IN temperatures reaching 20C, River travelled to Ashington for their first pre-season friendly of the 2011-2012 season with several new faces in the squad and a couple of trialists out to impress the management team of Kielty and Handyside.
The game started brightly with good early pressure from River and all the play in the Blackthorn half.
The first goal came from a beautiful lobbed ball from new signing Gary Taylor into the path of Lance Burton who made no mistake of claiming his first pre-season goal in good fashion.
The recently relegated Blackthorn team replied with a well-taken goal with a left-footed strike under the body of Alex Scott to make the score 1-1.
Newly-appointed club captain Andrew Taylor played a beautiful ball out wide to the right-hand side for John Spears to finish from a tight angle and take the score to 2-1 and proof that Scony does know where the back of the net is.
If there was any doubt about Spears’ ability to find the goal, that was pushed away as he took a pass from Robson and from a tight angle made the score 3-1.
An unfamiliar mistake from substitute goalkeeper Straker played in the Blackthorn forward to pinch a goal and take the score to 3-2.
The referee blew for half-time with the scores at 3-2.
With this fixture being a friendly, the River management used the subs available to them widely, including the recent signing of Jamie Davison to try to claim the River number one jersey.
An impressive start from the new signing was dampened only by a poor back-pass onto his wrong foot which he hit at the approaching striker for the resulting fluke to nestle in the back of the net.
As the second half settled down, Blackthorn got into their stride a bit more with some neat passing along the floor.
Not to be upset by the earlier incident, Davison pulled off a good save from a hotly-disputed penalty.
River Coquet would like to thank the following companies for their support for coming season: AC Joinery (Amble) Ltd; Robinson Murphy Solicitors; Bengal Spice Indians; The Schooner for the support and hospitality.