Credit: Thomas Atkinson
After an abrupt end to the 2019/20 Northern League Division One season due to the calamitous coronavirus, Whickham were desperate to get back into action on the pitch and start playing football again and after a long three months the squad were given the green light to start playing again.
Whickham FC coach, Mark Convery, reacted to his side’s pre-season runout:
“I’m really pleased with pre-season and all of the lads attitudes during these games, we are ready as you can be for competitive games, we are just looking at the opening games and hoping to get off to a good start and build from there”.
PRUDHOE Y.C.F.C 1-4 Whickham FC
This meant a beginning of pre-season friendlies and the first opponents Whickham faced were Prudhoe Y.C.F.C away.
The game finished 4-1 to the Lang Jacks with Kieron Moat opening the score for the away side after five minutes before Scott Robson doubled the lead ten minutes after half-time.
Prudhoe pulled a goal back with twenty minutes remaining but another goal for Scott Robson and a goal for a substitute trialist wrapped up the victory for the visitors who ran out 4-1 winners.
Whickham FC 3-3 SOUTH SHIELDS ACADEMY
Looking to keep up their momentum from the first pre-season fixture against Prudhoe Y.C.F.C, Whickham snatched a draw to remain without a loss in pre-season.
The visitors went into half-time 2-0 up and looking good value for a win before a second half comeback and goals through Jack Robson (2) and Charlie Exley turned the match around before SSFC equalised late on.
CULLERCOATS FC 2-0 Whickham FC
Despite being unbeaten after two friendlies, Whickham stumbled in their third friendly, falling to tough Northern Alliance Premier Division Cullercoats FC
Whickham just couldn’t get started in this game and even with a lot of possession the home side were set up as a team that were hard to beat.
After a sluggish start by Mark Convery’s men, Cullercoats took advantage of the lethargic attitude when the ball flew into Whickham’s net from 25-yards-out before a second goal five minutes later proved more than enough to win the game.
DUNSTON UTS 0-3 Whickham FC
Losing 2-0 in the last match away to Cullercoats must have lit a fire inside the players as they went on to thump Northern Premier League N/West local rivals Dunston UTS 3-0.
With Dunston holding a very high line early on in the match and pressing very high up the field, it meant that the black and white’s rapid front three could capitalise if they could get in behind which they did after 20 minutes when Jack Robson broke free down the right-hand side of the area before his shot slipped under the goalkeeper.
A back and forth 20 minutes made it an enticing watch and even more exciting for those on the Whickham bench when Scott McCarthy beat the press and poked his effort past the oncoming goalkeeper to double the lead.
Three minutes later McCarthy grabbed his brace tapping home into an empty net after Jack Robson unselfishly laid the ball across the area to McCarthy.
BRANDON UNITED 0-0 Whickham FC
Whickham were held to a second pre-season draw against Brandon United.
No real chances either way as both teams had a good runout and a chance to increase match fitness.
Whickham FC 4-3 GATESHEAD XI
The last pre-season friendly before competitive football starts again for the Lang Jacks ended in a seven goal thriller but this time with the return of fans.
The home side had a dream start scoring in under a minute when the high pressure against a young Gateshead team paid off through Jack Robson.
Liam Doyle then doubled the lead after 16 minutes, dinking a first-time finish over the rushing goalkeeper.
With six minutes before the half-time break there were suddenly three goals in that short period with the visitors scoring a penalty on the 39th minute before Scott Robson scored the home sides third and one more reply by Gateshead left the scores at 3-2 to the home side at half-time.
Ross Peareth then helped Whickham regain their two-goal advantage with a towering header from a corner before multiple chances both ways and a last second header scored by Gateshead ended the heart-racing game 4-3.