Pre-Season #6 – Carlton Town 0, Notts 4

IMG_20140722_215650A comprehensive 4-0 Notts victory will have presented manager Shaun Derry with quite the dilemma thanks to trialist Elliot Whitehouse’s second and third goals in two games.

Both Whitehouse and Nicky Wroe grabbed a brace each in a contest where Notts also had a goal disallowed for offside (from a pass played backwards) and had two clear penalties denied. Derry and assistant Greg Abbott need now decide whether Whitehouse has done enough to earn himself a full time deal at Meadow Lane. I’d certainly suggest he has.

Up front, Tyrell Waite was a busy figure but was unable to get on the scoresheet, whilst Ronan Murray looked as sharp as a tack on a number of occasions – not least with a vicious, looping volley in the first half which dipped just wide.

In goal for Notts, Harry Andrews was offered protection by the evergreen Mike Edwards – when called upon though Andrews was more than capable. Adam Dawson spent the game pinging crossfield balls into feet, whilst Wroe complimented his two goals by running the show in midfield.

A Carlton side featuring a host of former Notts youth teamers provided stern opposition. Alex Troke, Liam Mitchell, Cameron Campbell and Tyler Guy all lined up for the Millers against their former club.

Three pre-season friendlies now remain for Notts and there are signs of the squad gelling at just the right time. County travel to Halifax Town this Saturday ahead of home games with Birmingham City and Osasuna, before the real business begins August 9th with Preston North End away.

Pre-Season #5 – Notts 1, Derby 3

IMG_20140720_091912Notts County’s first pre-season friendly at Meadow Lane this Summer ended in a comprehensive 3-1 defeat to Derby County thanks to a Chris Martin hat-trick.

Having taken the lead impressively through trialist Elliot Whitehouse, Shaun Derry and Greg Abbott’s side went about their task well for the first 65/70 minutes. They played attractive football, won the ball back almost at will, and in doing so perhaps dispelled a few concerns given pre-season games so far.

With the game edging towards 90 minutes however, the game was interrupted by the usual raft of substitutions, by which time County lost all shape allowing Martin to take Notts apart.

In spite of the positives, Derry will only be too aware how we are short up front though. Tyrell Waite’s performance was one of frustration chasing lost causes down constantly – the Danny Haynes role if you will. A better run out than we’d seen in recent weeks though, certainly one that will have helped shape our first XI of the season immeasurably.

Pre-Season #4 – Hucknall RR 1, Notts 3

IMG_20140716_222236A second Notts County friendly in 24 hours was lit up by a sensational Jeremy Balmy brace in a contest in which Shaun Derry played the full 90 minutes against Hucknall Rolls Royce.

Brad McGowan opened the scoring with his second goal of pre-season, before Tyrell Waite converted a penalty. Balmy’s first of the evening came from the edge of the area, swinging a boot at the ball which flew into the top corner.

The hosts scored their consolation before half time, just as Derry began to lose his cool with the Hucknall no.7. The referee was heard to be asking number two Greg Abbott at half time to “Calm Shaun down”. Balmy added another in the second half, rifling in a volley after some of the slickest one touch passing we’ve seen so far this Summer.

With the game out of sight, Alex Kenlock and Colby Bishop from the youth team came on up front and both were unfortunate not to add to the scoresheet. Finishing 4-1, this was another solid runout for a young Notts side.