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Second Half Goals Earn Win

13 July 2013

U's defeat Stortford in the sun.

Bishop's Stortford were defeated in the U's latest build-up game, as Joe Dunne's men put in another assured display.

The first half was goalless but it was the U's who dominated possession. 

The referee sensibly allowed the players to take regular drinks, with both sides playing the game at a high tempo given the stifling conditions.

Sanchez Watt made his appearance of the pre-season schedule, completing twenty five minutes in the extreme heat in Hertfordshire.

The 2-0 win gave the U's their fourth win out of four in the build-up to the League One season.
At the other end in the first forty five, Cousins had to dive low to his right to prevent Akurang going past him and then Vassell miskicked when well placed. 
As far as chances went, Marcus Bean hit the post early on and Freddie Ladapo had an effort ruled out for offside.

The second half was only seven minutes old when the U's took the lead, with Massey sidefooting home after good work from Michael O'Donoghue and Tosin Olufemi.

Clinton Morrison made it two from the spot, after Kem Izzet was fouled when clean through.

The game began with the U’s preventing the hosts from touching the ball for two minutes, and Stortford had to defend their goal very early on.

The first chance came at the end of that first passage of play, with Marcus Bean hitting the post and Freddie Ladapo being denied by a last ditch block.

On five minutes, the home side could and maybe should have taken the lead, but Mark Cousins was alert to the danger.

Cliff Akurang found himself one on one with the U’s keeper but couldn’t find a way to goal as he tried to dribble past, with Cousins saving well low to his right.

The game settled into a pattern of the U’s dictating possession and they had the ball in the net on twelve minutes, only for the assistant’s flag to rise and rule out Freddie Ladapo’s effort.

Tosin Olufemi started the move and a flowing move involving David Wright, John-Joe O’Toole and Gavin Massey ended with Ladapo sidefooting home from an offside position from Massey’s pass.

The home side had their first shot at goal on twenty one minutes, but the long range effort didn’t come anywhere near troubling Cousins.

On a hot and humid afternoon, the referee allowed a drinks’ break and then on the half hour, the home side had their second opening.

A great through ball found Vassell, and after chesting the ball down, the Storford forward could only volley straight at Cousins.

A quick throw got the U’s on the attack and Massey looked like he could manufacture a chance for himself.

He was denied a shooting opportunity though but found Ibehre, who shot over from just inside the box.

Stortford were starting to get a bit of a grip of things and on thirty four minutes, had a couple of half chances, though neither bought Cousins into action.

The U’s were stiull looking to get forward and wide as quickly as possible, even in the heat, and Michael O’Donaghue made strides down the left before cutting inside and firing a shot over from twenty yards.

John-Joe O’Toole then tried to catch the keeper out with a snapshot from distance but Wright in the home goal was on his toes and took it cleanly into his chest.

The U’s finished the half the stronger but couldn’t get behind the Stortford defence before the referee blew up for half time.

At the start of the second half, Mason replaced Freddie Ladapo in the first of Joe Dunne’s substitutions.

He could only watch the first effort of the half though, as Church tested Cousins low to his left.

That came on forty six minutes, with O’Toole putting a lob wide a minute later after being found by Ibehre.

A frenetic start to the half then saw Cousins save again, this time after Stortford got in down the left channel.

Good work down the left by Michael O’Donaghue and Tosin Olufemi then created the opening goal for the U’s.

O’Donaghue raced forward forty yards from left back, before Olufemi took over and slipped the ball into Gavin Massey’s run.

Massey settled himself before finding the corner of the net, with the keeper wrongfooted and heading for the opposite side.

Ibehre was denied by the keeper as he went to double the lead, after being found in space by a pas from Alex Gilbey.

On the hour, wholesale changes were made, with Phillips, Wilson, Eastman, Pappoe, Barrett, Izzet, Sanderson, Bond, Wright and Morrison all introduced.

Everyone except Mason Spence came off for a well deserved drink.

Drey Wright and Jordan Sanderson both had efforts on goal within minutes of coming on, but the home keeper was equal to the task on both occasions.

Sanchez Watt then came on for Spence, and almost made an instant impact but shot wide from the angle.

The home keeper kept the score down for the next few minutes, as he denied Andy Bond on a couple of occasions.

But he couldn’t stop Clinton Morrison doubling the lead from the penalty spot after seventy five minutes.

Kem Izzet drove forward from midfield and just as he was about to shoot, he was fouled, giving the referee an easy decision, with Morrison’s effort finding the bottom corner of the net.

On eighty one minutes, Brian Wilson got forward, received a ball from Wright, and was unfortunate to see his effort crash of the post.

Watt then hit the woodwork, but he was aiming to cross the ball into the danger area after making an incisive run down the left.

It was the U’s who were asking all the questions as the game went into the final ten minutes, with the home keeper again in the action.

A great ball from Andy Bond found an equally great run by Wright but the subsequent shot was saved the keeper’s legs.

And Wright was denied by the keeper again, seconds before the referee blew the final whistle with the U’s winning 2-0.

U's: Cousins(Phillips 62), Olufemi(Wilson 62), Gilbey(Pappoe 62), Okuonghae(Eastman 62), O'Donaghue(Barrett 62), Wright(David)(Izzet 62), O'Toole(Bond 62), Bean(Sanderson 62), Massey(Wright(Drey) 62), Ibehre(Morrison 62), Ladapo(Spence 46)(Watt 67).

It made it four wins from four matches but the level of opposition steps up massively now, with West Ham visiting the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Tuesday evening.

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