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Abject Ealing hammered by rampant DLD

13 Nov 2017

League match – 7th November 2017

Ealing Independent College 0-7 DLD College

Team: Aqeel; James, Ibrahim; Abdul, Luc, Sultan H; Jamie (Sultan A); Chifum

Signs had not been good for Ealing in the lead up to this game. A poor performance last week against Ashbourne showed up the shortcomings of the side going forward, and, in truth, they were fortunate to pick up a point. Added to this, they were still without their leader on the pitch Egli, and earlier in the day, usually reliable goalkeeper Danial told his manager he was unavailable for selection. There was a worrying sense of foreboding as the side made their way to the game.

 As it happened DLD were not on time for the game, and in fact did not show up until 6.15pm, leaving their opponents waiting. With the match kicking off at 6.20pm, year 11 Aqeel would have to make his debut in goal. He faced a barrage of shots from early on as the long wait seemed to affect Ealing adversely. They seemed half asleep as a neat flick from a DLD striker following on from a long shot was diverted into the corner to give the dark blues the lead. Aqeel was a mere spectator. The shellshocked whites could not get a foothold and a couple of defensive mistakes were seized upon in quick succession, and DLD stretched their lead to 3. The best Ealing could do in between was a long drive from Sultan which skidded wide. Cairns needed to get his side in urgently for a strongly worded talk to reaffirm the basics of marking, tackling and passive which the side seemed to have completely forgotten.

As it happened, the team talk seemed to do the trick. A changed Ealing stood toe-to-toe with the league leaders and gave as good as they got for the ten minutes following the restart. The game became scrappy and disjointed, but at least DLD were not carving up the men in white as easily as they had been in the first half. When Ealing were awarded a free kick deep in their own half, and the tall number 6 in dark blue refused to back off in order to allow Sultan to take it. Verbals were exchanged and Sultan lashed out, before the number 6 responded in kind. An unsightly brawl then ensued as the DLD manager raced onto the pitch in an attempt to restore order. Once things had calmed down, the referee sent off both Sultan and the DLD man.

Inexplicably, the DLD management made substitutions in the melee which followed, and continued to play illegally with 8 men. When the referee noticed this, another unsightly argument commenced, with DLD convinced they had done nothing wrong. The error of their ways was pointed out, but this did nothing to help calm the vitriolic atmosphere which was now palpable. The reduced number for both teams actually favoured the dark blues as the game wore on and Ealing’s tiredness came to the fore. Ealing were able to register their first shot on target following free kick, with Chifum’s weak effort not troubling the DLD stopper. James then had a speculative effort, but the last period of the game belonged to the dark blues.

A rapid fire salvo of goals was began when an excellent team move resulted in a strong header past Aqeel, and was ended when their impressive number 9 strode forward to bury a well placed shot into the top left corner. It was hard to say how many DLD had scored in this period - I thought it was three - but it the final score made it clear that four had been scored in the second half. Discussions following the final whistle, which then brought handshakes were a good gesture, but in reality brought little in the way of a settlement. It emerged that taunting and subsequent insulting took place as the teams began to depart. Again, a match between these two sides ended in an unsavoury manner. One must ask whether such exchanges can be accepted in a league where mutual respect between teams is a core value.

In terms of Ealing’s response, the remaining games will be all about playing for pride, and trying to bring back some confidence. This match was an extremely negative experience for all involved.

Man of the match – Abdul – Put himself about and battled until the end. There weren’t many positives, but Abdul’s presence was one.

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