ACCRINGTON XI 1
(Stanley won 7-6 on penalties)
GREAT Harwood boss John Hughes knows he has a gem in teenage keeper Paul Snape.
The former Bolton trainee, who broke his leg two years ago, was the star of the show as the North West Counties side took on an Accrington mixed team.
Even though Harwood missed out on penalties in the VMI Trophy, it didn't dampen Hughes' enthusiasm for his young side.
"We played well, and Paul was tremendous. He is only 18. I am sure clubs are looking at him but at the moment he wants to play for us. We have a young side, a lot of them are teenagers, and it has taken me a year to get this kind of team together.
"They are kids who will run and run and work for each other. Ryan Parr did well and he is only 20 and James Dean is 17. But we have the muscle in the likes of Paul Goldthorpe, who is a big lad in midfield.
"I could see that there were scouts watching, I know some UniBond sides are interested in Matty Derbyshire and the players can only go upwards now."
Hughes, however, will be hoping he can keep his side together for the start of the NWCL Division Two season on August 16 at home to Chadderton. And, after Monday's night's showing at the Interlink Express Stadium, he is hopeful of a good campaign.
Stanley played the likes of Dean Calcutt, Steve Flitcroft, Darren Connell and Andy Proctor - all hoping to clinch a place in the first team on Sunday. And striker Paul Mullin got another 90 minutes under his belt after missing some of the friendly matches.
Stanley were forced to use Harwood keeper Bobby Harris - their former player - while they tied up a deal for Jon Kennedy. And he did well to deny the lively Derbyshire early on.
Calcutt caused a few problems on the right wing while Mullin's low shot was saved by Snape and later he hit the post.
The opener came in the 39th minute when Steve Smith blasted a shot which Snape saved and it came out to Flitcroft whose shot from the edge of the area rifled into the net.
Snape tipped over a certain Connell goal after the break before, in the final minute, Paul Mashiter, who has staged a quick recovery from a bruised foot, raced into the Stanley area, outwitted the defence and fired a low shot which Harris couldn't stop.
The penalties were even with Brian Welch, Flitcroft, Connell, Calcutt, Andy Waine, Smith and Mullin on target for Stanley.
Derbyshire, Chris Heslop, Parr, Danny O'Riley, Mashiter and Adam Wagstaff scored their spot-kicks. But Dave Anwar blasted over - and the VMI Trophy remained at Accrington.