South Berkshire Terriers comfortably secured a nine goal victory in their preseason opener, as a relatively experienced Terriers line up were too much for a young but enthusiastic Yateley development side.
With three of the younger Terriers unavailable, captain Neil Badley was able to call on two players dropping down from higher league sides for the season ahead, as Ashley Stratton and Tony Heaver made their bow for the Terriers, along with a temporary return for ex-Terriers Kaya Campion and Liam Wilson to help ensure a strong squad of 14 for the game.
As befits a preseason game, it was less about the goals and more about the performance for the Terriers. Whilst three goals were created in the first half, it was not the fluid or pacey performance that was expected from the team, as at times the defensive posture of the Yateley side saw Terriers lack urgency, with the ball held on for too long rather than releasing quicker passes.
Half time saw a blunt assessment from captain Neil Badley, which drew a quick response from the Terriers, as they began moving the ball with pace laterally, creating gaps with good movement in midfield and attack. Opportunities came aplenty, and quickly put the young Yateley side on the back foot, as they struggled to contain the waves of attacking play which was supported with an impressive focus on pressuring Yateley in their own 23. As a result, Terriers kept Yateley held in their own half for almost all of the half. Highlights of the six 2nd half goals were definitely a well taken goal from Jack Barker, and a well deserved hat-trick for Austin Jennings who showed good poise in mixing up direct running with confident hold up play.
Overall, a comfortable first preseason game, but undoubtedly plenty to work on in practice as there will be tougher tests ahead this season.