Here's a question for you all - Can the goal of the season be scored in a pre-season friendly or for it to count does it have to be in an official competitive game?
Whatever your answer you have to say that Brandon Adam's first goal for Ware in their game against Chelmsford City on Saturday was very special. It's been viewed and shared on my twitter feed over 200,000 times which suggests how impressive it was.
It was each club's first game in preparation for the 23/24 season as a decent crowd gathered at Wodson Park to see the Southern League Division One Central (Step Four) Ware FC welcome Step Two Vanarama South side Chelmsford City.
Since promotion to Step Two in 2008 Chelmsford City have qualified for the play-offs on eight occasions but have never been promoted losing in the semi-finals on six occasions and the quarter finals and final on one occasion each.
Ware have been a Step Four side since 2006 - they lost in the Isthmian D1N play-off semi-finals in the 07/08 season when Redbridge recorded a 4-2 win. Over the past two seasons under the management of former Hertford Town and Hoddesdon Town boss Paul Halsey they have gone very close to promotion losing in the Southern League D1 Central play-off final to North Leigh (at home 21/22) and very narrowly at Didcot Town losing 1-0 at the end of last season. They had been top of the Isthmian South Central Division when football was put on hold due to the pandemic in 2020.
If there is a such a thing as the football gods I'm sure they would give both clubs some luck this season and get them the promotion they both deserve.
The visitors had a good number of trialists in their squad which was much changed at half time - they were 2-0 down by that time with both scored by former QPR, Enfield Town, Royston Town and Cheshunt striker Brandon Adams. The first goal was the special one with the second one showing what good finisher he is with a shot from just inside the box nestling right in the corner of the net.
I'd first seen Adams play for QPR in the pre-season friendly in 2016 against Hendon - The R's featured a 17 year old Eberechi Eze on their bench that day! HENDON v QPR LINK
Chelmsford City looked much sharper up front in the second half and had some good chances to score but found the Ware goalkeeper Fred Burbridge in great form.
Their fans were very pleased to see Charlie Ruff in their line up for the second half. He has recently returned to the club after spending the first part of the 22/23 season with them before a move to Havant & Waterlooville in November. The skilful midfielder, who won the 2021 FA Trophy during his time with Hornchurch, is well known to Ware fans having played for Hertford Town and FC Broxbourne Borough from 2015 to 2019 as well as a youth for Ware.
It was 3-0 late on when Adam's capped off an impressive performance by assisting Theo Ofori.
As always with pre-season games I'm sure both sets of management will have learned a lot and equally won't be getting carried away or panicking too much as yet.
Ware entertain Harrow Borough on Tuesday in their next pre-season friendly with Chelmsford City on the road once again with a trip to Heybridge Swifts.
They have three home games against football league sides with Leyton Orient on Wednesday 19th July, AFC Wimbledon on Friday 21st July and Colchester United on Tuesday 25th July.
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