The Blues continued their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 victory over Isthmian North Division outfit Brightlingsea Regent. 

Moses Emmanuel’s first-half strike proved to be the difference in the first-half before Frankie Merrifield doubled the lead just after the break.

In a much-changed side to Friday’s 3-0 victory over Hutton, Tyrell Miller-Rodney and Jack Paxman were the only two to make their debuts in the first-half while Ansu Janneh started for the first time for the Blues in the second-half.

KICK-OFF

The Blues flew out of the traps and came close within the first minute as the two debutants combined, Paxman delivered an inch-perfect cross for the 30-year-old but he failed to get a clean connection on the ball.

Emmanuel was the thorn in the side of the Brightlingsea defence and following an uneventful opening half-hour, the striker took the initiative. Aron Pollock’s long ball over the top fell to Emmanuel, who beat the offside trap and went around Brightlingsea’s ‘keeper before calmly dispatching home. This proved to be a catalyst for Emmanuel who nearly doubled his tally for the evening when he headed just wide from Paxman’s corner minutes later.

HALF-TIME: BLUES 1-0 BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT

As the majority of the side were changed for the second-half, it was two of those changes that linked up to good effect and doubled the Blues’ lead. Richard Asamoah’s free-kick on the right fell perfectly for Merrifield whose deft, glancing header was enough to see the net bulge. Asamoah continued to torment the R’s defence and nearly made it three just before the hour-mark as his driven delivery for Babalola had to be cleared away by a Brightlingsea defender.

The visitors, who had a handful of half-chances throughout, came close with around 20 minutes remaining as a cross fell to Adam Dolling but he failed to guide his effort on target as it sailed wide. Brightlingsea did halve the deficit with a few moments remaining as Teddy Collis provided for a trialist who slotted home from close range.

FULL-TIME: BLUES 2-1 BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT

Very little action throughout but more vital minutes in the legs for Gary McCann’s side as we prepare for the 2024/25 Isthmian Premier Division campaign.

We are next in action when we make the short trip to Aveley on Saturday with a 3pm kick-off.

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