Cheadle Heath Nomads 1 County 8
County took a strong side to Norbreck Avenue for another tasty pre-season encounter, this time against Cheadle Heath Nomads.
In the event it was something of a stroll for the blues who took control from the off, scoring twice in the first 6 minutes before running out 8/1 winners.
It was decent work out for County however, despite the result, and Ian Bogie got another chance to view his charges , and again he must have been pleased with what he saw.
The starting line up featured Adriano Moke, a trialist formerly of Kettering Town, along with Aman Verma who had signed for the Club this very day- the rest were pretty familiar faces by now as the game kicked off with the blue shirts piling forward into the home half.
From the off County looked up for it - Turner`s first run winning a corner and his second a free kick as he was scythed down. Craney took this putting Nomads back under the cosh, and when the ball fell at Brandon Windsor`s feet he opened the scoring with a neat finish from close in.
That was only 5 minutes into proceedings...another 60 seconds elapsed and County were 2 up thanks again to another Craney/ Windsor link up- the former picking the latter out with a wickedly bouncing through ball. The keeper fancied it, but so did Brandon and the bounce aided him and another cool finish made it 2-0.
It began to look like a procession at this point, and young Brandon`s birthday to boot, as within another minute an appalling back pass set the County striker up again. He was very much in, or looked to be, but as the bounce that had gone his way last time...this time didn`t, and our hosts had escaped.
Good work from Fagbola came next and he did brilliantly to stem the tide of a rare raid by Nomads with an excellent tackle.
So far so good then, but the 12th minute saw County brought back to earth a touch as Charnock was done for pace through the middle . Ormson did his best to rescue the situation forcing the opposing number 9 to hit the bar with his shot, but number 7 followed up to force it home making it 2-1.
Apologies for the `numbers bit` but there was no programme or team sheet etc available to us.
County responded but Turner could not force Moke`s low cross home, indeed the blues were back in charge forcing the home side back into their last third where O`Halloran capped a powerful run with a raking drive that whizzed over the bar.
Nomads tried to reply but County were in no mood to allow them to take liberties as Craney lifted one over the bar.
As usual Turner was a lively presence but he was having no luck with his finishing- inches off reaching Howard`s cross one minute ,and unlucky to see the home keeper push a goal bound strike out the next!
Then....just when I was about to think we would never see a third goal......one arrived via new signing Verma who ignored a tackle straight out of `Hammer House of Horrors' to surge forward from half way and score with a peach of a strike!
So................it was 3/1.....but not for long as the 28th minute saw Windsor get his hat-trick with another opportunist effort. It seemed simple as Craney`s through ball sent him clear, but having drawn the keeper he failed to beat him with his shot. The ball thus ran clear ,but the defender didn`t react quickly enough and Brandon did snatching the pill back before running it past the keeper into the net.
It pretty much was precession for the rest of the half with Howard having a shot charged down.....Verma going close but without claiming the cigar.....Turner belting one against the post from a Moke cross............hmm.....it was both good and slightly frustrating to watch.
It went on in the same vein with Turner denied again by another terrific save by the young Nomad keeper, as was Verma with half time almost upon us.
A firm header from Turner went close again in the half`s dying embers but this was hurriedly kicked off the line and it remained 4-1 to County at half time.
A shuffle of the Bogie pack saw Ormson, Charnock,O`Halloran and Craney replaced by King, Tunnicliffe, Hand and Duxbury, but there seemed to be no noticeable change in the game`s pattern as Tunnicliffe leaned back to thump a stonker against the bar.
County kept the pressure on via Turner who gained a corner with a pacy run, but this initially came to nothing until Fagbola entered the fray picking out Howard on the left. There was still stuff to be done, but Howard gave us a glimpse of his Chester days, with a wickedly dipping shot that almost burst the net.
It was 5-1 and about right on the balance of play, but the home keeper continued to play a blinder , stopping another tasty Howard effort 4 or 5 minutes later.
More changes came just before the hour.....Dennis, Lofthouse and Carr for Verma, Howard and Fagbola and , Dennis `s first touch saw him clear ,and only another massive save from the keeper kept him out!
Not long after Dennis was off again this time down the right and it was another telling contribution from the ex Ashton striker- his cross picking out Lofthouse nicely at the back of the box. When Lofthouse steadied himself and let fly, the keeper had no chance and 6-1 it was!
Again....not for long though, and within a minute of the last action, it was 7, as tiredness seemed to overcome Nomads who conceded a free kick down the right. This was lofted over by Jacobs to the predatory Dennis who promptly leathered a trademark finish home.
That was simply excellent- how lucky are we to have Dennis on board, and ...more pertinently perhaps...will we be able to keep him long?
Things to ponder possibly, but for now the match went on with Moke`s jinking run ending with a shot that climbed over the bar.
The home keeper then went off to an ovation but not before making another brilliant save ,with his legs, to deny Dennis!
With the light fading( there were no floodlights) County completed the scoring , with 10 minutes left, when Brandon Windsor latched onto a loose ball before sending a drive low and hard to the keeper`s right into the net.
Lots of pressure followed from County but, credit to Nomads ,they defended resolutely, if a touch uncouthly at times.
That said it was a fair work out and one that County will be pleased with I guess.
County line up;
Ormson ( King 45), Jacobs , Fagbola ( Carr 57), Charnock ( Tunnicliffe 45), O`Halloran( Duxbury 45) , Verma ( Lofthouse 57), Craney (Hand 45),Howard ( Dennis 57) Moke,Turner , Windsor.