Pre-season friendly at Blessed Thomas Holford Sports Academy, Altrincham
Wythenshawe Amateurs 6 Vulcan 1 (att 17)
Six days after I rounded off my 2016/17 season at Limerick I decided it was time to begin 2017/18, with a rather easier journey to a school in Altrincham.
I'm not a big fan of friendlies, and rarely travel far to watch them, but I can be tempted when they're played at venues that don't regularly stage Saturday football. Blessed Thomas Holford falls into that category, with this game played on a well-worn artificial pitch.
Both Manchester League Wythenshawe Amateurs and Vulcan, newly elevated to the Cheshire League for 2017/18, should be moving into new grounds this season, so chances are I'll be seeing both sides again in the weeks and months ahead.
That Wythenshawe ran out easy winners was no surprise, as they play a couple of levels higher than Vulcan, but they had to come from behind.
The visitors, wearing training tops after bringing kit too similar to their hosts' shirts, opened the scoring. They held their lead until the 37th minute, then two goals in sixty seconds, swiftly followed by a third before half time, turned the game around.
Wythenshawe were much the better side in the second half, and ran in three more goals which reflected their superiority.
No doubt it was a useful workout for both sides, and as a neutral spectator it wasn't a bad game for a friendly, although it felt very different from a properly competitive encounter.