A new look Casuals and Pelham side ran out 7-3 winners in their first pre season friendly of the campaign against a strong Bishops Stortford Wanderers side. Pelham turned up to the game with a strong looking squad of 19 players all itching to get their chance for a run out and to impress. The first 20-25 minutes was very evenly matched with both teams battling hard for control of the game. Wanderers created a couple of chances off the back of some Pelham mistakes but rarely tested the Monk in goal. Pelham came close themselves, most notably through three corners and headers from Ant Hamilton-Pilot, Doug Hazell and Tim Shaw, with a left footed volley from Dan Boyce also testing the keeper. It looked as though a break through would never come, until Tim Shaw went on a mazey run from the middle of the park, taking on three Wanderers players and closing in on the keeper, before dinking the ball over the top of him and into the path of Dan Arran to tap in from two yards out, 1-0 Pelham! However Pelhams lead didnt last long and unfortunately Wanderers hit back straight away. Pelham failed to clear their lines properly and Wanderers pounced on some questionable defending, slotting the ball past the Monk to make it 1-1. Pelham went from on top and in control of the game, to behind and playing catch up, as a cross from the right hand side from Wanderers found the head of Ant Hamilton-Pilot only for him to stick the ball past the Monk and into the top corner of his own net, 2-1 Wanderers. Once again a game that looked like it would be 0-0 at the half got another goal shortly after, this time it was Steve Drake's turn to go on a mazey run of his own, taking the ball past two defenders and then round the keeper to finish off cooly, 2-2. With a couple of minutes left in the half, Pelham took their final chance to go into the break in the lead as Steve Drake turned provider this time, laying the ball on for Lee Cuddeford who slotted the ball in the bottom corner, 3-2 to Pelham and thats how it stayed at the half. An eventful first half was matched in the second, with another five goals to come!! Pelham doubled their advantage shortly after the break with some good work from Adam Watts, laying the ball onto Lee Cuddeford who also doubled his tally for the game. 4-2 became 5-2 shortly after, Steve Callan this time getting himself on the score sheet cutting in from the left and placing the ball perfectly in the bottom corner. However just as it looked like the game was getting away from Wanderers, they were handed a lifeline from the ref, as a perfectly timed Colin Hedges challenge turned into a penalty, after the wanderers striker took a tumble and made the most of it. Wanderers converted the spot kick and made it 5-3. However Pelhams three goal advantage was restored not long after, with Lee Cuddeford completing his hattrick to make it 6-3. The scoring looked like it would stop their but Pelham still had one last goal in them. A ball over the top from Dan Boyce was chased down hard by Tim Shaw who rounded the keeper and finished off nicely, 7-3. 7-3 was how it stayed and Pelham started their pre season campaign off with a big win. Good win and performance today from everyone, all things considered. A lot of new faces, a few old faces coming back and still not only getting to know eachothers names but also eachothers games. All three of their goals could probably have been avoided, but its just about building on today and making sure we are ready by the start of the season in September! This weeks man of the match goes to Lee Cuddeford. Tough one to call today as there were so many great performances but a debut hattrick and assist gave Lee the edge.