Postal ALC 3 - Glendale 3 - Pre-Season Friendly - Webster Park 19/7/2023
TEAM - 1. D.Cruickshank 2. K.Dowbekin 3. N.Wiley 4. A.Baxter 5. B.Patterson 6. M.Hunter 7. A.Clark 8. E.Brechin 9. L.Melia 10. B.Webster 11. P.Frampton 12. S.Cotovici 14. M.Maciver 15. T.Goke-Dabiri 16. G.Cormack
OPPOSITION MOTM – N/A
Postal welcomed Glendale to Webster Park on Wednesday night for their first friendly in preparation for the upcoming 2023/24 season.
With some players unavailable, in particular defenders, Postal had to shuffle the pack and play a few boys in unnatural positions. Andy Baxter moved into the centre of defence alongside Patterson with Dowbekin and Wiley dropping back to right and left full backs respectively. A home debut was given to local Kingswells youngster Euan Brechin, and the club are hopeful it will be the first of many to come.
Postal were immediately put under pressure by the away side and Cruickshank had to make a low stop at his front post after only 1 minute. Postal were understandably looking rusty after 8 weeks without playing and the match sharpness and concentration were noticeably off at the beginning of the game.
It was the home side who took the lead on ten minutes, though. A Hunter header was sent wide to Frampton. He did well to cross into the box which found Melia on the edge who controlled the ball and sent his shot past the Glendale keeper low into the net. Really good finish from the big man. 1-0.
The game was fairly even as a contest in the first half. Melia was causing the away defence all sorts of trouble with his height and aggression and Glendale were pressing the Postal defence at every opportunity, although the Postal back line were sitting far too deep at times and welcoming the press in the wrong areas of the park, much to the annoyance of the Postal management team.
On 30 minutes, Glendale were given an early season gift. Big number 10 for Glendale had been causing the defence some problems in the opening period so to leave him standing all alone at a set-piece from the Postal RHS was criminal stuff, first game or not. When the cross came in he had the simple task of heading home unchallenged. 1-1.
7 minutes later and Postal were back in front. A free kick by Melia from around 25 yards could only be parried by the Glendale keeper and Bruce Webster was on hand to head home. Last season showed he’s got a knack for scoring headed goals and he made no mistake from this rebound. 2-1.
As the half went on, Brechin was showing why a number of clubs are trying to sign the young man, playing some excellent through balls and competing well in the middle of the park alongside Hunter and Clark.
HALF TIME – POSTAL ALC – 2 – GLENDALE - 1
Postal were shooting down the slope 2nd half and took the opportunity to make some changes at half time. Cotovici replaced Melia, another young trialist, Theo Goke-Dabiri, replaced Dowbekin at right back and Maciver came on for Webster.
Ten minutes into the half and Glendale equalised. Baxter was dispossessed on the Postal left, the Glendale player ran diagonally, 30 yards unchallenged into the box, fired in a shot which rebounded off of Patterson for an own goal past Cruickshank. 2-2.
13 minutes into the half and Baxter whistled a shot just over the bar after collecting it short from a Postal corner on the left. Decent effort and good thinking to try something "cute".
A moment of controversy 15 minutes into the half when a Frampton shot looked as if it had been handled in the box by a Glendale defender. The ref waved play-on to leave the Postal players and bench frustrated.
5 minutes later and Glendale would take the lead. A sclaffed clearance from Postal saw the ball drop to a Glendale forward who made no mistake in punishing the mistake. 2-3.
Postal switched to a classic 4-4-2 soon after with Melia coming back on for Hunter, Cormack for Wiley and Webster for Frampton.
The changes soon paid dividends, when Postal were awarded a free kick 25 yards out, Melia stepped up and drifted the ball over the head of the Glendale keeper for his second of the night. Great strike. 3-3.
With ten to go, Wiley came back on for Clark and Hunter for Brechin. Soon after, Wiley found himself dancing into the box and got his shot away but the keeper did well to push the ball round the post.
Cotovici had a chance towards the end of game when the ball was chipped through to him. He got his shot away but it lacked power and the keeper saved.
Overall a good workout for both sides. Postal were obviously lacking match sharpness, particularly defensively, and playing a number of players out of position wouldn’t have helped but the positives today more than outweighed any negatives. Effort was excellent. Fitness looked decent and some players already looking impressive this early in the season.
Next friendly, Kintore away on Saturday.