It has been a far from ideal pre-season so far for Danny Grainger and the Reds squad with a win and a heavy home defeat recorded so far.
After the comfortable victory over Whitehaven in the charity match, a below strength squad lost, heavily, at home to Dumbarton last week-end. It was an even contest for the opening forty minutes but a lack of strength in depth contributed to our downfall in the second half.
More bodies were available for the next outing but Morecambe, suffering themselves from a lack of senior players, cancelled Tuesday’s scheduled Borough Park clash at short notice.
It meant an extra training session was squeezed in prior to Saturday’s derby clash against Carlisle United (3pm) but left us quite a bit behind Paul Simpson’s boys in terms of preparation.
Regardless, we welcome all associated with Carlisle United to Borough Park for the clash of the two play-off winners and will relish the opportunity of pitting ourselves against an EFL League One outfit.
United are doing local football a big favour in their early pre-season leg-stretchers with Annan Athletic and Gretna 2008 benefitting from four-figure crowds at Galabank and Raydale respectively.
They were given a good work-out by Annan Athletic last week and only won thanks to a couple of late goals. Then, on Tuesday, they had things very much their own way in a straightforward ninety minutes at Raydale Park.
Obviously, our aim would be to do as well as Annan did against United whilst fearing the Blues might just repeat the thrashing they inflicted on Gretna.
Danny Grainger will look forward to welcoming his old club to the west of the county and it will be good to see Kai Nugent back at Borough Park after his praiseworthy loan spell with us last season.
Reds’ goalkeeping problems continue for the time being and, for the second match in succession, we may have to rely on a ‘keeper with Carlisle connections.
There will be more outfield options on the team sheet this week and the belief is that we can compete with the Blues over the ninety minutes.
The weather forecast remains unsettled but we hope the United support travels in numbers once again. Annan Athletic and Gretna 2008 officials were delighted by the legions of Blues fans who crossed the border for the two games and, hopefully, they will head out west for the annual derby.
Adult – £9
Concession – £6
U18 – £3
Child – £1
Programme – £2