Tories crash to heavy defeat in football match against journalists XI

The Conservatives started their party conference on a losing note as their football team crashed to an 8-2 defeat.

Transport minister Chris Heaton-Harris and Ben Bradley, MP for Mansfield, turned out for the Tory team in the annual fixture with journalists.

The Tories slipped 2-0 behind early in the game before pulling one back through a debatable penalty.

They pushed hard for an equaliser but saw two efforts denied point-blank by the Lobby XI goalkeeper.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Chris Heaton-Harris, centre (Danny Lawson/PA)

Jack Maidment restored the Lobby’s two-goal lead with a stunning 30-yard free-kick, one of four goals for the striker from Mail Online, before the Tories made it 3-2 just before half-time.

But the Conservative team, also featuring former MPs Karl McCartney and Graham Evans, tired in the second half and were well beaten in wet and windy conditions at the Etihad Campus in Manchester.

Ex-Labour MP Jim Murphy made an appearance for the journalists while James Mills, formerly an aide to shadow chancellor John McDonnell, featured for the Conservative XI.

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