Daten 2-5 Cheadle Town

First of all, apologies for not covering our previous two pre-season victories. We have denied you the feel-good factor of reading about a win over Premier Division opposition and a demolition of a Wearside League outfit. We feel guilty.

But let's put that right by telling you about this 5-2 win over last season's Cheshire League 1 champions Daten.

 Chris Sherrington: a smile is never far away

Chris Sherrington: a smile is never far away

Owed more to a second-half performance that was head and shoulders above that of the first, this win was another precious workout ahead of the start of the serious stuff in August.

Our first shot on target came on 9 minutes and it resulted in us taking the lead; Chris Sherrington's free-kick on the edge of the area taking the slightest nick off the wall, enough to deceive the keeper.

The lead didn't last long. A mis-placed pass in a dangerous area two minutes later found a Daten forward and he simply lobbed a stranded Ryan Allcock for the equaliser.

Then we lost our way a bit. Granted that Jake Ambrose had two decent efforts, one of which he really should have buried, but we were too deliberate, too ponderous in our play and susceptible to being caught in the final third.

 The coaching staff providing watching eyes

The coaching staff providing watching eyes

On 21 minutes the hosts took the lead. A long ball down the right found their no8 who finished smartly to Ryan Allcock's right before yet another careless pass across our goalmouth found a Daten forward free on the right only for him to screw his effort wide. A let off.

The last knockings of the first half showed some glimpses of what was to come in the second.

Tom Ratican was instrumental in the two chances we had, first seeing a fierce drive parried wide and then seeing his cut-back to Liam Delaney tipped over the bar.

Straight from the restart we were on top.

Ruben Abreu worked hard to get himself in down the left only to see his effort saved at the near post with our deserved equaliser then coming in the most bizarre of circumstances.

 Jake Ambrose with plenty of Daten company

Jake Ambrose with plenty of Daten company

Having made a handful of excellent saves in the first half, the Daten keeper then made a most horrendous slip on the edge of his own area, allowing Jake Ambrose to steal in and walk the ball home from close range.

A superb combination between Knight, Clooney and Ratican resulted in the latter firing just over before Clooney himself had a chance, heading over from close range.

We were then awarded a penalty just after the hour mark which Joe Nield had to retake, Clooney then poked a loose ball just wide moments later before Joe then supplied a teasing cross from the right for Liam Delaney to thunder home with his head on 67 minutes.

With five minutes to go Reece Clooney then got his just rewards for his efforts, finishing coolly when put clean through on goal.

Plenty to be positive about. Onwards to the next run-out....

STARTING XI: Allcock, Nield, C Sherrington, Delaney, Dunn, Harrison, Abreu, Wood, Ambrose, Whyatt, Ratican. SUBS: Russell, Clooney, Knight, Tom Jones.