Poynton 2-1 Cheadle Town

It's fair to say that pre-season has been a bit of a mixed bag.

Creditable draws against Glossop North End and Congleton, an even more creditable win over West Didsbury & Chorlton and two defeats against so-called lesser opposition, the 2-3 reversal at Tintwistle Athletic and this loss at Poynton.

Take nothing away from Poynton, though. They came second in the Cheshire League last season and were every bit the robust and difficult opposition we expected.

It took us a while to get going and it wasn't until the 18th minute when Luke Hincks saw a free-kick touched onto the crossbar.

By then we were a goal down, though, after Josh Harrison unluckily trod on the ball around 25 yards out with the lurking Poynton forward seeing Ryan Allcock off his line and delivering a well-measured chip.

Good work by Tom Ratican just before the half-hour mark was almost rewarded when Luke Hincks latched onto his pull-back but the Poynton keeper was equal to it.

Ryan Allcock then made two excellent stops before half-time to ensure that the score was kept at 1-0 to Poynton.

The hosts started the second half the better, rattling the underside of the crossbar and forcing Allcock into another good stop within the first five minutes before they extended their lead on the hour, slamming home at the far post after the ball had been hooked back across the face of goal.

Poynton squandered two decent chances to make it 3-0 before substitute Mike Sherrington started to make an impact and gave us some added impetus up front.

His run and cross from the right on 66 minutes almost saw Tom Ratican connect for what would have been a certain goal before fellow substitute Rick Whyatt powered through on goal just moments later to bury and get us back into the game.

Mike Sherrington then planted an unmarked header straight into the keepers hands thus blowing a great opportunity to draw us level before our final foray on goal saw Joe Shaw latch onto a free kick, see his effort blocked before the loose ball was skied on its way to Woodford by Dean Nolan.

By then Steve Piggott had come on to replace Ryan Allcock in goal and there was time for him to shine, spectacularly tipping a fierce volley over the bar which would prove to be the final action of the match.

It all starts for real in a couple of weeks' time when we travel to Atherton LR but by then the creases will hopefully have been ironed out.

STARTING XI: Allcock, Ratican, Brocklehurst, Russell, Harrison, Shaw, Hincks, Wood, Nolan, Christopher, C Sherrington. SUBS: Piggott, Ambrose, M Sherrington, Whyatt.