BEN GOODLIFFE

On Wednesday night ‘Wood’s’ Under 19’s made the short journey to Rowley Lane, home of London Lions, to take on near neighbours Potters Bar Town in the youngsters opening Pre-Season friendly of the season.

Potters Bar fielded a strong side with no less than 11 First Team players as the Under 19 squad started their Pre-Season programme with an impressive display and 3-1 victory as they prepare to take on professional academy opposition in the shape of Swindon Town, Cambridge United, Luton Town and academy partners Reading before their season starts on 13th August in the Suburban Premier League.

The squad, consisting of 21 players on the evening, included seven 1st year prospects from last years successful Under 16’s squad who joined an already strong group of 2nd and 3rd years from last year. Included in the squad was Josh Coldicott-Stevens, Kyle Roberts and Ben Goodliffe who have been involved with the First Team squad throughout Pre-Season, proving the strength in depth the current crop of academy players boasts. The ‘Wood’ youngsters produced an excellent performance against a Potters Bar side featuring the bulk of their First Team squad who play in the Southern League Division One Central, running out 3-1 winners.

The boys started the game the brighter taking the lead through a Bradley Sach strike who fired his shot from outside the box into the bottom right hand corner of the net. However Potters Bar thought back, dominating the latter stages of the 1st half, equalising prior to the interval through a ‘Wood’ own goal.

‘Wood’ freshened things up with 10 new players introduced at half time and their energy and athleticism flourished in the 2nd half as Potters Bar legs tired. An own goal and a Patrick Sequeira consolation strike sealed victory. Great individual play from Frank Kieta saw his pin point driven cross turned into his own net by a Potters Bar defender whose best efforts couldn’t clear the ball away from his goal. A Patrick Sequiera strike followed, rounding off a great 2nd half performance, with impressive performances from 3rd year players namely Quba Gordon at the heart of the defense, Frank Kieta and skipper Josh Coldicott-Stevens in the middle of the park.

Head Academy Coach and Reserve Team Manager Cameron Mawer commented “For their first game back this Pre-Season it was a hugely pleasing evening for me with lots and lots of positives. Not only is this the first step to get the players ready for the season, but it allows us to start to gel the team and install our ethos into the boys.

“I was particularly pleased with the performance of the 2nd half team who showed great patience and intelligence in possession of the ball against a strong Potters Bar side. There are still lots of things we need to work on, but as far as first Pre-Season games go, it was hugely positive for me.”

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