Tough friendlies get Petersfield Town ready for new league season

By Post  
Saturday 7th August 2021 5:00 am
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Petersfield Town manager Mark Summerhill

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PETERSFIELD Town have completed a tough pre-season schedule with a respectable series of results against higher level opposition.

Following a 2-0 home defeat by Farnham and a 2-2 draw at home to Godalming, the Rams packed three away games into five days at Hamble Club, Alton and AFC Portchester.

At Hamble last Tuesday Petersfield went behind in the 14th minute after trickery by Hamble’s winger. Within minutes a Hamble corner led to pinball in the Rams’ box and a header off the line by Kieran Alcock could not prevent the centre-forward forcing home a second goal.

Petersfield had their first shot on target in the 72nd minute. Hard work to hold the ball by Abdulaziz Alkobani paid off as he found Jamie Randall on the edge of the area, but his effort was caught at the second attempt.

With a few minutes left Hamble were awarded a penalty but Petersfield keeper Tim Jackson guessed right to keep the final score at 2-0.

Petersfield boss Mark Summerhill said: “We didn’t start the game very well but then grew into things. We reorganised early, made some changes at half-time and only lost 2-0 to a good side.”

Petersfield went to promoted Alton last Thursday. A great strike from Will Webb gave the Rams a 73rd minute lead but Rob Carr equalised and Steve Black made it 2-1 to Alton with virtually the last kick.

Summerhill said: “We started really well, getting Aaron Akoman in the game, and we had some good chances. It was a very competitive first half. We made six changes to have a look at people and conceded two very late goals, but it was a really positive

performance.”

AFC Portchester provided a third successive Wessex Premier opponent for Petersfield on Saturday and the Rams came home with a 0-0 draw.

Summerhill said: “I thought it might be a game too far for us but we gave a really good account of ourselves. Bailey Newbury had two chances in the first ten minutes and should have scored, and our reserve goalkeeper Scott Heelas made some fantastic saves. Jordan Hughes was brilliant in central midfield and Ricky Long and Ryan Kennedy were solid at centre-back. It was a good 0-0 draw and we took a lot of confidence from it.

“It felt like pre-season was tough but we learnt a lot and improved after the first three games. I’m really pleased with the way it has gone. It was designed to be tough and we have not taken a beating anywhere.”

Petersfield open their Wessex Division 1 campaign on Saturday at Totton & Eling, who were bottom of the league when last season was cut short.

Summerhill said: “Totton have signed four or five players from Sholing so they’re not going to be the whipping boys. It’s not enviable for the first game of the season but we will give it our best shot.”