Hard to say that Saturday’s fixture at Hinckley United went to plan for Martin Allan as another experimental squad went down 2-0 through two first half strikes.
Hinckley fan Andrew Blyth followed up his pre-match talk to share his thoughts on the match where Notts again opted to play two different sides for each half of the game.
How was your day?
I really enjoyed the day (once I’d calmed down after having a rant at the fact that the football club were charging to park at a pre season friendly match – I understand the need for improving our cash flow but just felt it a little underhand). The day turned out to be a nice one. Plenty of away fans travelled down and it’s always nice to meet new folk. I also run our club shop, business was very good and there was plenty of interest in our club.
The match was enjoyable, I don’t read too much into a pre-season campaign but look for fitness, team spirit and the right attitude from our own players. We did ourselves no harm; the result got an almost full page write up in the Non-League Paper and Andre Grays photo was on the front page. Hopefully it will get the message out to the local community that there is a team here worth watching. I just felt we went about the game in the right way, using the ball to the best of our abilities when we had it and defending very well when we didn’t.
Who were the standout players for you on the day, from either side?
Edwards was a rock for you.
For us new signing Rob Oddy (at right back first half and in the centre second half) was outstanding. It was his first game for us and I did wonder who Nuneaton Town must’ve signed to let him go! Jermaine Clarke as well went about his business for 90 minutes, was excellent and took the first goal well. I have to mention Lloyd Kerry, an all action hero. Our returning keeper Danny Haystead was superb too. I guess I’d better stop now as it’s fair to say that our lads all impressed me (bar a couple of trialists).
Obviously pleased with the result?
Always pleased with a result like that for the reasons given above. That said it did give me an extra ‘spring’ in my step as I walked up to get my paper on Sunday morning. If a result like that can give players a confidence boost then it can only be a good thing. If it can give he football club-and all who sail in her-a boost too, it’s a bonus.
What are you hopes for the season ahead of Hinckley now?
A top half finish please and perhaps a run in the FA Cup/Trophy. It’s very early days but the defensive frailties and problems that dogged us so badly last season could be something we can forget. We had three first teamers unavailable on Saturday so my thinking is we’ve actually got a better squad than I had thought. There are some very well supported teams in our league eg. Boston United, Halifax & Altrincham, I think we can more than give any of ’em a game.
One things for sure, I’ll always have hope – and whilst last season it seemed to give me one too many kicks in the goolies this season I feel it’ll be wrapping a warm arm round my shoulder and patting me on the back.
And if it doesn’t? It doesn’t matter cos I will wear my Hinckley bonnet til I die.