Pre-season Friendly at Newall Green High School, Wythenshawe, Manchester
Wythenshawe Amateurs 1 Maine Road 0 (att 37)
Another friendly and another chance to tick off a rarely-used venue, this time an all-weather pitch at the rear of a school in Wythenshawe, with Amateurs' usual ground probably out of action at the moment due to cricket commitments.
The pitch looked narrow, but otherwise this venue was typical of its type, floodlit and surrounded by a high fence. No facilities for spectators, but enough space for those watching to stand inside the fence. As far as I'm aware the pitch isn't used by any Saturday club on a regular basis.
This match followed an earlier friendly between the two side's reserves. I don't know how that game finished, but in its closing minutes I saw the Wythenshawe goalkeeper concede an unfortunate own goal when the ball deflected in off his face.
As Maine Road play two leagues higher than their hosts I expected to win this comfortably, but instead we had a surprise result. The only goal came midway though the first half, thanks to a penalty given for handball. Amateurs showed greater commitment and deserved their lead.
The home side had a strong shout for a second penalty early in the second half, but as the game wore on Maine Road became more dominant, and frequent substitutions meant the game became more disjointed. The visitors hit the crossbar twice but couldn't score, ensuring a narrow win for the Manchester League team.