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Stortford Beat The U's

30 July 2014

Two goal burst defeats young side.

The U's fell to defeat at Bishop's Stortford on Wednesday night in what was a good test of some of the younger players in Joe Dunne's squad. The U’s featured central defender Kevin Lokko, formerly of Norwich, in their starting XI, whilst two former U’s in Ryan Melaugh and Jamie Guy lined up for the home side.

They were undone by two goals within 120 seconds of the restart, but had plenty of chances of their own after that to get something out of the game.

A number of first team players got 45 minutes or more under their belt against a strong Conference South side, but it was a young U's team that completed the ninety minutes.

The visitors were showing some patience and purpose in possession in the early stages and saw Szmodics lift one over the bar after the ball was laid into him by Vose.

The U’s enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the first fifteen minutes but their plans were dealt a blow as Olufemi was forced to come off with an ankle injury and was replaced by Marley Andrews.

Chances were at a premium in the first half an hour, but another patient U’s move on 29 minutes saw Bean set up Gilbey to strike a shot into the waiting arms of Larkins.

Watt was next to get in, burrowing his way past his defender to get a sight of goal and he eventually got a low shot off that the home keeper snaffled up.

Melaugh was enjoying himself against his former side and set up one dangerous cross on 32 minutes that somehow didn’t find a waiting team mate.

All of a sudden, the chances were starting to flow.

O’Donoghue got down the left and sent over a cross and a surging Bean run saw him meet the ball, but power his header over.

Just before half time, the impressive Kent stepped out of defence and, some 35 yards from goal, opted to try and loft the ball over Larkins. The ball floated over the keeper and only marginally over the bar.

The U’s made three changes at the half time interval as Tom Lapslie, Drey Wright and Nnamdi Nwachuku came on for Sammie Szmodics, Dominic Vose and Sanchez Watt.

And those subs hadn’t touched the ball before the U’s were two down in two minutes after the restart.

First up, Lewington could do nothing to stop the ball as Sellears shot from the edge of the box took a wicked deflection off Kent to fly into the bottom corner.

And the summer signing found a shot from Church just beyond his reach a minute later, as goalscorer Sellears set up his team-mate for 2-0.

The U’s almost struck back immediately.

First they hit the home side on the counter, and Bean was unlucky to see his first effort hit the inside of the post and away to safety. Then, as play was recycled, Bean volleyed over the bar when he was well placed to score.

The U’s made two more changes 15 minutes into the second half as Billy Roast and Jack Curtis came on for Lokko and Bean.

They had a good chance to pull one back not long after those introductions, as a mistake from Larkins planted the ball straight at the feet of Bonne, but the Stortford keeper dashed back across his line to save the striker’s sidefooted effort.

Wright then opened his legs to show his pace, and looked destined to tuck the ball home only to be denied by the outrushing Larkins, who was suddenly a busy man.

But the U's couldn't find a goal to get back into the game and all attentions now turn to the Football League season and that opener against Oldham.

They got in again down that side of the pitch with twelve minutes to go and Bonne bust a gut to get to the near post but Larkins was on hand to collect.

The U’s had pace on the counter and Wright set the visitors away again midway through the half, this time setting up Curtis who smacked a shot off the upright that Bean had hit previously.

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