Harlow Town 1 Blues 2
Blues opened their pre-season campaign with a comfortable victory at neighbours Harlow Town, on Saturday.
Jamie Cureton gave the visitors a first half lead before the Hawks levelled within two minutes, but Ryan Charles sealed the victory with a 54th minute strike.
Aaron Greene’s return to the Blues saw him produce an excellent display with his crosses to Cureton and Olly Miles causing the newly relegated hosts problems in the opening minutes.
Miles should have won a penalty in the 33rd minute when a superb ball from Ben Sampayo saw him break through but the referee waved play-on despite a clumsy challenge from Elwin Lartey.
Greene continued to terrorise the home defence, and it was inevitable that he set up Blues’ opening goal of the season in the 40th minute,
The winger sent in a pacey cross and the mercurial Cureton calmly slotted home to open his 26th senior season with a goal.
However, within two minutes the hosts equalised in their cup final as Christian Gnandi tapped in from close range after a free kick came off the woodwork.
Cureton was one of seven players substituted by fellow joint boss Steve Smith at half-time, and Ryan Richefond and Luke Callander both went close to restoring Stortford’s lead early in the second half.
But it took only nine minutes for substitute Charles to hit what proved to be the winner as Charles spun and hit a perfect left footed volley into the bottom right hand corner.
A great move involving Green, Jayden Boateng, Charles and Callander really should have seen Blues net a third goal and Jason Williams also went close for the visitors.
Callander had a couple of chances to wrap things up, while at the other end Makone should have scored as he fired over in the dying minutes, but Blues held on to end a 1,087 day wait for a victory in a friendly match.
Blues: F Burbridge, S Hayles (J Boateng 46), B Sampayo, J Thomas (L Callander 46), S Robbins (H Morgan 46), M Haines, Y Nazor (R Richefond 46), A Warman (B Holmes 46), J Cureton (J Williams 46), O Miles (R Charles 46), A Greene