NIGEL Clough said it was an enjoyable pre-season opener at Matlock Town spoilt by a worrying injury to Ben Fox.
The final score was 1-1 with the Brewers ending up with every player on the pitch except Chris Beardsley being 24 or under in the second half and the Albion manager was pleased with the way his young charges took the game on but hopes that Fox’s injury proves not be too big a concern.
He said: “It’s a knee injury but we just don’t know the extent of it. You are always hopeful that it's just locked or something and the damage isn’t too great. We are hopeful for him and us that’s it’s not too bad.
“We have been back less than two weeks but are a bit ahead of where we were this time last season and we were very pleased with the outing especially as we had no Stephen Quinn, no David Tempelton and no John-Joe O’Toole.
“The young lads came on in the second half and we were very pleased. The nice thing is that it didn’t change the way we were playing. There aren’t many clubs where 18-year-olds will be playing in the first team in pre-season. They get an opportunity here.
“The pitch was a bit sticky at this time of the season and it wasn’t easy to move the ball but we still played some good stuff. We were glad Liam Boyce got a goal and he played well today.”
New signings Jevan Anderson, Richard Nartey and Kieran O’Hara all got game-time but John-Joe O’Toole missed out.
Clough said: “John-Joe felt a bit of a niggle in his groin training yesterday and thought he would be OK but then felt it in the warm-up and there’s no point taking risks.
“This time of the season with three weeks to go, there is no point risking anybody. We would rather they miss a day or two than several weeks.”
BACK THE BREWERS IN PRE-SEASON
Have you got your tickets for our home friendlies against Sheffield United (Tuesday July 16, 7.45pm) and Derby County (Saturday July 20, 3pm) yet?