HANLEY TOWN 5
UTTOXETER TOWN 2
UTTOXETER endured a bruising encounter and a heavy defeat in their third pre-season friendly at Hanley Town on Tuesday night.
After their hosts opened the scoring early on, Town equalised through James Curley, but then fell 3-1 down, and although Jon Lamburn pulled another back, they conceded two late goals.
In a cagey opening ten minutes, Mark Grimley's side went behind when they failed to clear an aerial ball into the box and Hanley pounced.
They equalised within minutes though as good interplay from Liam Sowter, Kyle Esplin and new signing Ollie Mellor played in Curley, who made no mistake from 20 yards.
They then rued a few missed chances, as they hit the post and saw a shot from Curley go agonisingly the wrong side of the post.
Hanley then had a man sent off for a reckless challenge followed by a stamp on Doug Price, though the hosts were allowed to bring a substitute on to replace the dismissed player.
The hosts reacted better than their visitors to this incident, and were rightly awarded a penalty following a foul in the area, which was dispatched.
Hanley were lucky to escape another red card as centre-half Michael Morton put in a two-footed lunge on Sowter.
Uttoxeter had chances to get back in it, with Esplin denied by a wonder save from the Hanley stopper shortly before the break.
In the second half, Town had more chances to equalise, both Mellor and Jack Holley failing to find the net when well placed.
As it was, Hanley's frightening pace on the counter was evident and they got themselves further in front on 65 minutes.
Lamburn got Town back in the game with 12 minutes to go when he won the ball 30 yards out and finished well.
Mellor should have been awarded a penalty on 81 when he was hacked down in the box, but nothing was given.
Tiring legs and the search for an equaliser led to Hanley' fourth and fifth, and a scoreline that flattered the hosts.
SOUTH NORMANTON 3
UTTOXETER TOWN 3
ON SATURDAY, Uttoxeter dragged themselves back from two goals down to rescue a draw at South Normanton.
The Town side started slowly, and conceded a goal after 15 minutes, but equalised soon after with a great finish from Lamburn.
They set a good tempo after the goal and dominated until conceding a deflected free-kick on stroke of half-time.
There were a few changes at half-time, and Town fell further behind on 48 minutes.
However, they got back into the game on 77 minutes thanks to John Littler's great finish from 20 yards following good work from Curley.
The goal of the game was the equaliser from Sowter, who was played in following a prolonged period of passing by Holley, and made no mistake from 17 yards.
Only one team looked like winning the game at this stage, and Town should have had an opportunity to snatch victory when the impressive Mark Hodson was hauled down in the area, but the referee turned down the penalty appeals.