Writer: Auckland Owl
Date:Tuesday July 14 2009
The Owls successfully negotiated their first pre-season test in Malta last night with two 1-0 wins in 45 minute matches against local sides.
A Wednesday XI of Grant, Simek, Purse, Beevers, Spurr, Gray, O'Connor, Potter, McAllister, Tudgay and Maltese triallist Barbara overcame Floriana by a single goal, and no major drama.
Understandably, the second match saw Brian Laws ring the changes, and a line up of Grant, Buxton, Wood, Hinds, Spurr, McAllister, Boden, France, Jeffers, Clarke and Esajas started the game against Dingli Swallows, the Owls again coming out on top with a fine Etienne Esajas strike the difference between the two sides.
In game #1, Tudgay worked well as a provider, laying on Sean McAllister's goal and supplying a great chance for the local boy Barbara, which was turned aside by Floriana keeper Micallef. Good to see Simek complete this game and get useful action in the second from the bench (as did O'Donnell and Potter).
Esajas and triallist Ryan France were the stars of game #2, the Dutchman's goal coming from a Darren Potter assist, and the Wednesday defence comfortably coped with both Maltese teams, as we should expect at this level.
The notable absentees were Tommy Miller and Akpo Sodje: there are limited chances for a full squad to run out in 90 minutes of football, and Laws may feel a longer run out in the two games on Thursday will be more effective. Whether their absence is anything more sinister than that - well, we shall wait for an update from S6.
So a decent run out in front of appreciative fans to get back into the swing of it. Tune in for more corny headlines on Thursday!
Date:Tuesday July 14 2009
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