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FRIENDLY: Bamber Bridge 1 Wanderers 'B' 0

Striker Amadou Bakayoko tops up fitness as young Whites continue learning curve

19 July 2022

Amadou Bakayoko played for an hour as the B team continued their learning curve with a second successive single-goal defeat.

Bakayoko was given a run-out in front of watching first-team boss Ian Evatt to top up his match fitness after missing part of pre-season with a knee injury.

The striker put in a decent shift on a warm night at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium and showed some tidy touches around the penalty area.

But despite looking to link with Conor Carty and the impressive Connor Stanley he couldn’t help the Whites break the deadlock before his work was done.

Connor Carty shot.jpeg

And a couple of minutes after Bakayoko made way for Gez Sithole, Wanderers conceded the only goal when Fin Sinclair-Smith raced onto Nathan Pond’s pass to smartly steer home the winner.

Former Fleetwood Town stalwart Nathan Pond – playing as a central striker rather than in his former defensive role – was a handful for the young Whites’ defence, although the goal came against the run of play following Wanderers’ best spell.

In a bright start to the second half the dangerous Carty was inches away from giving the Whites the lead with a fierce strike touched onto the post by Brig keeper Felix Goddard after Stanley and Andrew Tutte had combined to open up the home defence.

Goddard had also denied Stanley before the break as the Whites grew into the game after a bright start from the Northern Premier League outfit, who were not short of experience in their ranks.

Stanley was often the catalyst as the former Manchester United youngster was a constant threat with his assured touch and running with the ball.

Bakayoko slide.jpeg

But Brig also had chances as Sinclair-Smith fired over and Luke Hutchinson made a fine save to keep out an effort from Macauley Wilson five minutes before half time.

Wanderers then looked set to take control after the interval and looked the most likely scorers in a decent spell of pressure before Brig struck on the break.

The hosts thad further chances through Sinclair-Smith and Pond, denied late on by another excellent Hutchinson save.

And despite some dangerous forays forward down the flanks from Lynford Sackey and Max Conway, Wanderers - taking a definite step forward from their opening friendly defeat at Atherton Collieries - couldn’t find an equaliser.

Nelson Khumbeni curled an effort just beyond the top corner and substitute Finlay Lockett steered an effort wide in the last minute to leave the young Whites waiting for a first goal of their warm-up campaign as they continue to find their feet ahead of a first season together.

Wanderers B: Hutchinson; Senior, Toure, Halford; Sackey, Tutte (Pettifer 85), Khumbeni, Conway; Stanley; Bakayoko (Sithole 60), Carty (Lockett 80). Substitutes: Litherland. Grivosti, Sharples, Kamara, Frimpong, Tweedley.

Bamber Bridge (starting): Goddard, Skinner, Thomson, Trialist, Wilson, Trialist, Trialist, Churchman, Pond, Dawson, Sinclair-Smith.

Pictures: Kevin Hayden


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