Home friendly match played on 05 August 2012.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

A THREADBARE Frolesworth United side suffered a heavy defeat in their first pre-season outing, as they succumbed to a 4-0 defeat against an impressive FC Azzuri side at Dunley Way on Sunday morning.


Manager Ben Harris watched on in the soaking rain as his new-look side failed to trouble the visitors sufficiently going forward and his defence was constantly tormented by last season's 50-goal Alliance League top scorer George Himan.


The Yorkshireman wasn't blessed with options though, as despite promotion to the highest echelon of county football last season, dwindling enthusiasm amongst the squad meant that only 11 recognised players were available at his disposal.


Three of which, Craig Coombs, Andy Morris and Harry Shervington, were new signings and impressed on their debut, but the Rabbits' future looks precarious ahead of what is set to be their most difficult season in their short five-year history.


United went into their first pre-season fixture after a tumultuous campaign thus far, one which saw all three of their scheduled training sessions cancelled. Rumours have been rife surrounding the future of several players and as a result, the manager has been busy attempting to secure new recruits for the forthcoming campaign.


One of those is new goalkeeper Coombs, who replaced last season's captain Sam Green. Another two, Morris and Shervington came into the back for alongside Mark Baker and Jack Rudman, who made his first appearance in almost 12 months following an operation on his ankle.


Greg Garner was given a starting berth on the right, with Callum Wills on the left and playmaker Jake Pantony was joined in the centre by the industrious Eddie Glaister. But, with attacking options in short supply after Harris failed to secure the signature of both Sam Young and last season's top goalscorer Joe Cook, Danny Herring was named alongside last season's astute discovery in Harry Simmons.


And Frolesworth didn't start too badly, but were thankful to their new stopper after just nine minutes when Himan showed a glimpse of his undeniable quality as he chested down a throw-in before sending a vicious, dipping volley goalwards that was clawed onto the face of the post.


United's reprieve wouldn't last much longer though, as they found themselves behind after 28 minutes when they surrendered possession inside their own half and with the back-four out of position, Coombs was unable to prevent a shot flying past him.


Falling behind did spark a reaction from Harris' side, however, and they brought the first save out of the FC Azzuri goalkeeper when Wills' curling free-kick was shovelled around the post. But with just four minutes to go until the break, the home side should have been on level terms when a great chance fell to Herring.


The striker's last game in a Frolesworth shirt was last November and had he been a little sharper he would've certainly hauled his side level after a superb knockdown from Simmons, but the makeshift striker looped his attempted lob over the crossbar.


It was the brightest the hosts would sparkle though, as tired legs befell Harris' charges in their first 90 minutes this season and an impressive Azzuri side doubled their advantage predicatbly through former Star & Garter striker Himan, who broke free of Baker before sitting Coombs down and applying the finish just after the hour mark.


Coombs was powerless to prevent both goals so far, but the new signing was visibly disappointed with the visitors' third goal as he inadvertantly punched the ball into his own net after attempting to claim what appeared a routine cross.


Matters would be made worse for United, but not after Azzuri fortuitously rattled the frame of the goal again from a skewed cross from the right before the injured Glaister was withdrawn for Daniel Carvin.


If there was any consolation for Harris to take, it was that his side finished reasonably strongly as Simmons saw his goalbound effort miraculously blocked en route and when Frolesworth did finally have the ball in the net, it was the offside flag that denied substitute Carvin a consolation.


But on this evidence, United will be fortunate to even reach September 2nd, never mind compete in the Premier League.


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