The first proper friendly of the pre-season programme rarely produces more than a few glimpses of neat and tidy play alongside swathes of summer rustiness and wholesale half-time changes of personnel. Tonight’s game at Borehamwood followed that familiar pattern but in truth, we’d only really turned up (and a decent smattering of Bees fans did turn up) to see what the new boys were really like.
All three – Gray, Odubajo and Tébar – started the game, with the latter two emerging again for the second period, albeit briefly.
Odubajo looks an exciting prospect – pacy, quick feet and not afraid to track back. Unlike some speedy wide men who set off like a hare hoping that a pass will come their way, Moses rarely took his eye off either the ball or his close colleagues and his darting dashes were all with a purpose.
In midfield, Marcos Tébar made few such fast forays forward, in fact at times he seemed confined to the centre circle, but he’s got an eye for a pass that’s for sure. It was lovely to see some of his weighted deliveries – and he did venture further as the game progressed!
Gray looked decent too – a poacher he may be but he’s sturdy with a good turn of pace. One such occasion, when he brushed aside his marker out on the left and left him trailing in his wake before sending over a low cross, gave a clear signal of what we might come to expect from him. He could and should have claimed the second goal – maybe he would have done had the home ‘keeper and a defender’s impromptu ping-pong under pressure not sent the ball over the line and into the net.
It was one-a-piece at that stage, both penalties. First Odubajo was felled inside the box, much to the chagrin of the hosts’ mouthy number four, and reliable spot-kick king Kevin O’Connor (playing at left-back), thumped the opener. The loudmouthed number four had better reason to shout soon after, when he netted his own penalty after Alan McCormack was adjudged to have handled.
Changes galore at the interval and the game became very ‘bitty’ but a third goal sealed the win. A delightful move which started at the back resulted in some nice inter-play between Judge and Toumani before Josh Clarke whipped in a right-wing cross and there in the box, with acres of space and oodles of time, was Jake Bidwell to bullet the ball home. A rare (first-ever) goal for Jake and an even rarer beaming smile on his face thereafter!
It should have been four but a superb shot from Charlie Adams, who came back on in the second half after being substituted at the break, cannoned back off the crossbar.
There were some decent displays – Judge was busy and effective and of the youngsters who took part, Adams impressed and Calvet looked calm and composed.
But as for the all-important new boys – they looked just fine.