Millers get pre-season underway with a win

Abbey Hey 3, New Mills 5

NEW MILLS’ preparations for their debut season in the Evo-Stik League started with a useful workout at Abbey Hey on Saturday.

The Millers, who returned to pre-season training at the start of last week, fielded a number of new players including some from the new in-take of scholars from the club’s Centre of Excellence.

One such recruit, Anthony Fields from Accrington Stanley, set up the opening goal in the eighth minute with a pacy run down the right wing before crossing and finding Kingsley Grandison, who scored easily from close range.

A defensive lapse saw David McDonald equalise for the home side three minutes later, but the Millers regained the lead when the front two, Daniel Douglas-Pringle and Tommy Smith, linked up with the latter finishing well.

The roles were reversed just after the half hour when Smith, who played Sunday league football last season after leaving Trafford, laid the ball across the face of the goal for Douglas-Pringle to clinically finish, and only the upright prevented Kingsley Grandison from further extending the advantage before half time.

Martin Pilkington reduced the arrears immediately after the resumption when his free kick deflected in off the wall, but Smith scored his second goal from an acute angle to restore New Mills’ two-goal cushion.

Both sides made a number of substitutions, and the Millers’ much-changed defensive line was breached again just after the hour when Pilkington’s header beat Ben Procter.

The goalscoring was wrapped up with two minutes remaining when substitute Chris Cox, who joined the Centre of Excellence from Port Vale, superbly crashed the ball into the roof of the net to wrap up a satisfactory start to the new season.

New Mills starting XI: Procter, Bowler, Horrocks, Gorman, Barras, Young, Fields, Curley, Douglas-Pringle, Smith, Grandison.