Chirewa strike secures win
Town kicked off the 2021/22 pre-season with a 1-0 win at Dartford.
Tawanda Chirewa was on target for the Blues, who named two different line-ups for the first and second half at Princes Park.
Paul Cook selected all six of the Club's summer signings in his starting XI - Vaclav Hladky, Matt Penney, Rekeem Harper, Lee Evans, Wes Burns and Macauley Bonne all featuring from the off, before a fresh group of players were introduced for the second half.
Janoi Donacien, Toto Nsiala, Luke Woolfenden, Armando Dobra and James Norwood completed the starting line-up, with a young line-up then playing the second 45 minutes in front of 1,620 spectators.
A minute's applause was held just before kick-off as a tribute to Town legend Paul Mariner, who sadly passed away last night at the age of 68.
Town started the brighter of the two sides and almost took the lead inside two minutes. Bonne, who joined on a season-long loan from QPR last month, picked the ball up about 20 yards out and fired in a fierce effort which crashed against the crossbar.
Penney was a regular outlet for the visitors down the left side and on 13 saw a low driven cross well gathered by Dartford 'keeper Dan Wilks.
Just after the half-hour mark the hosts got beyond the Town backline but a cut-back from the byline was comfortably cleared.
Paul Cook completely switched the line-up for the second half, with Tomas Holy handed the captain's armband after Evans had donned it for the first 45.
Idris El Mizouni and Cameron Humphreys - the latter having recently penned his first professional deal - were also introduced.
Seven minutes into the second half Luke Wanadio forced Holy into a low save at his front post, with Jesse Nwabueze then going close at the other end but his drive sailed over the crossbar.
Chirewa then produced a fine finish to open the scoring 17 minutes from time. The midfielder collected a pass about 20 yards out and beautifully curled into the far corner.
His strike was enough to win it as Town began their pre-season campaign with a victory.
Cook's side are next in action at Bury Town on Tuesday.
Town XI first half: Hladky, Donacien, Nsiala, Woolfenden, Penney, Harper, Evans, Burns, Dobra, Norwood, Bonne.
Town XI second half: Holy, Agbaje, Stewart, Ndaba, Armin, El Mizouni, Chirewa, Humphreys, Valentine, Nwabueze, Buabo.