Settle United 1 v 2 Waddington Reserves (Pre-Season Friendly)
Settle United entertained East Lancashire Football League side Waddington Football Club at Bridge End this weekend, in the final pre-season game before the start of the new 20/21 Craven & District Football League on the 1st September 2020. Waddington manager Scott Threlfall had to make a number of changes to the visitors starting eleven with key players such as Kenny, Wilkinson, Swizz and Jones all unavailable.
A lively start to the game lead to both teams making a few errors on the ball with some rushed passing as the players tried to force the game in a strong wind. However once the game settle down after the opening ten minutes, both teams started to produced some excellent football with the home side controlling the ball well and making some good attacking moves down both flanks.
Settle United should have taken the lead around the fifteen minute mark, when a long ball from the left full-back went over the visitors back-four and found Daniel Bathers wide on the left. Bathers was now clean through on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat from a tight angle, but his shot was well saved Scott Threlfall who turned it away for a corner.
The visitors, then launched several counter attacks and were unlucky not to score as Connor Howarth playing in a deep midfield role won the ball before releasing new signing Griffin on the righ. He sent over a deep cross to Conti who was lunging for the ball at the far post, but the ball bounced a little high and the resulting shot went wide of the goal.
Settle United continued to put pressure on the visitors with both wide men making some excellent runs and crosses into the Waddington penalty area. However, a mixture of poor finishing and some outstanding last ditch defending by Blackledge and Farqhuar for the visitors meant the home side failed to score in the opening thirty minutes.
Settle United took the lead on thirty-four minutes as George Gowland made an excellent run down the right before beating his man and cutting into the visitors area, Gowland then pulled the ball back to Pendro Quintas at the edge of the area who calmly slotted the ball into the corner of the goal passed Scott Threlfall to make it 1-0.
Credit to the visistors, after giving away sloppy goal they fought their way back into the match and finished to half stronger than the home side. Just before the interval their had an excellent effort from just outside the Settle area, which was tipped over the crossbar by Arrowsmith in the home goal to leave the half-time score 1-0.
The visitors made one change at half-time replacing Darnell with Gawthorpe due to lack of match fitness, however they also made a number of tactical changes with Deco switching to left back and Griffin going to his more natural right back position, whilst Howarth moved out onto the right hand side. The changes proved the catalyst as the visitors grow more an more into the match as it went on.
Walsmley and Holgate up front had found final balls hard to come by in the first half but with genuine width to the team now found themselves receiving a lot of opportunity on the edge of the Settle box. One such instance gave the lively Walmsley the opportunity to feed in Deco on the left who could have shot, but instead brought the ball back to the edge of the penalty area where Gawthorpe shot, just dragging the ball wide of goal.
Settle United should have extended their around ten minutes into the second half, when a cross to the far post found the head of David Worthington, but from the corner of the six yard box he managed to head the ball wide of the open goal with Threlfell well beaten.
On seventy minutes, the visitors pulled a goal back as Alfie Cookson who was on a sub for Holgate ran at the Settle United midfield before cutting inside to play a neat one two with Howarth and after a bit of fortune in the box the ball fell back at his feet for him to slot it under the onrushing Arrowsmith to make the score 1-1.
Settle United looked to respond, but they never seemed to get the rub of the green with the final pass or shot at goal, despite playing by far the better football of the two teams. On three different occasions the home side broke free into the visitors area, but the final ball across the box either missed an incoming player or was cleared by the visiting defenders.
Waddington, made some more changes with around fifteen minutes to go as Harvey came off for Chatburn and Cawley came on for Walmsley, whilst Blackledge moved to the right and Chatburn slotting in at Centre Half with Farqhuar. Once again the changes worked and the visitors started to win the battles in the middle of the park, with Gawthorpe and Brunskill controlling the midfield.
Five minutes later, the visitors took the lead as the ball found its way to Howarth who in turn found Cawley, who put a good ball into the box. Settle United’s defence found themselves overloaded at the back again as Cawley crossed the ball to Cookson at the edge of the box. He in turn squared the ball to Gawthorpe who sent it out to the left hand side of the field where the impressive Deco sent a brilliant low first time cross into the six yard box for Conti who tapped into the net, making the score 1-2.
There were a number of positives to take away for the game for Settle United like the performance of the two wingers who created a number of chances in both halves of the match. Despite the result the management team will have to pick their squad up quickly as Settle United face Grassington on Tuesday evening in the first official match of the Craven & District Football League season.
Settle United – Arrowsmith, Firth, Woodrow, Phillip, Gowland, Bullock, Worthington,Beckwick, Bathers, Quintas, Woodhouse (Subs) Smith, Corns, Coyle,Cardus, Kilburn, Martinkus
Waddington Reserves – Threlfall, Blackledge, Farqhuar, Darnell, Howarth, Brunskill, Griffin, Harvey, Conti,Walsmley, Holgate (Subs) Gawthorpe, Cookson, Chatburn, Cawley, O’Gorman
Goals – (Settle United) Quintas (34) (Waddington) Cookson (59), Conti (73)