FRIENDLY: Bamber Bridge v Wanderers

Randell Williams scored the goal as Wanderers eased into their pre-season programme with an opening-day win at Bamber Bridge.

Williams arrived at the far post to convert a low, driven cross from the opposite flank from Kieran Sadlier as the dominant Whites broke the deadlock with 10 minutes to go.

Both Williams and Sadlier were part of the second-half side sent out by boss Ian Evatt, who utilised two different line-ups to maximise the game-time for his squad.

There were first outings in a Wanderers’ shirt for summer recruits Josh Dacres-Cogley, Will Forrester and goalkeepers Nathan Baxter and Joel Coleman.

George Thomason

But the one down side to the afternoon was an early injury to George Johnston, who will undergo a scan to gauge the extent of a knee problem.

Defensive colleague Eoin Toal was also missing as he continues to recover from an ankle injury which looks likely to delay his start to the campaign.

Northern Ireland international team-mate Dion Charles was another absentee, although last season’s top scorer is fit and well, with his afternoon’s work limited to some pre-match running given the international football he got under his belt during the summer.

That left Cameron Jerome and Victor Adeboyejo to share the striking duties in the first half and Dan N’Lundulu and the fit-again Jon Dadi Bodvarsson to pick up the baton after the break.

Cameron Jerome

All had opportunities in a competitive game where the Whites had most of the possession but found Bamber Bridge’s trialist goalkeeper making an overwhelming case for a deal.

He denied all four at one time or another, although Bodvarsson did have the ball in the net with a powerful header chalked off for a tight offside call and Adeboyejo also converted from an offside position before the break.

Adeboyejo also rolled Wanderers’ best first-half chance just past the post minutes before half-time, while George Thomason – back at the club where he spent time on loan – Declan John and Arran Pettifer were also thwarted as Wanderers played some decent attacking football.

Nathan Baxter

The keeper continued the theme in a second half almost washed away at one point by a thunderstorm and torrential rain, keeping out goalbound efforts from N'lundulu and Nelson Khumbeni.

But moments after the Northern Premier League side had their sole chance to go ahead, he was finally beaten when Sadlier delivered one of several dangerous balls in from the right flank and Williams slotted home.

It was a goal that had been coming and with a tidy first 90 minutes in the legs, Wanderers play their second pre-season fixture at Curzon Ashton next Tuesday night.

Wanderers (1st half): Baxter; Jones, Almeida Santos, Johnston (Conway 10); Morley; Dacres-Cogley, Pettifer, Thomason, John; Adeboyejo, Jerome.

Wanderers (2nd half): Coleman; Forrester, MJ Williams; Iredale; Sheehan; Sadlier, Khumbeni, Dempsey, R Williams; Bodvarsson, Nlundulu.


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