Promising start for McCool’s Blues at Marlow

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Pre-season friendly: Marlow 3 Dunstable Town 2

Dunstable Town kicked off their pre-season campaign for the 2017-18 season in promising fashion with a 3-2 defeat against Marlow on Saturday.

Under new manager Tony McCool and his coaching team of Kevin Gallen and Gareth Jackson, the newlook squad impressed throughout in the clash with their opponents from the Southern League East, who were playing their fifth friendly.

Only two of last season’s squad remained, new skipper John Sonuga and Gedeon Okito, as Dunstable took the lead inside the opening minute, with Oluwanimilo Ajigbolamu racing clear to slot home.

The Blues’ advantage lasted just two minutes with Marlow levelling and then going ahead five minutes later.

The game settled down from there though, as Dunstable were back on level terms midway through the half, an excellent team move leading to a sublime finish from Samuel Odusoga.

After the break, Dunstable thought they had regained the lead when a shot rebounded off post and bar before being cleared off the line.

It was Marlow who did score next, the goal coming a minute later to register victory, as afterwards, McCool said: “This is the first time the team has played together and it was, realistically two teams.

“The pleasing thing is that we had loads of chances. The back three tightened things up in the second half as we had moved from a back four in the first half.

“We have to tidy some things up at the back, but it was pleasing. We are learning what we want to do. We conceded a couple of soft goals, but it is what it is. I am pleased at this start.”

First team coach Gallen continued: “It was a good game, the second half was better, as we looked good going forward.

“First half we were a bit open, but we expected this with the lads thrown together for the first time and we are all learning about each other.

“There were some good performances out there and I look forward to the next one.”

Meanwhile, skipper Sonuga added: “We started from scratch. I think overall it was good and we have come a long way.

“This was the first time and maybe in the first half not everyone understood their roles, but the second half was a great improvement, and I feel we have players good enough to do some damage in the league this season.”

Dunstable take on a Sky Sports News team tonight at Creasey Park and then entertain Hendon this weekend.

Squad: Tofariti Adeoti, Brandy Makuendi, Krelvin Igweani, Ben Carter, Aaron Hudson, Bart Koprowski, Ryan Young, Ayobemi Salami, Daniel Trif, Michael Adeyemi, Anthony Leslie, Gary Malone, Jadell Brown, Claudio Silva, Gedeon Okito, John Sonuga, Scott Betts, Oluwanamilo Ajigbolamu, Samuel Odusoga, David Carty.

>> Dunstable begin their Southern League Premier Division season away to Redditch United on Saturday, August 12 after the fixtures were announced last week.

The Blues then host Kings Langley on Tuesday, August 15, before entertaining Merthyr Town on Saturday, August 19.

Blues visit Royston Town and host Banbury United before the end of the month, while the Christmas period sees McCool’s side travel to Banbury United on Boxing Day and welcome Biggleswade Town to Creasey Park on New Year’s Day.

Dunstable will finish their campaign at Frome Town on Saturday, April 28.