TWO games out of the way and Gary is a little closer to knowing his starting squad for the season – though supporters can be excused for scratching their heads about a host of new faces in the opening friendlies against Harrow Borough last Saturday and Spelthorne Sports on Tuesday.
Both were played on the artificial surface at Bedfont Sports. The first chance to see the team in action at the Jezzards Beveree will be this Saturday when Boreham Wood are the visitors, 3pm.
In both games, Gary completely changed the outfield at half-time and even brought on a couple of last season’s youth squad in the latter stages, too.
We dominated the first half against Harrow but could not score. Even when James Ewington had the ball in the net just before the break, it was disallowed for offside.
We were not so comfortable in the second half and went behind to a penalty, before Ryan Hill equalised with a scuttler from outside the box. However, Harrow won it when we found ourselves short at the back.
A total of 22 players were used and this was clearly the first stage in whittling down the large number who had turned up for training in the first week.
There were some more new faces on Tuesday against Spelthorne, who defended stoutly in the first half. Gary stressed at half-time that we had to make better use of our possession if we were going to score.
Again, he changed the line-up completely for the second half and the newcomers must have overheard him as they set about dismantling a side that was beginning to tire.
Eye-catchers were undoubtedly the scorers, notably Danilo Orsi-Dadamo who had punished us home and away while with Hungerford Town last season. He scored two after another triallist, Delano Sam-Yorke, had made the breakthrough.
The fourth came from Lartey Sarpong, one of a growing colony of former Walton Casuals players looking to break into the team.
Neither result counts for much, though it’s always nice to win. Boreham Wood, from the division above, will be a bigger test on Saturday, when we can all make more of who will be in the starting line-up at Chelmsford on August 3.
Look out for a further couple of signings this week.