Edgar Davids makes a second half appearance in Barnet win
PUBLISHED: 16:17 10 July 2013 | UPDATED: 16:17 10 July 2013
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CLARENCE Park was graced by a true legend of football on Tuesday night when Edgar Davids’ Barnet beat St Albans City 3-1.
The Bees netted twice in the first half and again in the 64th minute, restoring the two-goal cushion that Ryan Ashe halved at the start of the second period, as Saints’ pre-season started with a loss.
Saints were second best for much of the game against the Blue Square Bet Premier Division side, but there were a lot of positives to can be taken from the game.
After the game joint manager James Gray told the Herts Ad: “I wasn’t too fussed about the performance tonight.
“It was about us getting the feel for the ball, trying out a few new, different things and the new faces getting to know each other
“But overall I thought over the two halves, with two different sides in each, there were definitely positives that Graham [Golds] and I picked up on.
He added: “Consider we’ve only had four or five training sessions against a team that have been back for two weeks and putting in double sessions a day, there are positives to take from each and every player.
“We knew it was going to be hard, but I didn’t want the scoreline to reflect what it did last year and it didn’t, so that’s another positive.”
City are a long way from finding a settled squad for the season but Gray disclosed that training sessions have been good and competition for places is high.
And while it is too early to ascertain much about the team, there were encouraging signs for the fans.
Returning Saints Greg Ngoyi, Richard Graham and Ryan Wharton looked good in limited action while goalkeeper Tom Coulton – City’s Herts Charity Cup hero – pulled on a number of diving saves.
Tuesday also provided a first glimpse of Gray and Golds’ new signings.
While a connection has yet to develop between Ngoyi and John Frendo, Tuesday showed enough to be confident the pair will form a fearsome partnership by the start of the season.
Ben Martin and Darren Locke will give City the physical presence in defence that was lacking at times last season, and Paul Bastock, despite making an error for Barnet’s third goal, made some good saves.
Of the lesser-known new players, winger Mark Nwokeji, John Sonuga and Anton Goss look like intriguing prospects for the new season.
Former Dutch international Davids may have provided the night’s main attraction, making a second-half cameo before signing autographs and posing for photos with fans after the game, but there is much to be excited about at Clarence Park with the start of the season in sight.