Real Mallorca beat Sevilla Atletico in the City of Palma Trophy.


Real Mallorca's 32-year-old goalkeeper Manolo Reina was the hero on Saturday night when he saved two penalties in the shoot-out when the 42nd City of Palma Trophy game against Sevilla Atletico finished 1-1 after 90 minutes. Just over 4,000 supporters were in the Son Moix, many of them watching the new Mallorca squad under Vicente Moreno for the very first time. In the first half he picked what seemed likely to be our starting eleven for the big Segunda B kick-off next Sunday away in Girona against Peralada.

There was no doubt that second division side Sevilla Atletico had the more technically gifted players. Mallorca were on top for most of the early skirmishes but it was the visitors who went ahead against the run of play in the 24th minute. They won a corner down the left and Marc Gual headed the Andalusians into the lead. Ten minutes later he hit the post as Mallorca were on the back foot. On the stroke of half time, our striker Cedric had his shirt tugged in the area and Lago Junior hammered home the resultant spot kick. The second half became a snooze-fest for long periods as both coaches made a raft of changes in the energy-sapping humidity. Many fans were beginning to count the zzz's as the game petered out into what was no more than a training session. It all sparked into life with the penalties and everybody went home happy.

Pre-season friendlies are sometimes also called preparation games or warm-up matches and the idea is for players to go up through the gears to reach a certain fitness level and if possible avoid serious injuries with the new season just days away. It also gives coaches a chance to give all the squad some playing time. It all gets a bit silly when eleven changes are made in the second half and it's even worse when you don't know who these players are. All that will sort itself out in due course.

Moreno gave everybody a game on Saturday night and I have to say the squad are looking good. Okay, there were a couple of sloppy, misplaced passes but we could - with better luck and finishing - have gone in at the break at least three up.

Lago Junior got the biggest ovation when he entered the pitch last, as the players were presented. He, as usual, ran all over the place but slightly worryingly went off with what looked like a groin strain after 59 minutes. Two players stood out for me on Saturday. Teenage Peruvian winger, Bryan Reina, came on for Lago and looks a real prospect. He got rave reviews playing for the B team last season and his game seems to have gone up another level. We may have a fight to keep him in the not-too-distant future. Another stand-out performance came from newly-signed Frenchman Pierre Cornud. The young left back brought in from Montpellier has been in the French Under 21 squad and signed a three-year deal with Real Mallorca last week.

The Palma side presented a good image on Saturday night which augurs well for the start of the season. The league, however, is a different kettle of fish as we fight to get out of Segunda B. It's going to be a long, long campaign but if we can play anywhere near to the form we've shown in pre-season then we're in with a shout. This week Moreno must trim the squad from 26 to 22, six of them must be under 23 years of age.