The Pitmen belatedly kicked off the 2020/21 campaign 182 days after drawing at St Ives, with a behind closed doors friendly against our neighbours Heath Hayes at the Coppice Colliery Ground. The game signalled the dawning of a new era under the ownership of Graham Jones and Ade Dando with Andy Morrell and Danny Glover managing the team.
Understandably, the game had a slow start, with Danny Glover and George Cater both caught narrowly offside for the Pitmen. Heath Hayes threatened on the break with the home side’s number nine dragging a shot just wide. The same player opened the scoring on 24 minutes applying a finish past Andy Wycherley from close range. The lead was short-lived as George Cater bundled home an equaliser moments later. The Pitmen dominated the rest of the half without adding to the score although Cater coming close to adding a second.
A much-changed Pitmen side started the second half. The unfamiliarity of the players led to a scrappy opening to the half with one of the many trialists shooting wide for the Pitmen and the home side forcing a decent save from Wycherley.
Dan Turner got on the end of a dangerous ball into the area and finished with a neat strike on the turn to give the Pitmen the lead in the 62nd minute. Rhys Thompson’s industry throughout the half was rewarded a third goal for the Pitmen six minutes later.
Dan Turner showed his striker’s instinct, pulling the defence wide as an inviting cross came into the area, before applying a cool finish to wrap up the scoring on the night.
After the game Pitmen manager Andy Morrell commented; “I am pleased with the run out. It’s the first minutes under the lad’s belts in a while and it’s just great to be back out there. There were many positives for me to take out of the game and some things we have to work on moving forward. The group has been fantastic so far, they are in good physical condition and we are looking forward to the games over the next few weeks.”
Pitmen (First Half); Wycherley, Griffiths, Preston, Mendez-Jones, Lycett, Smith, Hallahan, Cater, Glover, Trialist A, Trialist B.
Pitmen (Second Half); Wycherley (Veiga), Trialist C, Bailey, Trialist D, Trialist E, Thompson, Trialist F, Waddison, Turner, Trialist G, Trialist H.