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Bonner: "We were pleased with the opposition we played"

16 July 2022

Mark Bonner was happy with his team's performance over the two games this weekend against Notts County...

Sam Smith's brace sealed a 2-0 win for the U's in the first 70-minute game before a seven minute Macaulay Langstaff hat-trick condemned the U's to defeat in the second, despite originally leading the game 2-0.

“I think across both games we were happy with the performances” he said, “What we needed to try to do today was to get 70 minutes into the players, as we’ve only had 45 minutes before.

“We’re four weeks in, and the lads have worked really hard. It’s never easy to play in this heat. We’re grateful to St. Neots for hosting us this afternoon.

“I thought game one we played some good football and we scored some good goals, I thought that was the case all afternoon.”

Despite playing two leagues below, Notts County offered a different sort of challenge to the previous two pre-season friendlies.

“We were pleased with the opposition we played, they like to build their play deep in the pitch, much like a lot of teams in our league. So it allowed us to work on when we needed to press and take control of the game ourselves.

“There were moments of good and bad in both games.

“The first two games we can’t take too much from, we’re just literally asking the boys to run around for 45 minutes and we have no idea about how far the opposition are into their pre-season schedule.

“We’ve had a brilliant week in Cardiff that ended with a game, and we’ve had a tough week this week, especially Tuesday and Wednesday – the lads were class for them.”

Sam Smith scored a brace in the first half as the U’s ran out 2-0 victors in the first game.

“We had a few good counter attacking situations, some of which we didn’t use so well in the first half.

“The first goal was a good regain, good through pass; Brophs made a nice unselfish run and it was a good finish from Sam.

“The disallowed header at the end of the first half was close, it was unlucky. But I thought we played well, and it was a good football match.”

Youngster Joe Tarpey again linked up with Harvey Knibbs, assisting the forward’s first goal in the second game.

“He’ll be at St. Neots this season, but with Liam Bennett not here it’s given him a great opportunity for him to be with us in pre-season; he’s coped with it well.

“His ball at Cardiff was great last weekend and he was again involved this week, setting up Knibbsy.”

The U’s had been looking confident in the second game before conceding three quick-fire goals.

“There were some good situations in the second game and in the end, we were quite dominant really. They had a lot of possession in their own half, and we were able to turn over the ball a lot.

“There was a five-minute period where the lads switched off and that will frustrate them this for the rest of the weekend, not that it really matters deep down, but that’s the case because we have a team that wants to win every game.”

Watch the full reaction from the boss below: 

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