Second 2-1 win of the weekend.
The U’s won for the second time in less than twenty-four hours, with a 2-1 victory over Brentwood coming hot on the heels of the same score win at Maldon & Tiptree.
All three goals came in the first half in south Essex on Saturday afternoon, but the U’s did have to come from behind.
Sherwin Stanley put Brentwood ahead on forty minutes but two goals in the next few minutes saw the U’s equalise and then lead.
John-Joe O’Toole headed the first thirty seconds after the U’s went behind and then Freddie Ladapo slotted past the keeper to make it 2-1.
The game started quietly, with both sides looking like they were conserving a bit of energy in the humid conditions.
Before either keeper was tested, the U’s had to make a change on ten minutes, as Andy Bond fell awkwardly and was replaced by Tosin Olufemi.
It looked like the fall twisted Bond’s knee and boss John Ward took no chances.
A minute later, Ladapo was played in by O’Toole but he hit his shot straight at the home keeper.
Ladapo then had a shot deflected for a corner, resulting eventually with Ben Coker crossing for Olufemi to head over.
John White, playing at right back, was regularly getting forward and from one such foray, had a first shot saved and a second deflected wide by teammate Ian Henderson.
Fellow defender Tom Bender had the next effort, shooting wide after a corner found him in space at the far post.
Then came the flurry of goals in the final five minutes of the first half, with Stanley getting the first as he beat Mark Cousins to a through ball and clipped it past the U’s keeper.
Less than a minute later, the U’s were back on level terms, as O’Toole rose unchallenged to head low into the bottom corner following Anthony Wordsworth’s cross from the right.
On the stroke of half time, the U’s went 2-1 ahead with a goal from young Ladapo, who had looked threatening throughout the half.
Magnus Okuonghae made a purposeful run forward and although his ball was half intercepted, it fell to Ladapo to coolly slip it past the home keeper and into the net.
The second half was a much quieter affair, with neither team testing the opposition keeper until O’Toole was denied by a reflex save on sixty three minutes.
There were a few long range efforts before this but none made the keeper work.
Straight after O’Toole was denied, Ian Henderson had a goalbound shot deflected and the corner came to nothing.
Ward made two substitutions around the hour mark, with James-Lewis replacing Wordsworth and Ramm coming on for Olufemi.
With nine minutes remaining, O’Toole almost added to his and the U’s tally, but his header went narrowly over after White had crossed into the danger area.
Henderson had the last effort of the match but as with the majority of efforts on the bumpy surface at Brentwood, it flew over the bar.
The whistle went and for the second time in less than twenty-four hours, a number of U’s players had got ninety minutes under their belt as the season comes ever closer.
The only worrying aspect of the afternoon was the sight of Andy Bond limping around the pitch as coming off. He will have six days to recover before the U’s take on Derby County on Friday 3rd August.
U’s: Cousins, White, Okuonghae, Bender, Coker, O’Toole, Bean, Wordsworth (James-Lewis 61), Bond (Olufemi 10 (Ramm 59)), Ladapo, Henderson