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EFL: Pre-season - Orient remember, Edwards savours, and the Johnsons prepare

25 July 2016

EFL Season 2016/17 is fast approaching and there's now less than two weeks to go until the action gets under way!

Fulham host Newcastle United in the first match of the new campaign, on Friday 5th August 2016, which will be screened live on Sky Sports (7.45pm KO).

TV Games: Click here to see a full list of confirmed Sky Sports matches

The Cottagers continued their pre-season by facing Spanish side Real Betis at the weekend, suffering a 2-1 defeat at the Estadio Ciudad de Lepe in Huelva, Spain. Despite the loss, Whites goalscorer Cauley Woodrow believes it was a good test against the La Liga outfit.

Sheffield Wednesday are also being shown live on Sky Sports on the opening weekend of the season, when they kick-off at home to Aston Villa on Sunday 7th August (4.30pm KO).

Like Fulham, the Owls are also on foreign shores and cruised to a 4-0 victory over CD Nacional in Portugal on Sunday evening, which pleased boss Carlos Carvalhal.

“We are on the road in this process and I am happy with where we are,” he told “We are scoring goals and we have only taken one goal, which was in the last minute against Alfreton.

“We are playing well, we are compact and I am pleased to see Steven Fletcher score his first goal for us. But to me it does not matter who scores the goals as long as we are doing things the correct way.”

Another hot day of training in the Algarve ☀️

— Sheffield Wednesday (@swfc) July 25, 2016

Also overseas were a contingent of more than 200 Leyton Orient representatives, who visited the Somme at the weekend to pay their respects not only to the countless thousands who lost their lives in the Great War, but in particular the three Clapton Orient players who were killed during the Battle of The Somme in 1916 – William Jonas, George Scott and Richard McFadden.

Read more: Battle of the Somme – Leyton Orient visit the Somme

On home soil, Orient continued their preparation for the Sky Bet League Two campaign with a goalless draw against Charlton Athletic, who are managed by former O's boss Russell Slade.

Andy Hessenthaler is now the man in charge of the club and he took plenty of positives from the stalemate.

Notts County were another League Two team in action, in what was a special day for long-serving defender Mike Edwards.

Edwards, who lifted the League Two trophy with the Magpies in 2009/10, was rewarded with a testimonial match after 10 years of service at Meadow Lane. County were edged out by Nottingham Forest in the match, but Edwards reserved special praise for all who attended.

Massive thanks to everyone who made yesterday such a great day! Thanks for all the support, both #notts & #nffc fans were class👍 #humbled

— Mike Edwards (@MikeEdwards28) July 24, 2016

BBC Sport: 10 years. 350 matches. Player. Coach. Chef. Mike Edwards reflects

Elsewhere, striker Alex Nicholls bagged his first goal in the colours of Barnet as they continued their productive pre-season with a 2-0 victory over Sky Bet League One Gillingham.

Chuffed to score my first goal for @BarnetFC yesterday in a good team performance..
Really enjoying my time at the club so far ⚽️⚽️⚽️

— Alex Nicholls (@A1exNicholls) July 24, 2016

John Akinde also got on the scoresheet for the Bees, just days after signing a new deal at The Hive.

Read more: John Akinde signs new Barnet contract

The Gills lined up against Barnet with new signing Paul Konchesky in their defence. The former West Ham United and Liverpool man played an hour for his new club, shortly after signing on the dotted line.

Ipswich Town are another club to suffer a defeat to Barnet in pre-season, and that result came after Bees boss Allen had stressed that results are important in friendlies.

The Tractor Boys faced another League Two side at the weekend, in the form of Cambridge, and they conceded a late goal to draw 1-1, which left manager Mick McCarthy furious.

“I’m fuming,” he told “We slowed the game down, we weren’t playing forward so I’m not tolerating that and I’ve just told them it’s garbage.

“It’s a pre-season friendly and I know I say I’m not bothered about them but I don’t like conceding goals. We had it at Brentford away, Nottingham Forest, Bolton and you don’t get anywhere if you do that.

“If he whacks one in from 30 yards then fine, but we had the ball and gave it away.”

Looking ahead, the Johnson Cup is on the line on Monday night as Lee Johnson takes his Bristol City side to Whaddon Road to face dad Gary's Cheltenham Town.

The two have met twice before on the touchline with Lee winning the first battle as manager of Oldham in 2013 when they saw off Yeovil 1-0. But Gary currently holds the trophy as he guided the Glovers to a 4-0 victory over the Latics a year later.

Now they're in charge of two different clubs but the same bragging rights, and trophy, is on the line.

“There’s an actual cup, and it’s on my mantelpiece at the moment,” Robins boss Gary said.

“I’ve been on the phone to the chairman and asked for £25 million to spend, but he hasn’t got back to me yet!”

Read more: Cheltenham Town - Robins to rock on return to Sky Bet League Two?

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