Brantham beaten in first U's friendly
The U’s got their pre-season match schedule off to a comfortable start, with a win at Brantham Athletic.
First half goals from Dominic Vose and Jabo Ibehre were added to in the second period by further efforts from Dan Holman and Freddie Sears.
The second half did see the U’s concede but they were good for their 4-1 victory over the Thurlow Nunn Premier League side.
Boss Joe Dunne selected two complete teams, one for each half, and it was only keeper Chris Lewington of the new arrivals that started the game.
First Half Team: Lewington, Andrews, Thompson, Eastman, O’Donoghue, Gilbey, Eastmond, Vose, Szmodics, Massey, Ibehre.
As expected, the U’s had the majority of the possession, but it was the hosts that forged forward for the first attack, with Michael O’Donoghue having to tidy up as the danger came from the Brantham right.
Pressure from the U’s began to tell from the tenth minute, as Alex Gilbey and Vose combined, Vose cut it inside to Sammie Szmodics and the keeper saved from the U’s youngster.
On twelve minutes, Gilbey beat the offside trap to get on the end of a raking pass from Eastman but the keeper just beat him to the ball.
Brantham didn’t head the warning and another Eastman ball from deep a minute later found Vose in behind and he calmly lobbed the keeper to open the scoring.
Vose had a great chance to double the tally on nineteen minutes but his header from a far post cross from Andrews went agonisingly wide.
Szmodics then hit the post from just outside the box and Vose was denied by the keeper as the U’s went in search of more goals to show for their possession.
Three minutes before the break, they got the second goal and this time Vose turned provider.
He and Eastmond combined on the right before Vose crossed for Jabo Ibehre to score from close range.
Second Half Team: Walker, Clohessy, Okuonghae, Kent, Gordon, Wright(David), Moncur, Wright(Drey), Sears, Watt, Holman.
The U’s continued to dominate possession of the ball at the start of the second half and it only took them three minutes to add to the scoreline.
Sanchez Watt and George Moncur combined well and a reverse ball from Watt found Dan Holman just inside the box.
Without any hesitation, the U’s new striker opened his tally with a sharp finish into the corner of the Brantham net to make it 3-0.
Despite having complete control of the game, the U’s couldn't find a way through for the next period and a break in the seventieth minute saw the hosts reduce the deficit.
A long ball from the back wasn’t dealt with by Frankie Kent and Mann managed to beat Sam Walker to the ball and make it 3-1.
Watt, Sears and Holman were all denied by a combination of good defending and good goalkeeping but the U’s did have the last say in the scoring.
It came from the penalty spot on eighty four minutes, with Sears converting after Holman was fouled by the Brantham keeper.
The final whistle went on what was a comfortable opening encounter for the U’s in the build-up to the 2014/15 season.
They had plenty of ball and moved it around well, scored four goals and came away without any injuries.