Brandon Thomas saluting his goal against West Brom.

06-08-2016Pere Bota

Real Mallorca continued their pre-season preparations with a well-deserved 1-0 win against the swaggering superstars of West Bromwich Albion. Brandon Thomas scored the game's only goal on the stroke of half time, tucking home a pulled-back cross from Thierry Moutinho and it was no more than the islanders deserved. Unfortunately due to summer holidays and the match shown live on local TV, just over 4,000 turned up to watch the game on our newly-laid pitch which looked in excellent condition.

There was no doubt that the visitors looked physically superior to us as their season starts this weekend. However, Mallorca more than matched them with slick passing and resolute defending against a West Brom attack that didn't do much apart from run around. The term “friendly” should be used loosely in describing this game because several wild tackles were flying in from both sides. We got into the Baggies' faces from the off and continued to pester their defence for long spells.

In reality Mallorca could and should have gone in at the break with more than one goal. It was the same old story, we didn't have anybody capable of putting away the numerous chances we created. On the break we took one touch too many with little or no cutting edge in the final third, apart from Brandon's strike in the 44th minute.

As you'd expect in a game of this low-key magnitude there were rafts of substitutions but our initial central defensive line-up of Raillo and Juan Rodriguez looked solid. The player who took the eye in the first period was the Argentinian journeyman Julio Culio in midfield. Everything early doors seemed to go through him, including the initial pass for the goal, and the player was given a rousing seal of approval from local fans when he was substituted.

West Brom did come to life towards the end when £22 million-rated striker Saido Berahino came on. Our defence found his pace a handful and he caused havoc every time he touched the ball. With only seconds left, West Brom's England goalkeeper, Ben Foster, came up-field when the Baggies won a free kick. His shot looked net-bound but somehow Jesus Cabrero made a brilliant one-handed save to keep our goal intact. It just about summed up West Brom's night on Saturday when their best opportunity came from the goalkeeper.

SUMMING UP: This was a feisty friendly played at a fast pace with some exciting football from Real Mallorca but as I've already said, we sorely lack a finisher. Having said that though, Brandon scored a neat goal, worthy of any Premier League team.

Despite the small crowd, everybody seemed more than happy at the performance we put on. Things are definitely heading in the right direction. The only gripe on Saturday night was the complete lack of information both on the electronic screens behind the goals and over the public address system with regard to players coming and going. If we hadn't had a team sheet, then we'd be struggling to identify who's who, especially as Mallorca made eleven changes in the second half.

Youngsters like Pol Roige who went on a run through the West Brom defence like Moses through the Red Sea and Cano looked to seal a place in our starting XI in two weeks' time at home to Reus. I'm slightly worried about new goalkeeper Santamaria. He looks vulnerable on crosses, and could soon be getting the nickname “Dracula.” But I certainly have no complaints about veteran stopper Jesus Cabrero who came on for the second period and made two blinding saves near the end.

Mallorca's last friendly before the rough and tumble of league business starts on 20 August is next Saturday. The annual City of Palma trophy game against La Liga side Granada kicks off at 21.00. Before that all the Real Mallorca teams from six years old to the senior side will be presented to the fans at 20.15.

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