A northern trip to Mildenhall saw the Clarets match up against the first of their 2 sides on Tuesday night, with a simultaneous fixture in Essex against Colchester, at Coggeshall. Both games were filled with goals, as 2 Claret XIs brought many players minutes, with the new season just a week and a half away from its start.

With 2 games at once, it was a mixed starting eleven. Arron Cassie was in between the sticks, with Jazzi Barnum-Bobb functioning in defence along with 2 trialists, A and B. The midfield was a combination of Dabre, Ebuozme, Trialist C and Hockey, with Trialist D and Charlie Ruff playing just off striker Callum Jones. In reserve, goalkeeper Trialist E and outfield Trialist F were waiting in the wings.


It was the hosts who kicked off and looked to set an early impression on the Clarets, as they came forward to test the back 3. However, once Chelmsford got the ball, they were able to zip it around and try their own things. But, with just over 15 minutes played, their passing style was foiled. Trialist A looked to play the ball across to Jazzi Barnum-Bobb where there was a Mildenhall striker waiting to pounce. He intercepted and gave Arron Cassie no chance as he slotted the ball neatly into the bottom corner. The hosts took the lead somewhat against the run of play, leaving the Clarets chasing the game already.  They looked to threaten almost immediately, as Trialist D getting on the end of a free kick which was well worked by both Charlie Ruff and Freddie Hockey. Ruff then looked to become the danger man a few minutes later, after Mo Dabre tiptoed through Mildenhall defenders and found Charlie on the edge. His deflected effort ended up being tame, as it nestled into the keepers arms securely.

Ruff continued to be at the forefront of all things attack in the Clarets’ side, as he was able to tee up Eze who could only send his effort over the crossbar, to no danger. It was the opposite a few minutes later, with Jazzi Barnum-Bobb playing inside to Eze. He turned and picked out Ruff who, after some fancy feet, could only send his effort the wrong side of the crossbar. However, Mo Dabre then came Agonisingly close for Chelmsford. Ruff and Hockey stood over the corner, with the first delivering only to the head of a Mildenhall player, Dabre then brought the ball down and sent a magnificent effort back at goal which was excellently fingertipped over the bar by the Mildenhall keeper. Applause all round soon turned into cheers for the hosts as they raced up the other end following a lacklustre corner. Trialist B failed to reach Cassie with his back pass, almost a carbon copy of the first goal until the keeper tipped the effort away and saw the subsequent rebound fired well over his crossbar. The Clarets had got away with one, and only headed into the break a goal behind.


The Clarets got the second half underway and needed less than 30 seconds to cause danger. The ball made its way back to Trialist A who sent a long, looping ball towards Dabre. He raced to it and battled with the Mildenhall keeper to keep possession in play. Laying it back to Ruff, it was a sublime goal, as the midfielder looped it over the keeper and 2 defenders situated on the goal line. Less than a minute into the half, the Clarets had drawn level. That was just the start, as Micky Spillane’s half time team talk seemed to have reared the Clarets up. It was some beautiful flowing football that came next. Hockey, Dabre and Ruff played 1 touch football, seeing the latter look for goal. His effort was blocked and fell to trialist B, who could only cushion his effort into the keeper’s arms.

But, 10 minutes into the half, Mildenhall were clean through on goal. A defensive misshape saw their striker clean through. However, the backtracking Eze was on hand to perform an outstanding tackle as he denied what could have been a cheap goal to give away, again. Then, the Clarets came forward to win a corner kick. Hockey was the taker, and he only saw the ball returned to him. He then drove inside, beating players before drilling an effort into the back of the net, taking a slight deflection, to give the Clarets the lead for the first time in the game. This sparked substitutes for both sides. Firstly, it was a double change for the hosts. The Clarets followed, with Cassie and Trialist D making way for trialists E and F.

The Clarets were cutting it fine with their luck, as Trialist A almost wiped out the Mildenhall striker as he slide in the box. The Striker kept calm and was able to get a shot on goal, only for Trialist E, in goal, to make a great save. However, there was another breakthrough. Once again, the Clarets defence was out of shape and Mildenhall were through. This time, Trialist E made a great save and had seemingly stopped the danger. However, on the follow up Mildenhall were able to finish tidily and level themselves up. With just minutes to go, another late chance sprung for the hosts. A cheap free kick was given away softly on the edge of the Clarets box. The resecting delivery was so dangerous but came off no one and, to the Clarets despair, made its way all the way through and into the back of the net, to seal a preseason victory for the hosts.


Words By Josh Lowe

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