Saturday saw the ninth and final pre season friendly for Tadcaster, this time against Northern Premier League Bamber Bridge (also known as “Brig”) . After torrential rain in recent days, the pitch looked in perfect condition – a testament to the groundsman
Curtis Woodhouse had an almost full squad from which to choose but nevertheless, with a couple of spaces still to be filled ,opted to give two more trialists a start
It was a usual start for Taddy, straight out of the blocks and running at their opponent’s defence. On five minutes, Josh Barrett put Lebrun Mbeka through on the edge of the box, the big midfielder chipped the ball over a defender for Jake Day but the final shot was high.
Mbeka, combined well with Alex Wiles and from the ensuing curling corner from Barrett, Day was oh so close. On 13 minutes Wiles out swinging corner was asking questions but it eluded the front runners.
However, despite the early pressure Brig , playing a diamond formation, were starting to dominate the mid field and their front three looked pacey and dangerous. Jack Walters header out of the Brewers box on 20 minutes was vital.
With Taddy now relying on breakaways, Donald Chimalilo collected a long clearance and his goal bound effort from the edge of the box brought out an equally good save from the keeper. With seven minutes of the half remaining Jake Rose battled to put Day through but the strikers left footed effort was just over.
Michael Ingham, looking fully fit after his early pre-season injury, needed to be at his best for a reaction save as the ball was pinged in from tight angle – Tadcaster were now very much confined to defending and when they did break, were making no headway in the final third.
A goal for the visitors looked inevitable and duly arrived on 40 minutes when number 10 slipped in on the right side and the blasted the ball beyond Ingham. 0- 1
The one goal deficit at the break was no more than Brig deserved – Curtis Woodhouse’ s half time talk would be pivotal!
Casey Stewart was on for one of the trialists from the restart and Taddy looked a different side. What seemed to have been a superiority for the visitors in mid field had been more than evened out and it was the Brewers looking the more dangerous.
On 50 minutes Chimalilo picked up a great ball from defence , and as he ran down the left flank and into the box he was fouled – a soft but undeniable penalty. Jake Day side footed the ball into the far side of the net, sending the keeper the wrong way and achieved the seemingly impossible feat of having scored in every pre-season game. 1 -1
Sixty seconds later Wiles magnificently held the ball up on the 18-yard line as he waited for help to arrive and then dinked it to Day for a simple tap in. 2 – 1
A minute after that Chimalilo ran across the box from right to left, slipped beyond a defender, before teeing up a thunderous 18 yarder beyond the keeper. Three goals in three minutes and 3 - 1
The inevitable substitutions followed, Iwan Healey for Rose, Kain Rogerson for Walters and another trialist for Chimalilo
The visitors steadied things down and it was very much free flowing end to end football. Bamber Bridge got one back with 7 minutes to go but the Brewers held on to win
A terrific finale to the pre-season and one which show cased how good Tadcaster have become under Woodhouse’s stewardship. Outstanding performances from Alex Wiles, Lebrun Mbeka and Donald Chimalilo and everyone in the team.
Congatulations to Jake Day who scored in all nine pre season matches , notching up 13.
Next Saturday we welcome Trafford FC for our first league match of the season. They will provide stern opposition and a real test for Curtis’s men. Kick Off is at 3.00 pm
Ingham, Barrett, Milne, Evans, Walters (Rogerson), Wiles, Rose (Healey), Mbeka, Chimalilo, Day, Trialist (Stewart)
Report from John Clothier
Updated 08:36 - 11 Aug 2019 by John Clothier