We attended our first pre-season game of the 2009-10 season last night. We made the trip up to Southend Road for what is one of the last games to be played there before Penrith FC make the move to there new ground Frenchfields.
The game went as a true pre-season game would. Play was quite slow with neither team looking to push forward early on. After around 25 minutes, Gretna stepped it up a gear with some good passing and driving forward, and clipped the bar before the end of the first half, the best chance of the half.
The second half began in a similar fashion to the first. After about 10 minutes, the pre-season tradition of half squad subs took place by Gretna. Gretna grabbed a goal on the hour, after some slack defensive play by Penrith, and some shabby decision-making by the Linesman, who flagged for a foul 40 yards away from him, in which the referee ignored. The Penrith keeper tamely flapped at the 25 yard effort, and saw the ball hit the back of the net. Penrith then stepped up their game, but the force of this revived Gretna team; beginning their second season as a reformed team, who went on to score a second late on. A good turn out for the game, with the temporarily-opened Southend Road Car Park nearly full!!
It will be sad to see this old ground in the centre of Penrith go. A ground with the true Non-League feel to it. They are moving out-of-town, and the new ground at Frenchfields will not have the same atmosphere as Southend Road.
Photographs are available for viewing opposite.