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U's End With Loss

1 August 2015

Cottagers win 1-0 at WHCS in final friendly.

The U's have finished pre-season with a 1-0 defeat against Fulham.

Moussa Dembele struck for the visitors on the half hour and Fulham squandered a couple of chances to extend their lead before the break.

Alex Gilbey, Chris Porter and George Moncur had first half opportunities for the U's but a combination of blocks and saves meant the U's went in 1-0 down at half time.
The U's pushed for an equaliser in the second half but Rodak and his Fulham defence remained strong and the U's couldn't break through.

With a week to go until the start of the 2015/16 season, U’s boss Tony Humes was having a last look at his squad before the opener against Blackpool.

He was still missing Matt Briggs, George Elokobi and Sammie Szmodics and drafted in sixteen year old Louis Dunne on the bench as the only change in the squad from Tuesday night.

The opening minutes were played out mainly in the middle third of the pitch, with both sides happy to keep possession without making mistakes.

Gavin Massey almost got in behind the Fulham defence but Jordan Evans was strong enough to hold him off on five minutes.

Two minutes later, Alex Gilbey started and finished an attacking move, drilling a low shot goalwards that Rodak did well to tip wide.

From the resultant corner, George Moncur curled a shot that Rodak had to parry to safety.

The visitors had their first sight of goal on seventeen minutes, but Emerson Hyndman put his effort from eight yards just wide after good work from Matt Smith and Moussa Dembele., 

Midway through the half, both sides had shots deflected for corners, Hyndman for Fulham then Chris Porter for the U’s.

The game was opening up and Gilbey was the next to be denied, his shot from twenty yards looking like it hit Porter.

Fulham were also getting opportunities and a third of three got them the opening goal of the game on the half hour mark.

Burgess hit the bar with a towering header before Cole was denied by a good save from Elliot but it was third time lucky for the Cottagers.

When a cross came into the danger area, Dembele jumped highest and powered a header into the top corner.

It should have been two for Fulham five minutes later, but Eisfeld side-footed his right foot effort well over the bar when he really should have at least tested Parish.

Parish was severely tested a minute later though but he passed with flying colours, superbly tipping a Dembele strike past the post.

Humes made three changes at the break, with Sam Walker, Dion Sembie-Ferris and Tom Eastman entering the fray for Parish, Wynter and Porter.

It was Fulham who got a clear sight of goal first, with Smith shooting into ht eside netting from a searching through ball from Eisfeld in the forty seventh minute.

The U’s were trying hard to get back into the game, using the pace of Sembie-Ferris an Massey on the wings but Bonne strayed offside when the best cross came in.

Sembie-Ferris then tried to go himself but after cutting inside onto his left foot, his effort was blocked to Edwards who shot wide.

Massey tried his luck next, receiving a pass from Gilbey before cutting inside and shooting low towards the near post – Rodak had read it though and made a comfortable save.
The U’s were looking the more dangerous at this stage and Moncur had a shot blocked after good work from Gilbey, Sembie-Ferris and Brindley.

Massey had another shot easily saved sixty eight minutes, before Macauley Bonne was denied by the keeper after being slid in by Moncur.

Humes made three more changes to his side on seventy one minutes, with Tom Lapslie, Jack Curtis, along with forward Dan Holman, coming on for Edwards, Moncur and Bonne.

With sixteen minutes remaining, Dembele missed a chance to double Fulham’s lead, but didn’t really connect with a left wing cross and the ball went safely wide.

Sembie-Ferris had Evans on the back foot with a long run forward and the youngster’s cross caused problems for Rodak, the Fulham keeper having to claw it away from under his bar.

Sixteen year old Louis Dunne, son of former player and boss Joe, came on for the final ten minutes as he replaced Alex Gilbey in the U’s midfield.

A back heel from Curtis in the eighty third minute was aimed at the near post but Rodak saw it coming and was able to get down to save.

The U's continued to look wide for their openings and Sembie-Ferris provided one but Holman's header flew just over the bar.

Tosin Olufemi came on for Brindley and Cameron James replaced Kent in the final ten minutes, with the U's pushing hard for an equaliser.

Vincent-Young, who had moved from left back to right back, got forward with intent on eighty seven minutes but shot over the bar.

That was the final chance and the whistle went on the U's pre-season, giving Humes and his squad a week to prepare for the visit of Blackpool next weekend. 

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