Daisy Hill’s opening game in their pre-season schedule ended in defeat when a late winner sealed a 3-2 victory for Wythenshawe Amateurs on Saturday.
In a game played at the Manchester Health Academy, Daisy twice came from behind to level through goals from new summer signing Jordan Lazenbury, but a winner five minutes from time sealed the win for Amateurs.
Despite the defeat, Daisy boss Leighton Mills said there was plenty to take from the game.
“We struggled in the first half with their formation and their two wide men, so we changed it around at half time and we then looked a lot more comfortable,” said Mills.
“Overall, there were some positives, and some things we can work on, which is what these games are for.
“I thought we played out well from the back at times, but when the ball got to their wide men, we made it a bit easy for them to get balls into our box. But that can be sorted.
“It was good to see us come back twice to draw level, it was a good reaction, and Jordan (Lazenbury) took both of his goals well.
“Goals is what we brought him in for and that’s what he will give you. He looked sharp and busy, and we were pleased with his performance.
“These games are about fine-tuning things, looking at formations, and how we will set up this season with new personnel.
“We played with wing-backs in the first half and a flat back four in the second half, and we will look at something else for Saturday’s game at Avro and go again.”
The game itself was played at a good pace throughout, with both sides committed to going forward, and Wythenshawe struck an early blow with the opener after just three minutes.
It was a fine strike too, with midfielder Jake Pollard rifling in a cracking 25-yarder that flew into the top corner of the net past Morgan Newns in the Daisy goal.
The hosts dominated the opening 20 minutes, and it was the midway point in the half before Daisy created their first chance of note when Hensley Mills shot wide from Jake O’Brien’s left-wing cross.
Wythenshawe continued to look the likelier side to score, with their trialist left winger and striker Bradley Sullivan both coming close to increasing their lead, while Daisy’s only counter was a shooting opportunity for Precieux Ngongo, which he fired over from 20 yards.
However, five minutes into the second half, Daisy drew level from their best move of the game, with Connor Hughes playing a perfect pass through the Wythenshawe defence to put Lazenbury in on goal, and the Daisy striker rounded the keeper before rolling the ball into the net from a tight angle.
Five minutes later, Lazenbury almost created a second goal, when Mills just failed to connect with his cross into the box, but from the resulting counter attack Wythenshawe took the lead once more.
The Daisy defence failed to deal with a ball through the middle, and Sam Dickov was allowed time and space to pick his spot.
But Daisy hit back, and after skipper Hughes twice came close with efforts on goal, Lazenbury levelled with his second of the afternoon.
The Daisy striker took a great first touch on a long ball over the top of the defence, and coolly slotted home past the advancing keeper.
But with five minutes remaining it was Wythenshawe who struck the decisive blow with the winning goal, their trialist striker getting on the end of a high cross to the far post to bury a downward header.
Daisy’s next pre-season game is on Saturday, when they travel to face North West Counties League Premier Division side Avro (3pm).