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Congleton held at home

Congleton Town held Evo-Stik First Division North side New Mills to a 1-1 draw this afternoon as they continued their preparation for the start of the new season.

The Bears latest friendly gave Mike McDonald and Steve Hardy a chance to have another look at their players and also experiment with a 4-3-3 formation as they continue to rebuild the side ahead of the first league fixture on Saturday, 8th August. 

It took 22 minutes for either side to have a shot at goal and it saw Congleton break the deadlock. Rick Bailey played a great ball over the top of the defence and Scott McGowan coolly but clinically chipped the ball over the advancing goalkeeper to give the Bears the lead.

Bailey nearly doubled the Bears’ lead five minutes later after great play, however his dipping shot went just over the crossbar.

New Mills equalised on 34 minutes through an own goal. Tunde Owolabi’s close-range shot was saved by Robert Cooke, but the rebound was bundled into the net by a Congleton defender.

The Bears had a scare five minutes before half-time but Brandon Windsor was denied by the post after a mix-up in the Congleton defence to keep the score level at the break.

20 minutes into the second half and New Mills were awarded a penalty. Lewis Johnson was judged to have brought down Adam Blackburn inside the penalty area. Nick Alexander stepped up to take the penalty and Cooke went the right way and pulled off a brilliant save low to his left to deny the Millers the lead.

Congleton withstood any pressure that New Mills threw at them in the final 25 minutes. In fact, the Bears had a few chances themselves to follow up last weekend’s 10-1 victory over Neil Baldwin XI with another win, however the match finished 1-1.

Congleton: Cooke, Collins (B Alston 59), Jackson, Johnson, Trialist, Crosby, Bailey, S. Sephton, McGowan (Ruiz 62), Barlow (L. Sephton 62), Smith (Moores 62)

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