The Bees won in their first outing of the 2022/23 pre-season schedule – beating Dunstable Town 4-0 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at The Hive London, ATP Three.
The first chance of the fixture came in 9th minute when Harry Pritchard’s corner was flicked narrowly over the crossbar by Moussa Diarra who managed to beat his man to the ball.
The Bees took the lead in the 15th minute as Daniel Powell’s cross from the left was headed back into the box by Ephron Mason-Clark to Diarra who stroked the ball into the bottom left corner.
Dean Brennan’s side continued to press and went close to doubling their lead in the 21st minute when Powell beat two defenders on his way into the box before bending his effort just wide of the target.
Powell’s cross from the byline towards Nicke Kabamba in the centre of the box saw the hosts extend their lead when the striker knocked the ball in from close-range.
Dunstable’s first effort at goal came in the 27th minute when their defender curled a shot from outside the box into James Callan’s gloves.
Shortly afterwards, the Bees added a third when Beard crossed into Powell who found the back of the net with a tidy finish.
On the stroke of half-time, Dunstable’s goalie was tested after a quick move between Mason-Clark and Michael Phillips allowed the latter to strike at goal, but his effort was comfortably saved.
At the break, Dean Brennan made eleven changes to his side but the continued pressure carried on into the second-half.
In the 54th minute Sean Shields caused trouble for the visitors when he latched onto a loose ball near the byline and cut back onto his right foot before seeing his goalbound shot headed over the crossbar.
Dean Brennan’s side kept the pressure firmly on and almost scored again when Jamar Loza laid the ball off to Rob Hall inside the six-yard box who had his low strike blocked away.
The Bees were handed a big chance to extend their lead even further in the 69th minute when Trialist E was brought down inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot.
Jamar Loza stepped up to slot the penalty into the bottom left corner beyond the outstretched arms of the Dunstable stopper.
A fifth goal nearly came for the hosts in the 83rd minute when Hall’s corner was met by Trialist D and helped just wide of the post by Trialist C.
A minute later, Hall played a precise ball forwards to Trialist G whose strike from just inside the box had to be pushed wide by the ‘keeper – leaving the Bees to settle for a 4-0 victory.
Bees first-half team: James Callan, Jordan Thomas, Danny Collinge, Moussa Diarra, Sam Beard, Michael Phillips, Ryan De Havilland, Harry Pritchard, Ephron Mason-Clark, Nicke Kabamba, Daniel Powell.
Goals: Diarra (15′), Kabamba (24′), Powell (35′).
Bees second-half team: Trialist A, Trialist B, Trialist C, Trialist D, Jerome Okimo, Trialist E (Trialist G 75’), Trialist F, Wes Fonguck, Rob Hall, Jamar Loza, Sean Shields.
Goals: (Loza 69′).