"Fans View from the Shed End."

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Its just our blog. We listen to what the fans are saying on the terraces and discussing on social media and we sort of chuck it all together into a blog. Debate will be provoked and opinion provided but isnt that what being a football fan is all about. 

 

PRE SEASON ...CONTD

 

With an abundance of schedule changes, thanks to waterlogged pitches, depleted squad numbers and the like, the latter half of the pre-season schedule was unfortunately more disjointed than the first few weeks, though this still allowed for a slight portion of the discussion and drama that the sport of football often thrives upon.

 

Following the win against Atherton Collieries was an opportunity to rectify the Yellows’ poor record at Stormy Corner, home of Skelmersdale United. Over recent years, the short trip down the M6 has become a bogey fixture, with Warrington not leaving with a win within recent memory. The attempt to break the duck wasn’t lacking in effort, with Tony Gray scoring his first for Town, shortly followed by Sean Williams doubling the tally. Unfortunately, the curse soon returned, and Skem ultimately clawed their way back to finish the match level.

 

It was at this point that the generally positive pre-season hit a plateau, with the scheduled fixture at Trafford called off at late notice, with unconfirmed reports of the Yellows lacking the numbers for the fixture. Without wanting to speculate on unknown circumstances, it was a shame to see this game cancelled, with Trafford counting players such as former Town favourite Louis Corrigan amongst their number. It is hoped that the circumstances of this postponement are a one-off, rather than a red flag ahead of the new season.

 

Next up was a trip to Colne, which was unfortunately scrapped due to heavy rain in East Lancashire. Like Trafford, Colne are another team expected to be in the promotion mix for the Evo-Stik 1st Division North and would have provided another good test, but again it unfortunately wasn’t to be.

 

In lieu of the trip to Pendle, a short notice inter-squad friendly was announced, undoubtedly to the delight of any Football Manager gurus amongst our ranks. Played in-front of a crowd not reaching double figures, the predominately first-team Blue shirted side managed to outscore the Yellow shirts by three goals to one. Ruben Jerome again provided the most cause for discussion with a few testing shots on goal, with Sean Williams, Jay McCarten and Joe Mwasile all making the scoresheet.

 

Ending this brief lull, the eventual final pre-season run-out was thankfully a much more competitive affair against Airbus Broughton, who go into this season aiming to return to the Welsh Premier League following relegation in their last campaign. On the day of the fixtures, the registrations of Brad Barnes, Liam Hynes, Rory McKeown and Abou Sanogo were all confirmed, helping to finalise the squad ahead of the new season.

 

Abou Sanogo celebrated his signing in style, diverting a Sean Williams set piece home for the Yellows second, following a first goal from Connor Hughes. The final goal came when Airbus failed to deal with another Wire cross and Jay McCarten secured his second goal of the week.

 

The Yellows strength in this match came through the set-pieces and crosses, though it could be equally argued that this was also the weakness of Airbus. Either way, this was a successful runout against another side who are gunning for the top end of their division this season, though how the Welsh teams realistically size up against our Evo-Stik compatriots is a new argument entirely.

 

With this final win signalling the final whistle on our pre-season run-outs, we can probably call the campaign a moderate success. Though the fixtures we played all asserted their own different challenges, playing sides from the top ends of the tiers below us still doesn’t match the litmus test of fixtures against teams from the leagues above, or even our counterparts in the Southern & Isthmian Leagues.

 

The real barometer for this squad will obviously come in the coming weeks when competitive fixtures are back underway, but the initial signs are positive nonetheless. We have kept hold of a core of our better players, and effectively rebuilt the squad around them. Throughout the schedule the lads & staff have always appeared confident and settled, a pleasant reassurance as we move our sights yet again to the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

 

On Saturday, the years’ competitive action kicks-off, with a home tie against Rushall. The Pics hold a fond spot in our memory, after an unforgettable away day there en-route to our 2015 Doodson Cup success. We look forward to finally returning to the more combative fixtures of the league campaign, and we hope to see as many of you joining us behind the goal as possible for the coming season. Up the Yellows.

