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Thornton Cleveleys F.C. 1 vs 1 Coppull United F.C. – Saturday 5th September 2020

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

Coppull United made the trip to the coast for the opening day of the season with a visit to

Thornton Cleveleys. After a relatively successful and promising pre-season with some great perfomances and results against higher level opposition, managers Mark Hine and Stephen Lynch had some tough decisions to make with regards to not only the starting line-up but also the squad as a whole. Notable absences from the squad included Jimmy McIver (holiday), Jordan Wilson (work), Scott Stirling, Liam Kealey and Daniel Hallam (all injured). Goalkeeper Joe Leather was also absent from the opening match day squad as he was sent to keep match fit in the Reserves after a number of encouraging Pres season performances.

Coppull started the game with an experienced team of Liam Higginbotham in net, a back four of Conor Whitaker, Dave Parker, Jonny Hawman and Ben Morris who in turn had Scott Hamill, Jordan Parker, Mikey Hindle and Matty Bulcock in front of them with Aaron Evans and Danny Marland leading the line. A youthful looking bench consisted of Nathan Bibby, Cameron Murphy, Jonty Mattocks and Jack Ramshaw. The latter two had been rewarded with a first team call up after impressing throughout the pre-season schedule.

The game got under way and straight away Coppull were second best with Thornton playing some nice football out from the back and moving it across the pitch well. In saying that, Thornton got into some dangerous positions but didn’t really register many shots on target or anything of note that troubled Liam in the nets. From an attacking point of view Danny Marland had an early sighter that went across the face of goal and then Matty Bulcock went on a couple of dribbles which started to cause panic in the Thornton back line. The referee brought to an end a fairly drab first half with the scores at 0-0.

The second half began with one change for Coppull as Jordan Parker who had started to gain a strong foothold in the game and dictate play towards the end of the first half, was replaced by Jonty Mattocks, as he had struggled to shake off an ankle injury that was bothering him from the pre match warm up. Coppull started to look more like an attacking force from the off as Jonty and Mikey Hindle began to win the midfield battle with Bulcock, Hamill and Evans seeing more of the ball in dangerous positions. On 60 minutes Danny Marland sprung the offside trap and went one on one with the keeper however his shot from the edge of the area lacked conviction. Shortly after however Marland atoned for this with a moment of brilliance. Great work from the right by Aaron resulted in a cross coming in which Danny collected and with a great piece of skill, drew a foul from the Thornton defender with a penalty being awarded. Up stepped Scott Hamill who convincingly put the spot kick away. 1-0 Coppull.

The lead was short lived however as Thornton drew level with something special themselves. The ball was bobbling around from 35 yards out and a great strike from their skipper Wilkinson, right in the corner of the goal brought Thornton back on level terms. The game petered out after that with both sides having the odd chance but nothing really of note. Coppull threw on Ramshaw, Bibby and Murphy to add a bit of youthful exuberance but the score line remained 1-1 and the honours were shared on the opening day.

Man of the match (as chosen by Thornton management): Mikey Hindle

Goal scorer: Scott Hamill (pen)

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