Well, after Euro 2016, it was somewhat pleasant to see a goal scored before the eighty-fifth minute. The new season lessens the memory of England’s ignominious exit to Iceland, and my missis says she will not shop there again.
Both teams had large squads at Wodson Park, which, by the way, is a stadium that could have been used as a template for Creasey Park. Many new players were on show and only five of the Dunstable team that started were in the squad last season.
Their unfamiliarity with one another saw some early play indicative of the later error strewn attempts and by way of contrast the Hertfordshire hosts, a Ryman League Division One north team, went ahead just after five minutes with their first real attack. It was a goal of monumental simplicity enhanced by the lack of any proper challenge and it suggests that only rudimentary work has been done in shaping the new defence for the coming season. It was scored by Nathan Makuna who connected sweetly with the final pass.
It led to a fair period of home dominance before the visitors could find some degree of co-ordination, which, when they did strongly suggested they would reduce the arrears. But Marcus McKechnie’s first shot, from range, was as optimistic as it was inaccurate and this poor finishing was indicative insofar as Dunstable failed to score a goal from open play.
Wilson Ferrera showed some pace and imagination and his first effort inched over the crossbar. Just as Dunstable the hosts bagged a second goal that again emphasised the apparent desertion of the defence insofar as all was needed was a gentle tap-in, and this was duly performed by Gareth Price after fifteen minutes. Zack Reynolds and Danny Talbot showed flashes of their form from last season and it was Talbot who scored Dunstable’s only goal to make it 2-1 after half an hour. It was a trademark free-kick from just outside the area, following a foul on Jack Hutchinson.
Ware’s Josh Oyibo, a pesky handful of a player, fired a shot that had Bart Pedrycz groping to hang on to the ball. Lewis Wilson was able to get into the area in possession once or twice but his best shot was just wide. Dunstable were clearly looking fior an equaliser before half-time and they finished the half strongly.
Ware had the ball in the net following a throw-in and the referee correctly awarded a goal kick as no player had touched the ball. Anton Gross fired over the bar for the hosts and home keeper Kyle Forster held a good shot from Hutchinson and also a fine effort from Jay Knight. The last flurry before the interval was a corner for Ware that brought a finr shot and save which was over-ruled in any case for a foul.
It had, after all, been a reasonable half for Dunstable who had gathered momentum but lacked the total accuracy they needed. But, I thought, it did bode well for the second half.
During the interval one of the songs played was ‘Not Fade Away’, and I earnestly hoped that it would be the case for Dunstable, but apart from some isolated efforts they could not match their play of the latter part of the first half. I made it about five substitutes were employed by Dunstable and Ware matched this, or even exceeded it, such is the experimental nature of these pre-season games. Gary Wharton for Dunstable was easily the most inspired of these and again I noted his pleasingly persistent play.
Hutchinson essayed a lob from distance that looked good and only just cleared the bar. Then Jonathan Constan did the same at the other end but from closer range. It was a glaring defensive error from Dunstable that led to the hosts’ third goal scored by Jordan Gill after fifty-seven minutes. Constan did get on the score sheet after seventy-three minutes after an elementary error by Jay Knight and seven minutes from time the scoring was completed, courtesy of poor defending when jack mace converted simply.
Disappointing yes, but perhaps not too significant as the best starting eleven takes a good deal of filtering and, of course trial and error. Ware looked the more co-ordinated of the sides and we wish them well in their Ryman League campaign.
Dunstable travel to New Bradwell St Peter on Tuesday night, 19 July and travel again to Arlesey Town on Saturday 23 July. See the web-site for the full list.
The squads today were –
Kyle Forster, Jack Mace, GOAL, 83 minutes, Boris Kostov, Jason Coughlan, Marcus Rose, Murat Karagul, Anton Gross, Josh Oyibo, Jonathan costan, GOAL, 73 minutes, Gareth Price, GOAL, 15 minutes, Nathan Makuna, GOAL, 5 minutes, Brian Haule, Dani Borraeiro, George essuman, Jordan Gill, GOAL, 57 minutes, Justin Leaversw, Joe Simmonds, Ali Setireku, Ryan Hervel.
Bart Pedrycz, Zack Reynolds, Kyle Lincoln, Danny Talbot, GOAL, 30 minutes, Marcus McKechnie, Adam Pepera, Jack Hutchinson, David Longe-King, Jay Knight, Lewis Wilson, Wilson Ferraro, Norbet ? Max Risby, Connor McMillan, Joseph Debayo, Gedeon Okito, Adam Moussi, Anthony Leslie, Gary Wharton, Kelvin Osei-Addo.
Referee – Chris bodell assisted by Andrew Hinde and Bobby Scarf.