Malcolm Dawson writes: Sixer and I were in attendance at Heritage Park, Bishop Auckland today to get a glimpse of 22 players in red and white (well the neat new blue away kit actually) and a decent game it was too. It was grey and overcast as I took my seat behind Don Vito’s goal and ten minutes before kick off the heavens opened. It rained persistently and heavily all through the first half. As the downpour saturated my trousers, a veritable torrent rolled down my legs from the inside and prompted me to indulge in a quiet chorus of “Sun’land till I’m dry” a song I once got a whole section of fans in open seating at Bramhall Lane to join in with.
An immaculate minute’s silence (fair to say there was not a single murmur inside the ground) was held prior to kick off to pay respect to the victims of the outrage in the skies above Ukraine, including the two NUFC fans who tragically lost their lives.
Doubtless Sixer will contribute his views later but for now I’ll pass on Gus’s words (as sent to M Salut and others) on the game. It was as he says “a good workout.”
Everything went to perfection for every player; they came through the 45 minutes without any injuries and did everything that we asked of them.
That’s what you want from a first pre-season game; it was a very good work out.
Darlington were great opposition for us and it was a great atmosphere as well, so a big thank you to everybody who came down.
We got exactly what we wanted from the game.
It was a good opportunity for Costel [Pantilimon], Billy [Jones] and Jordi [Gomez] to show what they are about and they did that this afternoon.
Pantilimon was very cool and calm, Jones was full of energy in that full-back position and Gomez popped up with a top quality goal.
I’ve no doubt they’re going to get better too, over the next couple of weeks.
[George ]Honeyman stepped in at the last minute and he did a very good job for us.
Liam [Bridcutt] is getting there and we’re taking our time with bringing him back. Johnno [Adam Johnson] twisted his ankle on Thursday but it’s nothing serious, he could be back on Tuesday or Wednesday.
The next two games are going to be a bigger test for the players and then from there we’ll be ready to go to Portugal and do the work that’s needed to get the players ready for the new season.
Thanks for your support,