Airbus UK Broughton FC continued their pre-season preparations with a 4-1 over Midland Football Alliance side Ellesmere Rangers in a friendly at the Airfield. The Wingmakers supplemented a strong squad with a number of youngsters - notably with Mark Atkinson starting the game at left-back and going on to produce a good performance. The Wingmakers captain for the night was Eddie Hope - a signing from Ellesmere in the January transfer window.

The game got off to a good tempo with Airbus matching the enthusiasm of the visitors. Mike Hayes had the first chance saved on 9 minutes but the away side took the lead 3 minutes later. An Ellesmere free-kick into the area was deflected into the path of Tom Ward who prodded home close-range to make it 1-0. Ward then went on to have a header held by Callum Hawthorne in the Wingmakers goal.

It was not long before the Wingmakers were back on level terms however. Teenage striker Mark Jones was played through on goal on 19 minutes and made no mistake with a neat low finish in the far corner to make it 1-1. A minute later Mark Atkinson got forward to put in a great cross which was met by the head of Jones at the far post, to make it 2-1 and give the new summer signing from Bodedern his second goal of the game.

Airbus began to dominate the rest of the half with Mike Hayes, Glenn Rule and Matty Woodward all having attempts at goal while Tom Ward was liveliest for the visitors on the counter-attack. A poor back pass let in Ellesmere's Dan Barton who rounded Hawthorne but could only find the inside of the far post with his shot. Glenn Rule also hit the woodwork for Airbus when he saw an effort strike the post.

A superb first-half hat-trick for Mark Jones was completed on 42 minutes when again played into space, he placed the ball low to goalkeeper Andy Price's left to make it 3-1. Just before the interval Ellesmere's Jamie Renshaw had a header cleared off the line by Glenn Rule, and it remained 3-1 at the break.

The second-half began with Ellesmere's Chris Catheral shooting off target before on 55 minutes the Wingmakers made a double substitution. Paul McManus and Head Coach Gareth Owen replaced Craig Whitfield and Glenn Rule respectively. With an hour gone the next opportunity fell to Mike Hayes who, through on goal, rounded the goalkeeper only to see a defender stop his goal-bound shot on the line. Goalkeeper Price injured himself during the move and was replaced by Sam Jones.

Airbus made a couple more substitutions as the game progressed with Ian Sheridan and Ross Rule on in place of Mike Hayes and hat-trick hero Mark Jones. Both McManus and Rule saw attempts sail narrowly over the bar before with 20 minutes to go the Wingmakers made further changes. Mark Cadwallader and Danny Desormeaux were replaced with youngsters Chris Thomas and Nathan Nicholls.

Eddie Hope set up Ross Rule after a strong run and his shot just went narrowly wide of the far post. On 77 minutes the Wingmakers blooded another youngster when Lee Jones came on in place of Hope. Ryan Edwards had the next chance for Airbus when a decent shot from a tight angle was tipped over by Jones.

Despite Airbus enjoying a fair amount of possession the visitors still offered a threat going forward. Twice Chris Thomas did well in clearing away crosses into the box and Renshaw curled a free-kick just over the top corner for the away side.

With 5 minutes to go the Wingmakers extended their lead when Ellesmere failed to clear a ball into the box and Lee Jones pounced from 5 yards to make it 4-1.  The visitors went close in response through a long-range drive from Matthew Fletcher and a good solo run by Steve Blentinsopp - which was thwarted by Hawthorne who also dealt with the follow-up shots.

The last action saw Ian Sheridan just miss the top corner with a header before the officials called time on the game as it finished 4-1. Both clubs will be happy with their team's performance, particularly Airbus and the young players who came into the side and acquitted themselves well at senior level.

Airbus - 1: Callum Hawthorne 2: Ryan Edwards 3: Mark Atkinson 4: Mark Cadwallader 5: Matty Woodward 6: Glenn Rule 7: Eddie Hope (c) 8: Danny Desormeaux 9: Mark Jones 10: Mike Hayes 11: Craig Whitfield 12: Ian Sheridan 13: Niki-Lee Bulmer 14: Ross Rule 15: Paul McManus 16: Nathan Nicholls 17: Chris Thomas 18: Lee Jones 19: Gareth Owen

Ellesmere - 1: Andy Price 2: Nathan Leonard 3: Matthew Fletcher 4: Andy Ford 5: Steve Towers 6: Cal Gwilliams 7: Dale Williams 8: Chris Catheral 9: Dan Barton 10: Tom Ward 11: Kevin Renshaw 12: Dan Griffiths 13: Sam Jones 14: Dan Price 15: Darren Beech 16: Steve Blentinsopp

By Rory Sheehan


Airbus UK FC

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