The last pre-season friendly saw Woodton entertain Long Stratton U21’s. United again started the game well with Allerton and E.Mortimer looking very lively upfront ably supported by the clever passing of K.Smith and D.Mortimer and the ever impressive Piggin. Muir, Mattos and Hulme in defence looked solid in front of Young, whose command of the box and sweeping up improve every game. The early exchanges saw E.Mortimer fouled as he looked like getting away on goal and Stratton finding a way through to shoot past Young’s post. Nelson was having a very good game on the right combining well with Muir, on the other side Groom worked hard helping Hulme deal with Stratton’s biggest threat down their right. United’s play soon yielded an opportunity as Allerton won a penalty after being fouled following a corner. Allerton took responsibility but saw his fiercely struck spot kick brilliantly saved by the Stratton keeper. The force of the shot injuring the keepers wrist, causing him to be withdrawn. All at Woodton wish him well. Pressure from United saw them win a throw in on the left, quick thinking from D.Mortimer saw his throw in release E.Mortimer who finished with clinical efficiency over the replacement goalkeeper. Woodton continued to apply pressure and the second came after D.Mortimer’s clever pass released E.Mortimer who held off two challenges before cutting inside to slot home from eight yards to make it two. Mitchell, Last and Gooch entered the fray and United looked comfortable until half time.
HT: Woodton United 2-0 Long Stratton U21
The second half started similarly and E.Mortimer had a potential penalty shout turned down by the referee. Stratton had definitely raised their game and The Reds lost a little shape and some intensity for the first time and were soon punished when the visitors pulled one back with a good finish over the out rushing Young. The visitors now began to excerpt pressure on the hosts who struggled to regain their composure and after the ball struck Young’s bar Hulme was adjudged to have fouled in the box and Stratton had a penalty kick. Young got his hand to the resultant kick but the ball went in and the visitors had their equaliser. Lots of teams would have folded at this point with the momentum firmly with the opposition but Woodton regained their composure, shape and intensity and began to have the better of the exchanges. Half chances came and went at both ends with defensives doing very well but it was United who got the break when a Stratton player was adjudged to have handled following a corner. Last stepped up and struck his penalty kick to the keepers right and into bottom corner of the net giving United the lead again. Sharman entered the fray in defence and Utd rolled subs to keep legs fresh seeing out the last fifteen minutes with calm assured play save for the odd risky throw. In the last minute Stratton were awarded a free kick on the edge of Utd’s box but the resultant attempt didn’t trouble Young.
FT Woodton United 3-2 Long Stratton
Another good performance from the Reds who now look forward to next week’s first league game at FC Viking Reserves.