Cranbrook draw opening pre-season game

PUBLISHED: 14:47 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:47 06 August 2019

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Cranbrook Football Club launched their pre-season action with a 2-2 draw against Otterton.

Problems with the playing surface at Broadclyst had led to Cranbrook having to cancel their pre-arranged pre-season matches - it has also led to concerns about the very future of the club.

Cranbrook boss Jon Martin explained saying: "There seems to have been a concerted effort to do some remedial work on the pitch at Broadclyst in the close season, but what they have put on the playing surface is a load of topsoil that contained gravel, chalk and porcelain!

"A clear-up/repair effort has been undertaken, but it's left an almighty mess!"

He continued: "It's all a big worry. Certainly, being unable to use the pitch at Broadclyst effectively leaves us without a home - for now!

"It also meant we had to cancel all our pre-booked warm-up games, which is not something I wanted to do. It may well come down to us having to find somewhere else to host home games."

Hosts Otterton took the lead with a stunning strike from some 25 yards that Cranbrook glovesman Paul Holmes had no chance of keeping out.

Holmes, who has returned to the club after a spell away, then made a couple of wonderful saves to deny the home side further goals.

Cranbrook, looking a little 'rusty', took a while to settle, but once they found their feet in the contest they were soon level when striker Tommy Taylor latched onto a through-ball and slotted home from the edge of the penalty area.

Cranbrook then went ahead with a powerful far post header from centre back Matt Pike.

Parity was restored as the home side took advantage of some tired legs in the Cranbrook ranks to level with a shot that took a wicked deflection.

Cranbrook boss Jon Martin said: "It was a good run out against a well-organised side. There were plenty of positives for us to take from the meeting. All of the lads put in a good shift and we worked the ball really well at times.

"I was particularly pleased with some of the link-up play from the forwards."

On new players at the club, Martin says: "We have recruited well. Jordan Wilkinson has joined from neighbours Ottery and Steve Davey has come across from East Budleigh. Pete Gibson is another terrific addition and we have just taken on a centre back with higher level experience.

"While I do feel we have plenty of work to do, the early signs at this stage of the pre-season are very good."

There is one big bonus for Martin with the new signings, something he explained saying: "To have added quality and depth to the squad means that yours truly should no longer be needed to fill the third substitute spot quite as much this coming season!"

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