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U's Win At Chelmsford

23 July 2016

Pre-season continues with 4-1 victory.

The U's have at won at Chelmsford City as Sammie Szmodics continues his rich vein of form.

The U’s pre-season programme continued on Saturday afternoon, with a 4-1 win against the Clarets.

John McGreal took his entire first team squad to the Melbourne Community Stadium, as he looks to shape his squad ahead of the Hartlepool opener in two weeks’ time.

The U’s scored the only goal of the first half, when Macauley Bonne lifted his shot high into the net after nineteen minutes. 

After the break, Daley equalised when he volleyed home after a corner wasn’t cleared effectively, but Sammie Szmodics regained the lead with a calm sidefoot finish.

Szmodics went onto complete his hat-trick, rounding the keeper for his second goal and then lobbing in with three minutes remaining. 

The game started with the U’s trying to get used to the difficult surface, but it was them who had the first sight of goal.

A long ball forward caught out the home defence, and Macauley Bonne controlled and shot quickly but the keeper took the ball fairly comfortably.

It was the U’s who were controlling possession in the early stages, and a good move saw Kane Vincent-Young get down the right.

His far post cross was headed down by Craig Slater but the keeper just beat Chris Porter to the ball.

At the other end, a long throw was only half cleared and Willmott shot just over the U’s bar.

On nineteen minutes, the U’s took the lead through Macauley Bonne.

Cameron James found himself on the right and his ball into the near post saw Bonne turn with one touch and lift his shot into the roof of the net from eight yards out.

Chelmsford came straight back at the U’s and George Elokobi had to be sharp to head clear when Bailey-Dennis looked set to head goalwards.

And they went even closer on twenty six minutes, when James Bransgrove had to make a decent save to deny Reid after the Clarets had got in on the left flack.

Cameron James, who was playing in the midfield with Owen Garvan, got into the box to connect with a far post cross but his header flew wide of the target.

Bonne had a great chance to double the lead, but Welch did well to save with his left leg after the U’s forward profited from Slater’s industry in central midfield.

The last chance of the half fell to Owen Garvan, but his effort was deflected behind for a corner, which came to nothing before the whistle went for the break.

McGreal made six changes at half time, with Frankie Kent, Ben Wyatt, Tom Lapslie, Sammie Szmodics, Kurtis Guthrie and Denny Johnstone coming on.

Early in the second half, Szmodics had a sight of goal but hit his right foot effort flew over.

On fifty four minutes, it was 1-1, when Daley volleyed home after a left wing corner wasn’t cleared.

It was a third corner in quick succession, and the hosts certainly had put the U’s under pressure with the high balls into the six yard box.

Dexter Peter replaced Tom Eastman on fifty seven minutes and three later, Louis Dunne, Dion Sembie-Ferris and Dillon Barnes come on for Bonne, Elokobi and Bransgrove.

Frankie Kent had to be alert to slide the ball away from danger but the hosts created another chance from the resultant set piece.

The long throw caused confusion but the volley at the far post was well over the U’s crossbar.

Guthrie and Dunne then got on the end of two Sembie-Ferris crosses but Welch was equal to it on both occasions.

He couldn’t do the same when Szmodics went through on eighty one minutes, with the youngster rounding the home keeper before slotting into the empty net.  

With three minutes to go, Szmodics completed his second hat-trick of pre-season when he cleverly lobbed the keeper from twenty yards out.

A ball into the box wasn’t cleared and when it fell to the youngster, his sidefooted volley went in off the underside of the bar to make it 4-1 to the U’s.

That was the last action of the game, with a visit from Premier League Crystal Palace coming on Monday evening.

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