Canford United lost narrowly in their latest pre season game in a good spirited friendly against their visitors from Wareham. Two late goals saw the visitors pinch the win, with Canford's tired bodies just struggling to hang on, having staged a great comeback in the first half and playing some great football to come in at half time in the lead.
With some of the squad still on holiday, the Canford managers experimented at kick off with Dean Fields and Mike Davidson starting the game as wing backs. There wasn't much in the game to begin with although the Canford team were pressing and passing the ball much better than last week. Unfortunately a couple of defensive errors gave Wareham a two goal lead as the Canford defence struggled to deal with a couple of long balls forward and the Wareham forwards finished well to put the visitors 2-0 up after twenty minutes. Canford made a change reverting back to 4-4-2 and bringing on their sub Connor Wright who made an immediate impact when forcing the Wareham defence into a mistake which saw the Wareham defender penalised for a handball. Matt Muzzelle converted the penalty to score his 2nd in 2 games and get Canford back into the game. This lifted the adders who then played some fantastic football for the last 20 minutes of the half. Cam Milne who was excellent throughout, helped out Dean Fields in defence and then from near the corner flag played a superb chipped ball down the line to put Dean away for a counter attack. From the resulting cross, Tom Marsh brought the ball down superbly with his back to goal and then turned to strike home his first goal for the seniors to bring the scores level. With 5 minutes to go until the break, Canford completed a good first half comeback when another good break saw the ball break for Connor Wright in the right place at the right time to put the icing on his great first half performance and score his first goal for the seniors to put Canford in front.
Wareham came out fired up in the 2nd half and Canford found themselves under lots of pressure and not able to keep the ball on the deck as they did so well in the first half. Despite this, they were being resilient and sticking together with the defence making some last ditch clearances, and daffy claiming lots of balls into the box with nice clear shouts. They were also working extremely hard in the hot conditions with Madge and Sam in midfield running themselves into the ground. Cam and Marshy were still providing creativity and Canford had a couple of chances on the counter attack with Madge firing wide after a good passing move and Connor denied by a couple of last ditch tackles having made some good runs from Lezer holding the ball up.
Sadly, only having 1 sub in the hot conditions would start to tell particularly with the opposition having a large number to bring on. With some tired bodies and people carrying knocks, a few Canford players bravely battled on to the end but Wareham would go on to pinch the game with two late goals, although once again down to errors that the Canford team will be disappointed to concede. However, pre season is the time to get these mistakes out the way, work on things in training and get stronger in time for the season.
Despite this, there were many positives from today's game. Firstly it was a much better performance than last week, in particular the last 20 minutes of the first half when Canford played some fantastic one touch passing football. Canford were also much fitter than last week although still a way to go for some players, everybody worked extremely hard for the entire game. Standout players on the day were Dean and Sam Fields who were excellent throughout, Connor Wright who played a big part in changing the game in the first half and man of the match Cam Milne who played some great football in 2 or 3 different positions throughout the game.
Final Score - Canford Utd 3-4 Wareham Rangers Reserves