Tuffley Rovers Head Coach Rich Cox said he and manager Mark Pritchett were pleased with their side’s display in their 7-3 win against Bourton Rovers, but admit there are some areas that need improvement.
The hosts went into their second pre-season game of the 2020/21 season and were without both their captain and vice-captain in Macaulay Herbert (injury) and Warren Mann (unavailable), meaning goalkeeper Luke Merchant was given the armband on a goal fest of a game.
It didn’t take long for Tuffley to break the deadlock, with Pritchett slotting home from a corner after the initial Jacob Geddes header was cleared off the line.
They doubled their lead before the 10 minute mark when Miles Ferguson and Joe Shutt linked up well on the right hand side, before the latter had an effort saved into the path of Jack Beardsell, who tapped home.
After Bourton had pulled a goal back, Beardsell doubled his tally for the night with a sweeping finish into the bottom corner after a swift counter forward.
Following the half time break Tuffley’s lead was reduced back down to one as the inquest began after some slopping defensive work.
Beardsell turned provider 10 minutes later when he streamed down the left hand side before curling a beautiful cross into the path of Adam Bloomfield who ran in to make it 4-2.
The former Fairford man completed his hattrick after Henry Birkett pulled the ball across the box and after taking a good first touch, Beardsell made no mistake.
Bourton made it 5-3 with four minutes left but two goals in injury time saw Tuffley finish the game off in style.
First, Lewis Bainbridge carried the ball into the box before shifting the ball left then right to create enough space to blast home. Then, Bloomfield got his second when he was put through. The former Slimbridge man duly cut back around the keeper and slotted home.
After the game Cox was full of praise for his side, but admits there are still areas to improve.
“It was quite an open exciting game,” said Cox. “I think with it being our first game on the Saturday it got rid of the initial rustiness which allowed the players to be in a better condition going into this game, and we saw this.
There were some positives which Pritch and I are very pleased with but obviously some areas that need improving, but as a whole pleased with how it went.
We scored some very good goals and very happy to hit 7, although saying that we missed a lot also!
But with the attacking and youthful talent in our ranks they are capable of producing moments which can unlock any team, it’s just the consistency we need more of,” added Cox.
As mentioned Pritchett was audibly unhappy with the goals that Tuffley conceded during the game and Cox believes that over time the young side will learn mentally how to avoid the lapses in concentration.
“Pritch is a winner and he was right to be disappointed at the goals we conceded.
We’ve worked on a few things over the training sessions during pre-season and when this isn’t produced in the games it can be a little frustrating, but saying that it’s only the second game and the lads will improve and switch on alot more mentally in the games to come,” Cox said.
The win comes just days after Tuffley’s first pre-season game which saw them lose 1-0 to Nailsea & Tickenham and whilst Cox hasn’t ruled out new additions he is happy with the young squad at his disposal.
“We are happy with the group and environment that we have here and it was important to keep the group together from last season.
We are arguably the youngest squad in the league (with only two players yesterday over 22/23 years of age, Pritch and Antoine!), so it’s important they continue to grow together as a group.
We have added a couple which we feel will improve this group and we will see in the next few weeks if there will be further additions, but there is always work to do and we will continue to experiment and look at different things throughout the pre-season period,” added Cox.
Cover photo provided by Brian Rossiter. Please view his amazing photos on his Flickr page – https://www.flickr.com/people/ross0005/ or on Twitter @BrianRossiter1 *Please note cover photo dated July 2019*