee certainly had his green spectacles on because the striker wasn't even cautioned for his reckless challenge.
In the end it was a well earned win for Barnstoneworth who will be hoping they can maintain these high standards with the new season less 3 weeks away.