15 August 2020
Bewdley Town 0 Malvern Town 4
Malvern Town came through another pre-season test to secure a hard-earned 4-0 success at Bewdley Town in our first game on a grass pitch since December.
There were early chances at either end as the home side went close when their number 7 looped a header over whilst a chance opened up for Joe Billingham whose effort lacked power. The home side were not letting us settle on the ball in the early exchanges but with seven minutes on the clock, Joe Bullock did well to pick out Billingham who in turn fed Matt Turner whose effort was cleared off the line.
As we started to get into our stride, a nice touch from Joe Bates set Lewis Platt away but the home side managed to scramble clear. With both teams battling hard, we took the lead on 20 minutes when Platt set up Turner in front of goal and he made no mistake. There was some superb defending from Curtis Smith to deny the home side as they broke away in search of an equaliser.
As the clock ticked down at the end of the opening period, the home side went close with an effort that flashed across the face of goal before their number 9 saw a firm header straight at Jordan Dibble as we went in at the break one goal to the good.
The second period started with Turner snatching at an effort which went well over before we were able to double our advantage on 52 minutes when Matt Fusco did well in the build-up as Joe Bullock lashed home. With our tails up, Bates saw a low drive save and then Louis Loader’s strike squirmed away from the ‘keeper and as Harry Wickett turned the ball home, the offside flag ruled the effort out.
Some tricky play from George Hayes ended with him firing wide, whilst Jay Sauntson was determined at the other end to keep the home side at bay We further extended our lead on 69 minutes when Smith did well out wide on the right to find Fusco who arrowed the ball home into the bottom corner to make it 3-0.
The fourth goal arrived with seven minutes to go as Hayes did superbly well out wide to angle the ball home with Billingham making sure at the far post. In the closing stages, the home side hit the base of the post but we held on to our clean sheet to claim another hard-earned and deserved victory.
Westfields 2 Worcester Raiders 2
Westfields had to work hard to earn a 2-2 draw with visiting West Midland League Premier Division side Worcester Raiders behind closed doors in their second pre-season friendly at allpay.park on Saturday.
Both sides started well and attacked and former Westfields goalkeeper Matt Gwynne was in constant action in goal for the visitors and kept out a shot from King Baidoo but it was against the run of play that the visitors took the lead when Stephen Sarkodie, the Westfields goalkeeper, was caught off his line and was beaten by a clever chip shot.
However, Westfields came storming back and Gwynne twice thwarted first Bam and then Aidan Thomas before Westfields drew level from a free kick.
Worcester Raiders’ keeper was penalised for handling the ball outside the penalty area and from the resultant indirect free kick the ball was rolled to Billy Murphy who smashed home a fine drive from 20yds to put the 2 sides level.
After the break, Westfields reshuffled the pack and introduced Emmanuel Bam and Richard Greaves into the home attack but it was the visitors who once again took the lead midway through the half when they carved open the Westfields defence to beat Sarkodie with a clever goal.
However, Westfields came back well and Aidan Thomas put over a fine cross to Richard Greaves at the far post who placed the ball back in the penalty area where Emmanuel Bam was on hand to beat Gwynne from 6yds.
With the sides level now at 2-2 both had opportunities but both had strong defences with Joel Edwards outstanding for Westfields alongside Dan Stoneman.
It’s certainly strange circumstances to be playing without any fans and we all hope that the Football Association and the Government will soon make an announcement over spectators returning to watch football at this level.