PRE SEASON 2017 REVIEW

 

Following a slow-burning first foray into the Evo-Stik Premier Division, preparations for the Yellows’ second campaign at Step 3 are now nearly complete.

 

This years’ pre-season schedule was predominately built upon difficult fixtures from the leagues below, featuring early Evo-Stik First Division promotion favourites Trafford & Colne, an Atherton Collieries side still bursting with momentum after their second promotion in three years, and North West Counties shoo-ins Runcorn Town. The schedule was completed with matches against our neighbours from Skelmersdale and Barnton, and two of our trademark Anglo-Welsh friendlies, against Airbus and Wrexham.

 

In the lead-up to the opening friendly at Barnton, a few eyebrows were raised at the level of turnover within the squad, entering match-day with just 13 players registered, accompanied by a cohort of trialists. Thankfully, the trip to Townfield did a good job of easing these nerves, with the performances of Connor Hughes and Joe Mwasile standing out, and the experience & intelligence shown by the veteran Tony Gray also catching the eye.

 

Whilst new names and faces dominated the discussion, it was great to see Euan Woods score a much anticipated first senior goal, on the back of successive Golden Boots and an NPLFA Cup win for the Yellows’ Academy side. With Euan previously under the tutelage of Blackpool legend Keith Southern, and now training alongside prolific strikers such as Josh Hine and Tony Gray, his further progression could be exciting to follow over the coming season.

 

Next up was a trip to our friends at the Pavilions. Despite the divisional gap between the teams, Runcorn Town were a high flying team in the North West Counties last season, with Craig Cairns scoring for fun and ex-Wire Joey Holt pulling the strings in midfield. Not many sides went to the Pavilions last season and left with a clean sheet or a goal, so the positives of Warrington walking away with a four-goal victory cannot be understated. Unfortunately for the sake of this report, the stronger performers from this match were all under the ‘Trialist’ pseudonym, but as with Barnton and the friendlies to come, the Town continued to attempt good passing football, a positive change from recent seasons.

 

The standout test of the programme came next, with Conference Premier side Wrexham welcomed as this season’s first visitors to Cantilever Park. For the most part, the Warrington defence held out well against a professional outfit, but Wrexham eventually took a two-goal lead. The returning Dylan Vasallo and newcomer Josh Hine both impressed on the intermittent occasions in which they gained possession.

 

The Yellows finally gained a solid foothold within the game in the latter stages, after fans favourite Ruben Jerome replaced Tony Gray in the second striker position, adding an extra dimension of pace to the side. Ruben is one of the star players of the current Yellow contingent, and showed his class with a composed finish to half the deficit. Unfortunately, the late pressure didn’t produce an equaliser, but the positives can certainly be taken as we held our own in the most difficult fixture of the schedule.

 

Ruben Jerome continued to impress in the next fixture, which was a trip to the Kensite Stadium, home of the high flying Atherton Collieries, who have on occasion earned comparisons with Wimbledon’s “Crazy Gang” with their successes over recent seasons. Warrington were in dominant form in the early moments, and Ruben capitalised with a thunderbolt to give the Wire the lead with only a few minutes on the clock.

 

However, this momentum soon petered out, with the Collieries drawing level halfway through the first half. Warrington showed an impressive resilience to instantly respond to this equaliser, with Sean Williams scoring an outstanding 25-yard curling effort to put Town back in the lead. Following the exciting start, the game remained fairly even from here on out, with both sides showing toughness in defence to prevent any more goals either way. Ex-Wire ‘stopper Adam Reid produced a fine save in the final moments of the match, to prevent a late third yellows goal from a free-kick.

 

Pre-season so far has been promising, with a pacier brand of football on show and initial signs suggesting the summer squad reshuffle has resulted in a positive outcome. The faith in a smaller, more tight-knit squad is already showing some initial reward, though obviously the real tests are yet to come.