Great to have Kev with me for this, our first pre-season game at Linby. We were greeted inside the gate by the new Welfare manager Lewis Saxby, who gave us a few details about the playing squad he is putting together as the start of the CML season draws near. A few of the squad from last season have stayed on, but quite a few have followed the departed Dave Marlowe to Arnold.
Tom Coupe has been a regular at Linby for a few years now, and he scored the games first goal in just the third minute, curling a shot over Bilsthorpe keeper Lee Bowler from 15 yards out. A few minutes later, Coupe almost added a second, but his header flew just over Bowler's bar.
We had to wait until the 36th minute for the next goal - this time Callum Pursglove firing the ball sweetly just inside the far post from 12 yards after Matt Murphy's cross from the right wasn't dealt with effectively by the Bilsthorpe defenders. H-T 2-0
It's difficult to put names to players in friendly games, but with Bilsthorpe wearing shirts without numbers, identifying the goal-scorers needed a little help from a friend. Richard Lane came up with the relevant information - it seems both were scored by Jamie Tryner. The first was on 81, a shot from the edge of the box that Linby keeper Guyatt let slip over his outstretched arm. The second came just two minutes later after the home team failed to clear a corner and the ball was headed home from about 12 yards out.
With only four minutes left on the clock, Linby grabbed the winner, Ady Harris sliding the ball home after the Bilsthorpe keeper made a bit of a hash of clearing the ball. F-T 3-2