BRIAN Little’s new look Gainsborough Trinity side fell to their first pre-season defeat, at the hands of Scunthorpe United on Wednesday night.
Brian Little’s new look Gainsborough Trinity fell to their first pre-season defeat against Scunthorpe United on Wednesday night.
Andy Barchams’s curling strike after just five minutes was enough to secure a win for the Iron in a game that had a distinctly pre-season feel.
A crowd of just over 700 was on hand to see the much improved Trinity side on their first home outing of the season, and will have been impressed by how Little’s men matched their professional counterparts following the early setback.
Although the League One side looked more likely to add to the scoring during the opening exchanges, the Blues handled themselves very capably.
Andrew Boyce headed just over from a Ryan Williams free-kick after 22 minutes, while Ryan Kendall again looked troublesome up front.
Phil Barnes was barely tested in goal during the pre-season opener against Brigg Town, but looked as sharp as ever when called upon.
The former Grimsby Town stopper produced top class saves first from Sam Togwell, and then from a 25-yard Bobby Grant effort that looked destined for the top corner.
As with the friendly at Brigg, half time saw a completely different selection of players for Trinity as Little tinkered with his squad in an attempt to find his best eleven.
Jamie Yates has looked a livewire in his games so far, and his skills forced a corner that Luke Waterfall should really have done better in finishing.
The introduction of the replacement players saw an added spark introduced to the game, which briefly threatened to boil over following a succession of sliding challenges made worse by the incessant rain that had begun to fall.
Trinity’s substitute goalkeeper Andy Pettinger was given a chance to shine on the hour, pulling off a good reaction save after being blinded by the wall on a Grant free-kick.
The introduction of six Scunthorpe substitutes seemed to drain the verve from the game, as both sides seemed content to pass the ball around and chances were limited to long range efforts.
Pettinger was called into action again after a skidding Jordan Robertson effort on 72 minutes, but both sides seemed to lack the final touch and sharpness that they would have hoped for.
The Blues final chance of the game was comfortably their best, but new signing Ryan Paczkowski was unable to capitalize, scuffing his shot when one-on-one with Iron keeper Josh Lillis.
Trinity (1st half) – Barnes, Davis, Coleman, Cowan, Boyce, Clarke, D’Laryea, R.Williams, Kendall, Stamp, Warlow.
Trinity (2nd half) – Pettinger, Roma, Gray, Waterfall, Wilde (Clarke 56), Yates, Leary, J.Williams, Paczkowski, Dellicompagni, Mettam.
Scunthorpe United – Slocombe (Lillis 45), Wright, Hughes (Palmer 60), Raynes (Nelson 60), Canavan (Reid 60), Togwell, Duffy (Robertson 60), Collins, Thompson (Godden 45), Grant (Wint 60), Barcham (Dagnall 60).
Cautions: Gainsborough – Mettam (51).