Wright Saves Penalty as U23s Draw at Maldon & Tiptree
Wednesday, 7th Aug 2019 22:34 by James Ager
Harry Wright saved a first-half penalty as a Town U23 side - featuring four trialists in the starting line-up - drew 0-0 in a pre-season friendly at Maldon & Tiptree on Wednesday night.
The hosts, who play in the BetVictor Isthmian North Division and are managed by ex-Blues defender Wayne Brown, had the first chance of the night on nine minutes but Charlee Hughes's looping header from a right-sided cross was tipped over his bar by the back-peddling Wright.
Midway through the half, home keeper Dan McNamara made a good save to deny Lounes Foudil and trialist Courtney Swaby, who lined-up wide on the right, flashed a shot just over the bar.
Minutes later, the diminutive and tricky winger from Carshalton Athletic floated a fine ball into Kai Brown who took a touch in the box, but McNamara again did well to keep the scores level.
Three minutes before the break, Town's French trialist left-back Daryl Myre got caught the wrong side of Hughes and bundled the striker over in the penalty area. The frontman stepped up and took the resultant spot-kick himself but Wright got down low to his right to make a good save.
Two minutes after the restart another trialist Quevin Castro - who had also appeared for the U23s in their friendlies at Sudbury and Lowestoft - released Brown, but sub keeper Lance Aitkens produced a good block at his near post.
On 57 Town did have the ball in the net but Town's number nine, another trialist, former Scunthorpe youngster Miracle Okafor, was flagged offside before he'd rounded Aitkens and put the ball into an empty net following a fine through ball from Barry Cotter, back from his short trial spell in Sweden.
A minute later the home side really should have taken the lead - Tyreek Hyde's chipped cross was headed against the bar from point-blank range before a combination of Wright and Cotter somehow kept out two follow-up efforts from inside the six-yard box.
Maldon sub Stephane Ngamvoulou flashed a left-footed drive just wide of the far post, before Town came close to winning it late on but Aitkens made a good save to keep Harley Curtis's effort out after he'd been released by Michael Bareck.
Keeper Wright made some important stops in his first match action of pre-season, while both Cotter and Ndaba looked comfortable at centre-back.
Of the trialists - youngster Ross Crane who recently signed for Bury Town came on at half-time - former Thetford man Castro again showed a good range of passing and Swaby had a few impressive bursts forward and efforts on goal during the first half.
U23s: Wright, Crowe (O'Reilly 69), Myre (Curtis 73), McGavin (Scott 46), Cotter, Ndaba, Swaby (Crane 46), Castro (Bello 81), Okafor (Bareck 81), Foudil (Mesuria 69), K Brown. Unused: Egan. Att: 110.
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