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Match Reports

Valiants complete first Pre-Season outing

8 July 2023

Match Reports

Valiants complete first Pre-Season outing

8 July 2023

The Valiants, with a combination of both first team and academy players, travelled down the M6 to face West Bromwich Albion behind-closed-doors in our first pre-season friendly.

Ellis Harrison had the first attack of the game on three minutes as he slipped in through the Albion defence, but his effort was well saved. 

West Brom took the lead midway through the first half when the ball was powered home from close range following a corner. 

Connor Ripley did excellently to deny the Baggies doubling their advantage with a good reflex save from close range. 

Albion got their second early in the second half with a well struck volley inside the area. Just over ten minutes later they made it three with a calm finish inside the box.

A West Brom corner invited a chance for the hosts, but a header targeted at goal was well kept out by Jayson Leutwiler. 

Caelan Ryan had a half-chance to reduce the deficit getting his head to the ball that was delivered from the right but the Albion keeper claimed the effort well. 

Leutwiler was busy again in the final ten minutes and pulled off an amazing save with his feet to block a fierce shot from the edge of the area. 

First team players that featured: Connor Ripley, Jayson Leutwiler; Mitchell Clark, Lewis Cass, Nathan Smith, Dan Jones; James Plant, Tom Sang, Tommy McDermott, Funso Ojo, Ben Garrity; Ellis Harrison.

Academy players that featured: Ben Lomax, Callum Besford, Louis Francis; Liam Brazier, Jack Shorrock, Rhys Walters, Dan Mahaffy; Baylee Dipepa, Caelan Ryan, Joao Pervide 


Talking about our first pre-season match, manager Andy Crosby said: 

"This afternoon was a great chance to get some valuable minutes in the legs of some of the lads in our continued preparations for the league season, it was also our first real chance at seeing some of the Under-18s come up against some tough opposition in a match environment.

"They’ve impressed in training over the past few weeks, it was good to see them put into practice what they’ve been picking up on the training pitch and it will also help with their development further down the line to have experienced coming up against the type of player West Brom have.

"We’ll have another behind-closed-doors game early next week which will again help us to give senior players minutes before we travel to Kidsgrove and Newcastle on Saturday.

"We'd like to thank West Brom for their hospitality this afternoon and wish them all the best for their 2023/24 campaign."

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