**FROLESWORTH UNITED 1-2 LUTTERWORTH WMC**
FROLESWORTH United suffered their first defeat of their pre-season campaign on Sunday morning, with a narrow defeat at the hands of Lutterworth WMC at the Warren.
Gregory Garner returned to the fray to open the scoring with a magnificent solo goal, only for the Rabbits to concede from two set-pieces to succumb to defeat as manager Ben Harris experimented with wholesale changes at the break.
The Yorkshire-man made no fewer than six changes to his starting line-up too, with Sam Putnam and Jack Rudman employed as full-backs either side of Jack Boulton and Mark Baker in defence and skipper Craig Rowbottom and Steven Bottom in the holding role.
Dominic Ivens retained his place on the left of midfield, in what would be his final pre-season game for United before retuning to the United States with Lincoln Land Loggers team-mate Josh van Allen, and Frolesworth also welcomed back Jake Pantony, Garner and Luke Hammond.
But the changes had an unsettling effect on the hosts, although they did take the lead against the run of play in the 14th minute. Garner, who won the players’ player of the year last season, showed exactly what United will be missing when he leaves for the University of Bedford in September with another gem to add to his blossoming collection.
After exchanging passes with Pantony on the halfway line, he slalomed his way past three defenders before entering the box and effortlessly placing the ball into the top-corner with his weaker foot.
It was another fine example of Garner’s impressive exploits from last season, but the Country Boys would ultimately be haunted by a problem, which plagued them throughout the last campaign and one that Harris must get to grips with if United are to mount a serious promotion challenge this time round.
The visitors levelled just seven minutes later and with their first meaningful foray into the Frolesworth area. Bottom failed to adequately deal with Chris Read’s deep corner at the back-stick and with the post being left vacant by Putnam; the visiting striker helped himself to square things up.
Harris rang the changes at the break as an almost entirely unrecognisable team from the first period began the second, with Joe Wilson, Josh van Allen, Martin Finnigan, Eddie Glaister and Luke Evans being introduced.
But the change in personnel didn’t bestow a change in fortune for the hosts, who fell behind with further sloppy defending from a corner-kick just before the hour mark. It was Evans this time the culprit, as he allowed Alex Broadbent to clamber above him and head into the net, with Wilson this time leaving the far-post gaping.
The prodigious Dan Morrow then replaced Garner shortly after, and following an impressive first half-an-hour in the famous claret jersey provided a glimpse into life after the latter.
Joe Swanwick and Miles Splevings were then introduced for the tireless Hammond and largely ineffective Pantony respectively with twenty minutes remaining, before the fiery-haired winger Morrow was denied a stonewall penalty.
He also looked sprightly on both flanks, but it was great work on the left-hand side that provided a chance for Swanwick, but the oncoming goalkeeper foiled his left-footed shot in the 82nd minute.
Danny Knott, who was given his first appearance for the Rabbits, finally replaced Ivens but there were to be no further chances in what ultimately proved to be another important lesson learned by Harris.
FROLESWORTH: ERRINGTON, PUTNAM (45 FOR WILSON) BOULTON (45 FOR VAN ALLEN), BAKER, RUDMAN (45 FOR FINNIGAN), BOTTOM (45 FOR GLAISTER), ROWBOTTOM (45 FOR EVANS), PANTONY (70 FOR SPLEVINGS), IVENS (80 FOR KNOTT), GARNER (60 FOR MORROW), HAMMOND (70 FOR SWANWICK).
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