Round-up of pre-season friendlies

Bury 3 Kirkley & Pakefield 1BURY Town continued their winning pre season run with a comfortable victory over their Ridgeons League opponents.

Pre-season friendlies

Bury 3 Kirkley & Pakefield 1

BURY Town continued their winning pre season run with a comfortable victory over their Ridgeons League opponents.

After an even opening, Bury took the lead on nine minutes when Lee Smith fed Sam Reed and his lob beat keeper Woodcock. The keeper then denied Bury a second when he saved at Callum Kearn's feet in the next minute.

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But Bury did increase their lead three minutes later when Lee Reed converted from Sam Reed's cross.

Kirkley then fought back and Marcus Garnham saved well from Henderson, and Russell Short cleared off the line from Stone.

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The remainder of the half saw Bury well in control with Kirkley only making sporadic attacks on the break

Bury continued to dominate possession at the start of the second half and put the game out of the visitors' reach in the 57th minute when Michael Steward scored from Ben Coker's cross.

Bury then sat back and allowed Kirkley back into the game, although neither keeper was seriously troubled.

Kirkley scored a consolation goal with five minutes to go when Rory French beat the offside trap and slotted into an empty net

Norwich United 3 Stowmarket 0

STOWMARKET manager Alan Johnson took his new look side to visit Plantation Park, home to Paul Chick's very experienced Norwich United side, having lost their two previous home games.

After eight minutes, Andrew Claydon steered the ball home, after a neat build-up.

Stowmarket had plenty of possession, and went close when Lorimer saw his goal-bound effort, cleared off the line by Wake, but two goals, midway through the second half from Keith Hethrington, saw the visitors go home with another defeat under their belts. The first goal was headed home, while a mistake in defence, saw the Planters' striker cleverly lift the ball over, Stacey from all of 25 yards. After a number of Stowmarket players picked up injuries, Tuesday evening's friendly, at home to

Capel Plough, has now been cancelled.

Leiston 1 Loughborough Dynamo 1

DANNY Cunningham marked his return to the Leiston side with a goal but Leiston were denied the win following a late own goal.

Unibond South side Loughborough looked the livelier in the opening half but neither keeper was seriously tested.

Leiston started the second period strongly and were rewarded on 65 minutes when Boardley's chip into the box caused confusion and Cunningham rolled the ball into the gaping net from 15 yards.

The visitors deservedly drew level albeit a little fortuitously when Button's attempted back pass rolled past the stranded Johnson with just seven minutes remaining.

Chelmsford 0 Southend United 1

DOUGIE Freedman's solitary goal was all that could divide Steve Tilson's Coca-Cola League One side from Glenn Pennyfather's new-look Clarets.

Southend featured a strong team in sunny conditions, opting to change eight players at half time to give the majority of their squad a run-out, while Pennyfather was also delighted at some of the knowledge he took from the game.

City's visitors enjoyed the majority of the opening forward sequences, youngster Craig Calver involved on several occasions including a run through to be denied by an offside flag and a simple chance he could have made more of, instead slicing into the side-netting.

A dummy elsewhere also allowed Francis Laurent to shoot wildly over from the edge of the box and Belgian Youth International Franck Moussa was additionally allowed to get between defenders and half-volley at goal.

It was then Moussa who played a part in the only goal of the game on 33 minutes. His stinging, angled left-footer brought the best out of goalkeeper Craig Holloway who appeared to have tipped it around the far post until Freedman intercepted the ball's path to pounce and bury it into an open goal. The renowned marksman could also have added to his tally on the stroke of half-time, rattling the foot of a post following some decent build-up play from Calver.

After the interval Ricky Holmes, who had got goal side of the Southend defence on several occasions in the first half, looked to impress again with an attempt across the face of goal on 54 minutes then, 10 minutes later, he collected the ball on the right and laid a tempting ball on a plate for the arriving Jon Keeling just inside the box but the diminutive winger hacked Chelmsford's best opportunity over the bar.

At the other end came potentially City's moment of the match, right-back prospect Johnny Herd creeping inside from the left and seemingly finishing off a neat move with a close-range stab, but Holloway proved his worth to rush out and bravely block at the youngster's feet with an impressive and crucial intervention.

Harwich 0 Halstead 2

A GOAL in each half gave Halstead a satisfactory victory at the Royal Oak in their first present season friendly, Steve Daly with a 10th-minute header and a 48th-minute strike off a rebound by Jimmy Pirie, on top of which Tom Devaux, San Lee and Pirie all hit the bar in the second half.

There was plenty of end-to-end play in the first half with the visitors having the better of play after Daly headed home Jordan Page's cross, while keeper Ed Wooton dealt comfortably with all Harwich had to offer. New boy Adam Gillespie showed all his experience from his Heybridge career always looking comfortable on the ball and Ergun Artun played well after a lay-off last season.

Predictably both sides made changes at half time, another newcomer for Halstead 16-year-old Dan Clements at full-back showing composure that belied his years. It was early in the second period when Halstead hit the second when Pirie pounced on a Daly shot that rebounded his way, as they made light of being without Ray Turner, Chris Bryan, Terry Rayner and Danny Rowell, the last three all carrying knocks.

Both managers were comfortable with the proceedings. Halstead's Jody Brown said: “I was well pleased considering we had four squad players missing.” Harwich boss Kevin Mather (with Halstead Reserves last season) said: “I was happy with that considering it is a new team as most of last season's went elsewhere.”

Witham Town 1 Leyton 3

NOT a very good game for spectators but OK for the team managers as they sort out their players for the new season. The visitors had more chances and were a handful for the home defence. Danny Pike put them ahead in the 29th minute as the home team failed to shut him down and he scored with a shot from the edge of the area. Victor Tavares then scored the second with a shot into the top corner. Little was seen of the home attack until Rob Edmunds got a shot on target just before half-time. Witham made many changes for the second half and soon pulled one back when Kevin Hawes put Tom Robinson through to score and for a while it looked promising for Witham, but the game drifted into a dull midfield struggle, with another goal coming for the visitors through Perry Burns with an easy tap in. Witham are at home to AFC Sudbury tomorrow and again next Saturday when Dartford are the visitors.

Stowmarket 0 Needham Market 2

STOWMARKET'S second home Thursday encounter saw them entertain local neighbours, Needham Market, Danny Laws's side had ex Ipswich Town star Fabian Wilnis

in their starting line up, and having dominated the first half, took the lead just before half time, Barber's centre being headed home by Wilnis. Needham had gone close on two

or three times in the opening 45 minutes, but Chris Stacey in the home goal was equal to all that was thrown at him, the nearest the home side got was a lofted effort by

James Graham, but visiting keeper, Ian Jones held the ball on the line.

The second half saw Alan Johnson's team have alot more of the ball, and they worked hard to break down Wilnis and his fellow defenders, with the game drawing to a close. Needham added a second, from the penalty spot, Danny Smy slotting the ball past his ex team mates, and young Stacey in the home goal.

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