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Witton Albion manager feels relief after his side puts Barrow to the sword in penultimate friendly
BRIAN Pritchard admitted he was relieved to watch a Witton he recognises during last night’s friendly win against higher-ranked Barrow.
Albion, feeble in a defeat to Padiham seven days previous, scored three times before the break in a dominant display against a team that starts its league campaign this weekend.
Kyle Wilson’s double was punctuated by Ollie James’ fine strike as the home team found a path to goal regularly.
“I can sleep more easily now,” said the Witton boss.
“There hasn’t been doubt about what we’re capable of, but I’ve been anxious to see it before we go to Buxton [on the opening day of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League season].
“We shouldn’t get carried away, but I’ve at least had confirmed what we thought we knew.
“The difference in performance from last week [against Padiham] is huge, but then the players were reminded of a few home truths after that game. It appears that they listened.
“Perhaps there has been a hangover from last season, and we needed a spark to get going again.
“I’ve said more than once though that this has been one of the most disrupted summers that I’ve known with everything that has been going on off the field and also with not once having everybody available to play.”
He switched formation twice during a 3-2 success against the Bluebirds, who took the lead when Josh Amis punished a pause in defence to fire past Matt Cooper in the ninth minute.
Wilson restored parity shortly afterwards, escaping the attention of Barrow’s high back-line to round custodian Tony McMillan and roll the ball into an empty net.
Albion went ahead with the move of the match, a flowing sequence started by Anthony Gardner and Danny Andrews down the right that ended with Anthony Sheehan cutting back for James to shoot high – and with power – beyond Barrow’s goalkeeper.
Amis drilled too close to Cooper after spinning away from his marker at the other end, then McMillan blocked Wilson’s attempt when the two came face-to-face.
The former Nantwich forward won their next battle though, sending an angled finish into the far corner after Sheehan had prodded a cute pass into his path.
Prichard added: “I’m happy for Kyle. We trust in him, and he stayed positive despite missing a chance before he got his first goal.
“There was more confidence in possession than I’ve seen previously, and we played a shorter game. We’re better when we do.”
Barrow halved their arrears when substitute Shelton Payne squared from the left for fellow replacement Aaron Bown to guide a smart finish past Cooper.
Witton close their pre-season programme with a trip to Conwy, from the Huws Gray Alliance League, this Saturday, kick off 2pm.
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