10:59am Wednesday 31st July 2013
By Andrew Simpson
MIKE Moseley has warned Witton’s players they risk losing their place in the team if pre-season performances do not improve.
Albion’s assistant manager told the Guardian nobody should think they are certain to feature at Buxton on the season’s opening day after a disappointing defeat against Padiham last night, Tuesday.
Martin Trickett’s well-taken double sealed a 2-0 win for the North West Counties League champions.
“We have to do much better,” said Moseley afterwards.
“There was a lot wrong with what we saw, and individuals need to step their game. Perhaps one or two think they don’t have to deliver and are taking it easy.
“They might be in for a surprise if that continues.”
Witton fell behind on the quarter hour when Trickett broke clear as the hosts’ defence attempted to catch him offside.
The Padiham forward kept cool, sliding the ball past goalkeeper Matt Cooper as he rushed off his line to open the scoring via an upright.
A familiar face – Albion net-minder Stuart Plant – played between the posts at the other end as a favour to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League newcomers, shorn of injured first choice Sean Davis.
He ought to have been beaten when trialist Jon Dawson traded passes with Neville Thompson, the former dragging his shot wide when well-placed.
Plant was at full stretch to parry Thompson’s thumped attempt before Padiham added to their advantage when Trickett rammed a rising shot past Cooper after again piercing the home team’s backline.
Albion boss Brian Pritchard mad five interval changes that heightened – at least briefly – his side’s attacking threat.
Substitute Anthony Sheehan was unlucky to see his dipping shot helped onto the crossbar by Plant, who saved his best stop until midway through the second half when diverting with his fingertips Danny Andrews’ arced attempt.
When he was beaten, Michael Powell’s close range effort was smuggled off the line by Tom Bradley’s spectacular diving header.
Moseley concluded: “We were poor going forward, perhaps because we chopped and changed more in the final third.
“In the first half we looked like a team of players who did not know each other, which made things disjointed.
“Our pre-season as a whole hasn’t got going yet, partly because the team has been so unsettled.
“The next three games will be important to start settling things down ready for the first game of the campaign.”
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