STEVE HIBBERD writes ……..The Ikomar Stadium was the venue for Torry´s ultimate pre season friendly last Saturday, although at times, friendly was hardly the operative word. Hosts Horadada of 1st regional div, certainly gave their higher ranked visitors a stern test, which at times got a little bit nasty!
A number of off the ball incidents were in evidence, as tensions rose in both camps, culminating in Torry´s Tenza and Zaragoza, plus opposition Matias, picking up silly yellow cards. Having said that, this was an entertaining friendly, offering plenty of action for the men between the sticks.
Recent signings Juanpe and Tenza (both ex Hercules ´B´) certainly look the part, especially Juanpe who oozes loads of pace all over the park. Manager Pedreno was deprived of the services of long serving full back Vicente, who had a reasonable excuse in that his sister was getting married (sensible lady, exchanging vows out of season!).
Early doors, Beltran´s shot from distance looked goal bound, before it was deflected over the bar, then midway through the 1st half, Manu Amores watched as his stunning drive was punched to safety.
Another deflection robbed Torry of an opening goal, when Zaragoza´s fierce free kick eluded the target, then Eric had a glorious chance but when faced with a one on one, he shot hopelessly wide. It wasn´t all one way traffic, Mauro in Torry´s goal was called upon more than once to keep a clean sheet. Beltran had the final say of the half, his 30 yard belter shook the post before bouncing to safety, as Torry steadily grew in confidence.
Torry highlights of the 2nd half included a Walid header from a corner punched to safety, then from the rebound a Verdu shot was well saved. On the hour mark, the hugely impressive Juanpe embarked on yet another foray down the left wing to the dead ball line. His pull back was inadvertently knocked into his own net by the unfortunate Ruben Pastor.
Moments later, Tenza struck the post, before Torry sub Kana forced a good save. Another bullet header by Zaragoza was superbly saved, as Torry pressed for a 2nd goal which never materialized. This narrow 1-0 victory earned Torry a post match presentation of the Jose Villaescusa trophy.
Rewind 3 days to when Torry faced local 1st regional div side Torrevieja CF at Nelson Mandela Stadium, which also resulted in another Torry victory. Following a goal less 1st half, goals by Eric, Mani and Santos, secured a 3-0 scoreline.
At long last, following a long hard summer, competitive football arrives at Nelson Mandela again. Next Sun 3 Sep, ko 7pm, Torry host fellow relegation side Almoradi, for the first Preferente div match of a new season.