Saturday, 23 July 2011

Gainsborough Trinity 2 v Frickley Athletic 1 - Friendly

Trinity's Luke Waterfall, up like a salmon, plants his header over the bar

Saturday 23rd July 2011, at the Northolme

Gainsborough Trinity (1) 2
(Jamie Yates 44, Ryan Kendal 72)
Frickley Athletic (1) 1
(Lee Bennett 36)
Admission £4, Attendance 190
No programme issued but plenty of free team sheets
Left click to enlarge all pictures.
Note - the Frickley players numbers don't all correspond with what they
were actually wearing .... and Trinity wore all blue, not all yellow

Accurate Frickley Athletic line up:
Lawrence Matthewson (Jordan Bradshaw 84min), Gavin Smith (Charles Fisher 65min), James Kay, Lee Bennett (Ben Leonard 60min), Lee Adams, Michael Simpkins, Alex Callery, James Ashmore (Danny Walsh 70min), Bradley Grayson (Teo Ringrose 60min), Ollie Ryan (Ashley Longstaff 60min), Jack Watts.
With there being no programme to read today, I treated myself to a copy of the 'Trinity 125 Years in the Cup' book, that finally came out this week ... if you fancy a copy, check out the details of where you can obtain one from on the Gainsborough Trinity Fans Forum.
There is a click on link to this lively message board, further down the right hand margin of this page.
The Policeman on the front cover photograph, is stood on virtually the same spot that I parked on for today's game ... which by way of a massive coincidence is exactly where the ball ended up moments after the photograph at the top of this post was taken.
Oi! Waterfall!
Mind my bleedin' aerial!
I've had a quick look through the book ... the author has an easy to digest, flowing writing style and the book will be of interest to a cross section of football fans, not just Trinity devotees.
The typeface is a little on the small side, but that is the fault of the printer not the writer.
The first print run of this recommended (by me) tome is almost sold out, a second will be on it's way in due course ... so there's no time like the present to get hold of a copy.
Half of the cover price is going towards the funds of the GTFC supporters travel club.
Early start for me today, to watch Hearts take on Rangers at Ibrox, via Sky TV in the Blues Club, with my Frickley Athletic supporting partner in crime 'Dogger' John.
At half time the visitors were on top and ahead through a goal from David Obua, but after the break Rangers got back into the game and Hearts seemed to sit back inviting the Glasgow side to come at them ... so they did.
Consequently, Stephen Naismith netted the equaliser and the game finished one apiece.
But on to the main event, Gainsborough Trinity v Frickley Athletic, a Blue Square North v Evo-Stik Premier pre season friendly.
Not to put too fine a point on it, the start of the 2011-12 season is surely 'shit or bust' time for Trinity's gaffer Brian Little.
I like the guy and I'd genuinely like to see him succeed at the Northolme.
But I think even his biggest fans would have to concede that he hasn't exactly been pulling up any trees since he took over the managerial reigns at 'Lincolnshire's Finest'.
This pre season is vital for Little, he needs to get things 100% right this time around, there is no more room for experimenting or making errors.
Even footballing greats such as Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough had indifferent starts to their managerial careers at the clubs they ultimately had their greatest successes with ... and though I'm not daft enough to compare Trinity's boss with such luminaries, his chairman is to be applauded for his perseverance in sticking to his guns towards his long term goals ... it's pay back time now though ... time for Brian Little to deliver.
On first inspection, the players he's held on to and the recently acquired additions, do have the makings of a squad who shouldn't be underachieving at the wrong end of the table like they have done these past two seasons.
Only time will tell.
Jamie Yates cues up his shot and bends home Trinity's equaliser

Trinity were on the front foot from the off, but weren't clinical enough in the last third.
Whilst the home side seem to be having a private bet on who could hit the Building Contractors sign on the roof the most times, Frickley were pushing forward, slowly but surely, getting hold of the game by the scruff of it's neck, controlling the midfield play, and looking the most likely side to break the deadlock ... and they duly did.
On 36 minutes a left wing in-swinging corner pinged around in the Trinity box like a bagatelle ball, the danger was half cleared, but James Ashmore was on hand to play a neat one-two with Lee Bennett who fired the ball home ... though if you believe the team sheet Charlie Fisher had got the decisive touch.
In truth Fisher was still sat on the bench at that point.
The final few first half minutes were ticking down and it looked as though the visitors would go into the break with their single goal lead still intact, they were dealing with anything Trinity could muster at that time and despite a few hair raising moments, when their goalkeeper who is covering for the injured Ben Simpson, provided a few erratic moments, the Frickley defence was standing firm.
But the final action of the first 45 minutes saw Jamie Yates cue up the ball out on the left hand corner of the penalty area, before curling a shot in to the top corner of the net for the equaliser.
It was a sublime finish, already a contender for goal of the season in my humble opinion.
It was going to take something out of the ordinary to get Gainsborough back on level terms before the break ... and Yates' effort was a bit special.
"You put your left leg in, your left leg out"
Brian Little's motivational half time talk.

At half time, Brian Little made a few changes and rallied his team out on the pitch.
Whatever he said must have worked, because Trinity raised the tempo and took the game to Frickley after the restart.
It wasn't unlike the game I'd just seen on TV, where the favourites to win had been given a run-around in the first half, but got to grips with the game during the second period.
Sure, Frickley still had their moments and Ashley Longstaff was a thorn in Gainsborough's side when he came on.
But the Conference North side were up for it now.
John D'Laryea, the former Mansfield player who's recently arrived at the Northolme from Eastwood Town, looked particularly impressive and another ex Stags player, the 'Pocket Rocket' that is Ryan Williams, hit the post with a thundering shot.
Lewis McMahon was playing really well for Trinity too.
Ryan Kendall headed the ball into the side netting as Trinity made their intentions clear.
Then on 72 minutes John Williams put a defence splitting pass through to Kendall who made no mistake this time and the home side were 2-1 ahead.
Frickley nearly equalised immediately, but a goal line clearance preserved the Blues slender lead.
At the other end Michael Simpkins provided a similar last ditch clearance off the line.
A definite game of two halves, separated by a real touch of class right at the end of the first 45 minutes.
I saw Trinity play quite a few games last season and to put it in layman's terms, they were crap, completely diabolical at times ... in the second half today they played more football, put more effort in and completed more passes than I'd seen them manage combined, every time I watched them put together last season.
Frickley certainly played their part this afternoon, but Gainsborough Trinity came good in the second half ... very good!
Is Brian Little going to repay his chairman's faith in him any time soon?
That second half display certainly gave the die-hards something to smile about for a change.
Frickley manager Peter Rinkcavage ponders his options ...
'Move my foot or trip the bugger up!?'