result: 1-3 L
Cliffe again were away from home for their second pre-season game against a Thorpe United reserve A side who last season were cup winners, winning the Barkston Ash Cup.
The first half produced few clear chances for either side with Thorpe’s best chances coming from Cliffe centre half Andy Moughan’s back headers. These errors were left unpunished and the game and Thorpe’s first goal came from a counter attack after a Cliffe corner resulting in a tap-in for the home side. Again, Cliffe were punished for a mistake, when a midfield mix-up resulted in a goal at the near post for Thorpe to get a second in the first half. This resulted in Cliffe regrouping and began creating their own chances, with Taylor having a chance to pull one back and Aaron Tiplady with a half-chance. The shot of the game came from S. Birch hitting a speculative 25 yard strike that the host’s goalkeeper had to parry to his left. Cliffe’s Jamie Sedman was a threat to the Thorpe defence and would have had a few clear-cut chances if it was not for the conditions causing unlucky bounces. The teams went in at half time with Thorpe ahead by two goals.
Shortly after the restart Thorpe added a third which Cliffe didn’t let their heads drop and continued to compete. The hosts did have a period of pressure which Cliffe’s, captain for the match and goalkeeper, Ally Harris had to pull off a string of saves which lead to him picking up a hamstring injury. Harris was not the only one to pick up a knock, Dave Heron also suffered with a groin strain and was later replaced by Rob Woods. Cliffe were rewarded for their persistence when, after a heated moment when the host captain appeared to lose his cool after bringing down Aaron Tiplady near right flank, Jamie Sedman produced a ball onto the head of, centre half, David Evans who directed a header into the back of the net for Cliffe’s second goal of pre-season.
Cliffe’s players showed encouraging performances with Stephen Hullah having a solid game, Lee Faxon proving his versatility filling in at left back and Matt Birch giving a mature and measured performance. Andy Kirkham was combative when he replaced Hullah and the aforementioned robust Andy Moughan and scorer David Evans partnership looked solid at the back. All of which must have been encouraging for Manager Keith Tiplady.
The game finished 3-1 to Thorpe.
A. Harris, M. Birch, D. Evans, A. Moughan, L. Faxon (Leach), taylor, S. Hullah (Kirkham), S. Birch, D. Heron (Woods), J. Sedman (R Tiplady), A Tiplady.