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Stoke Reserves Report

By: Nick Osborne
Date: 04/10/2000

Around 100 Town fans witnessed the return of Wayne Burnett, and got a first look at 3 new foreign trialists. The game itself wasn't really anything special and ended 3-1 to Stoke. My primary interest, however, was not the scoreline, but to see how the trialists where shaping up

It was the second time that New Zealand goalkeeper Jason Batty has played for the reserves, I think, but today's game was my first sight of him too as well as the other foreign players.

The team lined up in what looked like a 4-3-3 formation as follows:

Croudson
ButterfieldMoisesLektonenBloomer
A.SmithBurnettLenhart
RowanJeffreyBuckley

The subs were: Batty, Ward, Oran, Kirwin, Shinn

First Half

Stoke went ahead after 20 minutes with a free kick just outside the box. The ball was hit low round the wall and to the right of Croudson. Town to their credit did try to keep playing football and where rewarded for their efforts with an equaliser after 32 minutes scored by the comeback kid himself, Wayne Burnett!

The game was slow but there were some good individual displays by both sides, unfortunately for us, Stoke again regained the lead just before half time. Due to my inattention to the game at that time (I was discussing tactics and players with another supporter) I missed the goal.

Second Half

The second half started with the same team except for one change, New Zealand trialist Jason Batty came on for Croudson in goal. As Batty was one of the players I went to see in particular, this was a welcome move for me.

It was not really an emphatic display in the second half I'm afraid. We were never over-awed, nor should we have been. With the few chances we created we were struggling to get the final ball where it should be, in the net (surprise, surprise). One or two chances went Butterfield's way, good for us because he seems to have found his shooting boots. He never scored but he had a couple of good half chances, with a cracking shot going just wide.

Stoke in an attack on the Town goal after about 25 minutes of the half got the ball into the penalty area, but there were no Stoke players to get on the end of it. The ball appeared to be easy to clear for the nearest Town defender (Moises I think), or so you would think but he blundered, mis-kicking and then slicing the ball before it eventually went over Batty in goal who thought it was going in and turned round to pick it out the net only for it to come back off the inside of the post. He instinctively stuck out his hand but it went in off Batty for a comical own-goal. This was both very funny and agonising to watch

The game eventually ended 3-1 to Stoke.

The Verdict:

  • Jason Batty: Quite a big thick-set looking chap, took command of the box well, looked confident and never flapped at crosses. In my view I would keep him, but would like to see him play more.
  • Sascha Lenhart: Good player and quick, bit light-weight but very skillful and knows his game.Keep him i say.If we don't some one else will.
  • Carsten Lektonen (The Dane): Don't think he has been playing football for a while. He was well off the pace, got turned easily and was all over the place. Maybe one more try.
  • Alvarez Goya Moises (The Spaniard): Bit on the small side, never quite had the best of games, could see he has the ability but might have been tired from travelling. Would like to see him again before deciding.
  • Wayne Burnett: Played well, and scored a good goal. Went off tired in the second half. Reports are that there were no ill effects after the game. Welcome back Wayne!

Nicko

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