NOT many left Haye Road on Tuesday with a heavy heart.For more than 600 Plymothians, the pleasure of seeing saw their team ease into pre-season with a comfy victory, courtesy of Matt Lecointe’s first-half strike and second-half penalties from Marvin Morgan and Reuben Reid.
For Elburton Villa, a bumper sunshine-bathed crowd to help along their forthcoming South West Peninsula League season and a reputation as perfect hosts further enhanced.
For John Sheridan, the chance to get some fitness and confidence into his entire fit and available first-team squad of players who have already shown more than enough willing on the training ground.
“I’m pleased to get things kicking,” said John. “The lads have worked really hard. They have put a lot of effort in and we are getting them fitter.
“It was a good work-out. Everyone got a bit of football. That’s what they are working towards. It was obviously very hot and the grass was a little too long for my liking, but it was a good test.
“We could have scored a lot more goals but the main thing is to keep everyone fit and improving, and hopefully we’ll get better and better as the games go by towards the start of the season.”
John will have been pleased that three of the four central strikers he used made their mark, albeit summer signings Morgan and Reid converting from penalties
John said: “It doesn’t matter how they go in the back of the net – we had a lot of opportunities to score a lot more, which would have been more pleasing – it’s good for the supporters to see one or two new players. The crowd was really good – a big turn-out – and it’s helped Elburton.”
Injuries to another new signing, Lewis Alessandra, and to Andres Gurrieri, Nick Chadwick and Guy Branston, meant John was unable to use his whole first-team squad, but it should not be too long before the absentees are back in action.
John said: “Lewi’s not serious. He’s just a little bit tight. Same with Andres. I think they both could have played, but I’d rather be careful. Brano’s still recovering from a calf injury.
“They’ve got through most of the pre-season, and missing tonight was just a precaution so they won’t aggravate their injury and be out longer.”
Photos by Dave Rowntree, sponsored by the 50-50 Lottery