Brighouse Town’s pre-season programme is underway with almost a completely new squad as two more players depart the scene.
While Town were drawing 1-1 last Saturday afternoon with National League North side Farsley Celtic at the Yorkshire Payments Stadium, wing-back Javelle Clarke was heading out the door to Gainsborough Trinity, while striker Jack Boyle was in talks with Pontefract Collieries.
Contracted Clarke, 21, was a target for Northern Premier League club Gainsborough towards the end of last season and they have followed up with an undisclosed firm offer for him which has been accepted. Clarke, stepson of Nat Brown the former Huddersfield Town, Lincoln City and Macclesfield Town striker, has been with Town for three seasons since leaving Sheffield United’s academy.
Boyle asked to leave Town last week, as revealed in Echo Sport, and was wanting to play a step or two higher but appears, it is understood, to be happy to join Pontefract who play in the same division as Town.
Town played out an entertaining 1-1 draw with Celtic from two divisions higher and after the game manager Vill Powell said he was happy with what he had seen from a squad full of trialists.
“After witnessing that performance we have signed on a good majority and are now really only looking for an extra centre back and a centre forward,” he said.
Only Mo Qasim, Sam Drake and goalkeeper Jamie Hassall were in the starting line up from last season-Josh Grant being on holiday- and to say this was the first game together for everyone after just two weeks of training the performance was good.
Town went behind after nine minutes when Celtic’s right winger Joao Silver cut in and then delivered a tremendous shot which beat Hassall to his left.
Six minutes later and Town were level when Drake was put clear and he comfortably beat Harry Allan.
It remained 1-1 on the break with both sides having chances and Town in the second period despite making changes from the bench did not look troubled by a side playing a full strength side.
With a strong second half performance on Tuesday night Town beat Eccleshill United 2-0.
In the first half Town were lacklustre and the Bradford club from the Northern Counties East Premier Division were the better on footballing side
A couple of changes at the break and a few words from manager Vill Powell and they were out of the traps very quickly
On 49 minutes Mohammed Qasim made it 1-0 with a super curling shot from 20 yards out.
Ten minutes later it was man of the match Qasim who laid on goal number two. He beat two defenders out on the left and cut in before laying the ball across the box to new signing Malachay Bailey who made no mistake
Town went looking for more and only last minute blocks and two fine saves from Qasim shots kept the score line down.
On Saturday Town entertain AFC Emley (3.0) and on the following Tuesday, July 11 (7.30) they host a Bradford City Select X1.
Tomorrow (Friday) the draws take place at Wembley for the 2023-24 season Emirates FA Cup extra preliminary and preliminary round ties and also for FA Trophy, FA Vase and the FA Youth Cup.
Town are exempt from the extra preliminary round on August 5 and will play their preliminary round tie on August 12 while commencing their Pitching In NPL Division One East programme on the following Saturday, August 19.