FOOTBALL pre-season friendlies are in full swing, with Witton Albion, 1874 Northwich, Northwich Victoria, Winsford United and Barnton all having been in action this week.

Albion lost 3-1 at home to Macclesfield on Tuesday night, with James Hooper netting as well as missing a penalty for the hosts.

Northwich Guardian:

James Hooper's goal and penalty miss. Pictures: Karl Brooks Photography

Northwich Guardian:

Witton, who have announced that midfielders James Foley and Tom Owens, central defender Nick Ryan, striker Will Jones and midfielder/wing back Danny McKenna have all signed on again for the new season, had plenty of other chances but Macc’s finishing was superior.

On the same night, 1874 were defeated 2-1 at home by AFC Telford United. Harry Cain had levelled matters in the 70th minute.

That was followed up on Thursday with a 1-1 draw at Airbus, where Mike Koral was on target in an unfamiliar '74 line-up.

Back to Tuesday and Vics were victorious 2-1 at Bolton Lads Club with Ryan Winder among the goals, while Barnton drew 1-1 at Winnington Avenue 94 - whose Sam Didsbury found the net with a free kick – and Winsford triumphed 6-1 at West Didsbury and Chorlton.

At the weekend, Aaron Smith and Mark Jones scored the goals that handed 1874 a 2-1 success at Cheadle Town.

Vics lost 2-1 at Winnington Avenue 94 while Barnton were defeated 3-2 at home by Widnes FC.

Northwich Guardian:

Vics against Winnington Avenue last weekend. Pictures: Angela Buckley

Northwich Guardian:

Former Winsford Saxons manager Gary Lee Jamieson and his assistant Mike Fitzsimmons are pleased with how their squad is coming together at Winnington Avenue Reserves.

“Me and Mike are really excited about the coming season,” said Jamieson.

“We have taken a lot of the lads from Saxons who have worked their socks off for us over the last two years who we feel can contribute at this level, while adding some young local prospects to the side.” They include Northwich 16-year-olds Will Bentley and George Kirby who have experience at Stockport Town.

“We feel we will have a young and vibrant side, assembled around a solid back bone which has served us well,” he added.

Their first outing was a highly competitive one, but they lost 2-0 against Middlewich Town.

Starts were given to six new arrivals, who all performed well.

Northwich Guardian:

Winnington Avenue Reserves v Middlewich Town. Pictures: Bryn Jackson Photography

Northwich Guardian:

Northwich Guardian:

"The integration of the squad is the most important thing in these early weeks but we saw plenty of positives to take from playing against a very well organised Middlewich Town side,"| said Jamieson.

"We asked plenty of questions, and on another day we could have had the end product desired.

"Middlewich undone us on two set pieces and at this level those things matter, so we know areas we can improve but we're at a very good starting point."

The Cheshire League campaign starts on August 7.

They host Black Horse today, Saturday, at Jubilee Fields, Winnington.

Games will continue to come thick and fast for the other teams too.

1874 Northwich visit Cheadle Heath Nomads on Tuesday, while Vics head to Prestatyn today, 3pm, when Barnton host Greenalls Padgate St Oswalds at 2pm.

Winsford United host Maine Road at Barton Stadium at 3pm.

Witton host Crewe Alexandra on Wednesday, 7.45pm.