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Handyside Outing

By: Jeremy Baily
Date: 31/08/2000

Peter Handyside came through the first 45 minutes of last night's reserve game at Shrewsbury where the Mariner's second string went down 2-0. The game was the second reserve team outing for Handyside inside two weeks, keeping him on track with his comeback schedule of 4-5 reserve team games.

A youthful looking Town side started with only 4 players I knew, Steve Croudson, Adam Buckley, Ben Chapman and Peter Handyside, the rest were all about 17 years old. Shrewsbury on the other hand had a team full of seasoned professionals, big strong blokes, most of you will have heard of Paul Edwards in goal, Micky Brown, Peter Wilding and John Gayle, if not the rest. We played just like the 1st team, neat, short balls, mostly across the park, keeping possesion, but doing nothing with it, the young lads up front, although brave and keen, were just not strong enough to use the ball once it got to them. We were the better footballing side by miles, but at half time we had one corner and no shots on target to show for it, Shrewsbury had 3 corners and no shots on target. Peter Handyside looked a bit slow, and was turned a couple of times, other than that the gave as good as he got from that old war horse John Gayle. He ran the back four well and helped the youngsters out, giving advice and being available at all times. Ben Chapman was aggressive and good, attacking the ball and opposition with equal gusto. Adam Buckley was spraying the ball about from midfield and showed some very good first touches. Croudson had nothing to do. All the youngsters ran and offered themselves well, only strenght let them down. Peter Handyside came out during half-time and warmed down, as did John Gayle for the Shrews, neither played any part of the second half. The second half started with Shrewsbury being more aggressive and attacking, all of a sudden, with Peter missing from our back four, we began to lose our way. Croudson produced some good handling, he needed to because balls were coming in thick and fast. After about 10 mins we calmed down, well Chapman got booked, then we calmed down and played some of our best football, a young 'Jack Lester' look-a-like came on up front and he weaved his way into the box (looking for a penalty?) and slid the ball about 15 yards out,across the face of the goal, to another young lad who leathered the ball towards the roof of the net, Edwards somehow touched it over, it was now all Town, with the old pro's of the Shrews getting frustrated. A direct free-kick about 20 yards out on our right was hit hard and low and on target! By Adam Buckley, Edwards got down well and held on, as our youngsters bore down on him. Somehow Shrewsbury broke out, won a corner and we conceeded a soft headed goal, without Peter, we had nowhere near enough height or muscle in the box. Shrewsbury now grew in confidence and started hoofing the ball in the air at every opportunity, we still played neat, going nowhere short ball across the park. After about 30 mins one of our young lads got suckered into a lunging tackle-cum-foul, and a terrible decision by the ref saw him sent him off. As a contest it was now over, our lads were looking tired and gaps began to appear where before a lean young leg or body had been earlier, after around 80 mins of the game gone another corner brought the Shrews a second headed goal. So a sorry end to an otherwise fine effort, 5 Town fans and about 50 Shrews watched a pleasant evenings worth of entertainment. We have some fine young footballers, who when older and stronger will be a real asset to our club!

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