Town recorded their first win of their pre-season this evening with a trademark Mark Beck header earning a 1-0 win at Brighouse Town.
It proved to be another valuable 90 minutes for Town against a resolute opponent as they build up to their opening EFL fixture against Rochdale in just over three weeks time.
As was the case with Town’s pre-season opener at Huddersfield Town, Simon Weaver again took the opportunity to give the majority of his squad a run-out.
Town seized the initiative in the initial stages of the game, converting a spell of early pressure into corners where both Will Smith and Brighouse old-boy Aaron Martin had efforts deflected clear.
The best opportunity in the opening minutes fell to George Thomson, whose low free-kick after a foul on Alex Pattison was turned wide of the left-hand post. From the resulting corner Martin powerfully met Thomson’s corner but the home ‘keeper smartly kept the effort out.
It was a spirited response from Brighouse though, with their pacy front-line not letting Town settle on the ball. It wasn’t all endeavour with two efforts of quality forcing Joe Cracknell into the first saves of his evening.
On 20 minutes Thomson was again in the thick of the action when he found himself free on the edge of the area but he flashed his shot wide of the target.
Connor Hall then attempted a speculative effort from distance that was hit with more hope than menace and allowed the home side to watch it fall well wide of the intended target.
New-boy Danilo Orsi played a smart reverse ball through to Martin who powered his way through on goal but the home defence regrouped in time to deflect the ball wide.
Orsi was then himself presented with a half-chance just inside the area but his snatched shot sailed well over
On the stroke of half-time Town had their best opportunity of the first 45 minutes. A driving run from Thomson ended with unleashing a powerful left-footed strike that forced the home keeper into a full stretch save to keep the scores level.
Weaver made five changes at the break with Hall, Thomson, Pattison, Orsi and Lloyd Kerry replaced by Rory McArdle, Josh Falkingham, Simon Power, Jack Muldoon and a further trialist.
Before the introductions had time to settle into their positions Town almost found themselves a goal down when a looping header almost found its way into the far corner before falling to safety.
Beck was then introduced into the action when he replaced Martin in the Town attack.
Muldoon, having only been on the pitch since half-time was imposing himself on the game in typical fashion and having retrieved the ball in midfield played in Power beyond the backline. The winger, who missed the run in last season through injury, was denied by the defence though when set to pull the trigger.
The home side continued in their attempts to prise the Town defence open, their best efforts resulting from quick counter-attacks but the Town defence remained equal to any danger.
Town finally got their breakthrough on 74 minutes when Falkingham’s long, diagonal free-kick saw Beck rise above the defence to convincingly head home into the bottom corner.
Muldoon almost doubled Town’s lead in the final minutes remaining when he rounded the keeper but saw his goal-bound shot cleared off the line.
TOWN first-half XI: Cracknell, Burrell, Trialist, Smith, Hall, Thomson, Pattison, Kerry, Trialist, Martin, Orsi.
TOWN second-half XI: Cracknell, Burrell, Trialist, Smith McArdle, Power, Falkingham, Trialist, Trialist, Martin (Beck, 56), Muldoon.
GOAL: Beck (74).
Hall (McArdle 45)
Thomson (Power 45)
Pattison (Falkingham 45)
Kerry (Trialist 45)
Martin (Beck 56)
Orsi (Muldoon 45)