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SWINDON TOWN: Cooper satisfied with opening friendly win
SWINDON Town opened their pre-season campaign with a 2-0 win at Yate last night thanks to goals from trialist Celvin Kalinga and returning World Cup star Massimo Luongo.
Town struggled to get going in the first half, as manager Mark Cooper fielded a starting XI including four trialists, before a more established side turned the screw after the break to secure the victory thanks to Kalinga’s back-post finish and Luongo’s neat goal.
Sierra Leone skipper Ibrahim Kargbo was the pick of the trialing quartet in the first half, passing the ball round with ease and holding a calm line in front of the back four, while Khalil Lambin and Elikem Amenku struggled to connect with their teammates on numerous occasions.
The fourth trialist, Jonathan Vandesompele, left the field with a minor facial injury but looked calm and assured at the back in the first half alongside Nathan Thompson and the equally impressive Samsung Win a Pro winner Jose Antonio, while striker Andy Williams coped well on his return to football following a serious knee injury.
Wholesale changes to introduce a more established side at the break brought more cohesion for Town, leaving Cooper pleased with his side’s return to action.
“I think you saw in the first half we didn’t have the continuity as we had the trialists in, but in the second half we had the boys who know each other and you could tell that,” he said. “It’s great to be back and I’m pleased to be out playing games, watching the boys play some lovely football.”