It's only a few weeks since the end of the 2018/19 season yet football returned to Parkside when Blues welcomed Hornchurch in an entertaining friendly, with the Urchins running out 2-1 winners. At this early stage results are not the main criteria, although it's always good to get a win under the belt - it's more about honing match fitness, developing shape and tactics and providing an opportunity to look at players in a match situation.
For Blues it was all change, Jim Cooper who has been busy in the close season, sent out a squad with only Joao Carlos, Macauley Joynes and Denzil Adebiyi familiar to Blues fans. The new back four and keeper certainly looked accomplished and at this early stage more compact and organised, marshalled by Steve King who was constantly giving advice to his teammates . The midfield also featured some new faces and one to catch the eye who came in for some harsh treatment from the opposition was the lively youngster, trialist, Emmanuel Ogurinde.
Hornchurch looked a very accomplished outfit and should be up there challenging for honours, but Blues certainly held their own for long periods . Going in at the break the Urchins held a one goal advantage - the second period saw a change of personnel in both camps, the visitors increasing their advantage from the penalty spot with Tony Stokes registering his first goal in Blues colours to reduce the arrears.
Blues continue their preparations for the new season when they entertain National League South Dartford at Parkside this Saturday.
Sambridge, Fox (Miller 47), Joynes (McQueen 48), King, Bartley (Allen 48), Martin, Ogurinde, Doyle (Carlos 49), Taylor , Dark (Newson 65), Adebiyi (Stokes 50),
Subs Miller, McQueen, Allen, Carlos, Newson, Kayembe, Kayembe
Kayembe brothers used but do not have details of the second brother!