Match Report: Badshot Lea 0 Shots 3

Academy graduate Maxwell Mullins scored two and was involved in a third as The Shots started pre-season in familiar surrounds.

Tommy Widdrington’s first starting XI of 2023-24 featured a further two Academy graduates, with Keane Anderson and Alex Macallister alongside Mullins, plus eight trialists.

A healthy crowd of 485 had to wait until the 21st minute for the first chance, as Trialist #5 headed Anderson’s corner over the bar. Thereafter, though, the visitors steadily took control.

Almost immediately, Mullins’ drive skidded wide, and a clever ball over the top sent Trialist #11 through on goal but the Badshot Lea goalkeeper was quick off his line to make a block.

On 42 minutes Macallister saw a deft flick rebound wide off the post, from Anderson’s low free-kick, but within seconds The Shots were ahead. Macallister’s shot from inside the box was blocked by a combination of the goalkeeper and a lunging defender, but Mullins pounced to score from six yards.

The Shots made a number of changers at the break, and Badshot Lea’s second-half side featured Shots Academy defender Jack Brewer. The second period again made a cagey opening, and it was the 67th minute when Trialist #20 burst forward to shoot into the side-netting.

Mullins, though, was heavily involved as The Shots ultimately eased to a comprehensive victory. On 80 minutes, he saw a twisting header well saved and, as The Shots recycled the ball, Trialist #18 timed his run perfectly to shoot low into the left corner.

Then, on 87 minutes, Mullins was played in in the left channel to shoot confidently across the goalkeeper.

ATFC: Trialist #1 (Westen 46, Sheik 68), Mullins, Trialist #3, Trialist #5 (Milner-Smith 34), Macallister (Trialist #18 46), Trialist #8 (Trialist 21, 46), Trialist #9 (Akpan 77), Anderson, Trialist #11 (Obeng 77), Trialist #14, Trialist #19.