Hebburn Town captain Louis Storey issues warning
Two goals from Amar Purewal and one from Robbie Spence helped the Hornets to an impressive 3-0 win over National League North club Blyth Spartans on Tuesday night.
That result – coupled with a draw against Morpeth Town and wins against Heaton Stannington, Jarrow, West Allotment Celtic and South Shields – means that Kevin Bolam’s men have come through their preparations for the new Northern League season unscathed.
All attention now turns towards their push for promotion into the Northern Premier League’s second tier and Tuesday night’s FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round home tie against Northern Counties East League side Hemsworth MW.
Storey praised his side for their impressive results and performances during pre-season – but challenged them to carry the momentum into the competitive fixtures.
He told The Gazette: “The boys are really, really happy with the hard work we are putting in and the result of that has been the results we have been getting on the pitch.
“We have had a killer edge at the top edge of the pitch, we have been solid at the back, kept clean sheets and that’s something we need to take into the season.
“Kevin mentioned in an article about having a title-winning mentality – and there were times last season when we would go without a win for three or four games.
“It looks like we are stamping that out of our game and that’s what we need if we want to compete with the top teams in this league this season.”
The clean sheet against Spartans means that Hebburn have not conceded in three of their six pre-season fixtures.
Storey believes that the defensive solidity that his side have found is a result of hard work on the training ground and a growing understanding between the back four and goalkeeper Mark Foden.
“Last season we conceded goals, poor goals and goals that we shouldn’t have conceded,” said the Hornets skipper.
“We were conceding against the run of play and that kills our forward players because it takes the wind out of their sails.”