Thursday 22nd August 2019 (Pre-Season Friendly):
Northern Star 0
Horsforth Fairweather 4
Team: Postle, Lancaster, Shapland, C.Jones, T.Wilson, P.Smith Thorp, Hoyle, R.Wilson, Hawes, LK.Monaghan.
Subs: Howarth, Pickering, Canning, Riley, LD.Monaghan.
Scorers: Hoyle (pen), Hawes 2 (1 pen), Thorp.
Pos in goal again; George and Shappy wing-backs; Jonesy, Tom and Phil in defence; Kev, Lee and Rob in midfield; Thorpy and Hawesy up front again - though before long the lavish use of subs had changed the side beyond recognition.
It all started quite brightly, Horsforth playing the better football for most of the first half, though we had to rely on a couple of soft penalties for the lead, Kev converting when Thorpy was fouled and Hawesy winning the kick which he took himself.
After the interval, our domination was far more marginal, as the home team's increasingly impressive passing game on the wide pitch at Gledhow began to even things out. Though we never really looked like losing, we were grateful for the one moment of magic we got tonight from Thorpy to stretch the lead to 3-0, a solo run and finish in stark contrast to anything we'd seen previously. A superb looping header by Hawesy from George's cross in the dying seconds gave the scoreline an emphatic look that we never really deserved.
Fair play to Northern Star lads, they have several very good football players, and I would hope and expect they'll do well in their division this season. Horsforth's pre-season, brief to say the least, hasn't offered any great reassurance that the forthcoming campaign will be any more successful than the last one, but the thing is, in football, you just never know. Roll on next Sunday.
Sunday 18th August 2019 (Pre-Season Friendly):
Horsforth Fairweather 2
Team: Postle, Canning, Shapland, Pickering, C.Jones, Howarth, Thorp, Monaghan, Riley, Hawes, Francis.
Subs: P.Smith, McFarlane.
Scorers: Shapland, Howarth.
For the first pre-season game of 2019-20, Horsforth lined up with Jonathan Postle in goal; Luke Monaghan and Ben Canning at wing-backs; Jonesy, Shappy and Dave Howarth in defence; Matt Pickering, Jamie Francis and Henry Riley in midfield; and Thorpy and Hawesy up front.
After half an hour, we changed to a flat back four, with Phil Smith and Dee McFarlane taking the field at the heart of the defence.
Frankly, it wasn't a great game. Our attacking play was disjointed, too many moves breaking down from that last pass going astray or disappearing into oblivion in the congested midfield zone. Scoreless at the break, an attack by Thorpy created the chance from which Shappy opened the scoring early in the second period. But we were never anything like solid in defence, and an equaliser from the home side was scarcely more than they deserved for their positive attitude and ceaseless attacking play.
The free-kick from Dave Howarth that won the game for Horsforth belonged to a different contest, and yes, we could have scored a shedload more, but then so could the Rawdon lads, so I guess we should count ourselves fortunate to come away with the result.
Other challenges lie ahead.
But then, I think you all know that...
This page last updated 18/08/2019.