We fell to defeat in our fourth game of preseason, but can take plenty from the match with two weeks until our season opener.
It was always going to be a competitive game against Boro’s U23 side and it proved to be, particularly in the first half.
We started with a 4-3-3 formation, Liam Hughes as the holding of the three in the middle with Harvey Saunders and Reece Styche either side of Simon Ainge up top.
The first half we more than held our own, without creating a whole amount from open play. Their right winger caused us a lot of problems and with a better end product could have done some damage.
Saunders again looked lively playing in a front three. However, after he was pushed wide as part of a four man midfield he was less effective.
That came about after the injury to Dave Syers, there was no contact so it will be a muscle problem. Hopefully just precautionary.
Even though it is a pre-season game the second half was a bit disappointing in actual performance. Our defence was opened up at frequent times by the visitors and it was a mixture of poor finishing and some good goalkeeping to keep it down to one.
The goal itself was poor defending from a set piece, that needs to be cut out in time for the competitive games.
Jonny Maddison certainly deserves a mention from today. He made several good stops and has shown he can prove to be a great signing for us.
We did continue to cause problems from set pieces though and this should be an area we look to capitalise on in the coming season.
Not a great performance, but fitness is the key. I think the team we started with today won’t be too far off the one that lines up against Curzon Ashton in two weeks time so it was good that a lot of those players got 90 minutes.
Onto Northallerton and if we can come away with a few goals it would definitely help confidence having only scored three in four games so far.