It was a trip north for the Clarets as they started their preseason campaign away to Ware. Much like their recent visit in 2021, they were met with a defeat. However, a valuable 45 minutes for 21 players was the priority as Robbie was able to utilise the depth of his squad, as well as some trialists. Ultimately, the final score did not matter but, it was an impressive display from Ware who kicked off their preseason in some fashion.

Initially, Robbie outed a side with 5 trialists present. Jacob Marsden was in goal for both halves, with Samir Carruthers making his first City start for the first half. He was joined with Reggie Gregory, Callum Jones, Anisius Lewis and Dave Winfield. The final 5 was made up of Trialists, labelled A,B,C,D and E in the first half. After the first half, 10 changes were made. The second half side consisted of Marsden, once again, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, Ben Brookes, Mo Bettamer, Mo Dabre, Eze Ebuzoeme, Freddie Hockey, Adam Mills, Charlie Ruff, Finn Wilkes and finally, a Trialist labelled F.


As the game got underway in Hertfordshire, the rain started to fall. With the 4g pitch, Ware looked to use the fast-paced football, and managed to strike gold before the Clarets. Just 15 minutes into the game, Brandon Adams was sent over the Clarets defence on a counterattack from a Clarets corner. He was able to twist and turn, beating Reggie Gregory and Trialist E before managing to place an effort into the top corner, past Jacob Marsden. Ware managed  devastating counter attack and they reaped the rewards, taking a 1-0 lead against the National League South side. Not less than 10 minutes later, the lead was doubled. A heavy touch from Trialist A saw Ware break another lethal attack. Once again, it was Brandon Adams who found the back of the net. The former Cheshunt man almost had a 1 on 1 with Jacob Marsden, as the out-of-positioned Clarets failed to backtrack before he could score. Adams drilled low and hard and past Marsden, as the hosts doubled their lead.

Before the half was over, the Clarets were able to get themselves a few chances. There was a great chance as, after a corner the ball made its way back across goal. Trialist E was able to flash a ball across the box but no one was able to turn it goalward. Again, Trialist E was at the centre of attention. This time, he was able to get some good space 25 yards out before he flashed his effort high and wide of the Ware goal. With that wayward effort, the half was concluded and the Clarets changed all but Marsden.


The second 45 minutes was kicked off, as the Clarets looked to get a vital half in another 10 players’ legs. It was a positive start as new signing Adam Mills looked to be dangerous early on. Adam had a loose ball break to him, where he smashed an excellent volley towards the Ware keeper, only for him to produce a great save. 2 new signings were the next to link up, as the returning Charlie Ruff found Mo Bettamer. Ruff, academy product of Ware, dinked the ball towards the Clarets’ striker seeing him rifle an effort at goal. It never reached goal, as a brave Ware defender was on hand to deflect it behind for a corner. The resulting corner picked out Bettamer once again, seeing the Libyan head wide as he failed to convert.

After enduring some pressure, Ware looked to get forward themselves. They looked dangerous as the came forward before Trialist F, functioning in the centre of defence, stepped in with an important interception. Ware were growing into the second half, as they once again came forward. This time, Jacob Marsden was on hand to prevent the third. Ware worked it well, seeing an effort from the edge of the box fired towards goal where he outstretched Marsden tipped it round the post for a corner. The corner that came from it brought no danger, as the Clarets were able to clear their lines. However, with just 10 minutes to go, they looked to have the icing on the cake. It was once again Brandon Adams who came ever so close. Mo Dabre misplaced a pass in the middle of midfield, seeing Adams have an offline Marsden to beat. Jacob was beat, but relived as he watched Adams’ effort clip back off the crossbar. Upbeat from this, the Clarets came forward. Charlie Ruff looked to feed Freddie Hockey however, the youngster was unable to get anything on it, and just missed the chance to pull one back.

However, with just 5 minutes to go, it was game set match. Adams, after scoring twice, turned creator. The striker fed Ware’s number 7, seeing him knock an effort past Marsden and secure the victory.


The Clarets’ first preseason test came to an end, as 3 goals conceded saw them fall to a 3-0 defeat.

Robbie’s men will go again on Tuesday, away to Heybridge, as they continue to build towards the start of the Vanarama National League South season.

Words by Josh Lowe

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