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Ealing punish poor David Game to move to brink of second title

26 Jan 2017

League match – 25 January 2017

Ealing Independent College 6-2 David Game College

Team: Danial; Jamie; Lucas (Tom), Egli; Kai (Zak N), Hamza, Georges; Isaga

Goals: Egli, Georges, Isaga 2, Kai, O.G

In the knowledge that 4 points from their last two games would guarantee a second successive ICPL championship, Ealing approached their penultimate game of the season at Phoenix Sports Centre in a positive frame of mind. The same could not be said of their opponents. Kicking off with only 6 in the side at 6.15pm, the David Game players looked fearful at the prospect of a clash with the league leaders. They had good reason to be. Ealing dominated possession from the off, pinning the men in green back into their own half.  Early chances for Kai and Isaga went close, but it was not until Kai squared to Egli that the champions found their mark. The midfielder stroked a precise finish beyond the David Game ‘keeper and into the bottom left-hand corner.

Roared on by their coach, Ealing continued to press for more. Georges found himself in enough space to the left of goal to compose himself and comprehensively power in at the near post. A historic goal, as Georges became Ealing’s all-time leading scorer in the process of moving his side two to the good. The more David Game started to chase the game, the more space it left at the back. Isaga was the beneficiary this time, advancing menacingly before driving a blistering shot off the post and in. When Ealing did make a mistake, Jamie twice erring by passing to an opposing striker or straight back to the ‘keeper, the greens could not take advantage. There was enough time in the half for Isaga to double his tally for the night, again thrashing past the mouthy David Game goalkeeper. At this stage, the David Game reinforcements emerged, 35 minutes late, and hardly in a hurry to make an impact, strolling towards the pitch. “They look like they’re getting schooled” was one of the late-comers comments in reference to his teammates. He couldn’t be more right.

Coach Allan Cairns implored his charges to ensure that they focused their energies on a winning second half performance. A sluggish start, however, opened the door for David Game to get a foothold in the match. Their left back drilled an accurate shot just inside Danial’s post to reduce the arrears. Ealing struggled to reassert themselves for the next ten minutes, knocked off their stride by their own poor passing and some physical treatment by the greens. The champions finally looked themselves again when Kai seized upon a short backpass to race in and neatly tuck the ball in between the front post and the ‘keeper. He raced away in celebration and was then subbed shortly after for Zak N. David Game continued their rough treatment of the whites, with late challenges, aggression and regular fouling but in truth, Ealing stood up to the barrage. Another scrappy segment of play lead to what looked like a consolation for the greens, but the final act of the game, after Tom had replaced Lucas, saw a David Game defender put through his own net to gift Ealing back their four goal advantage.

As the stocky David Game striker tried to provoke Egli at the end, the ref, who had barely moved from the same spot in which he had stood to officiate matters, blew the final whistle. It was another important victory for the whites, their fifth in a row, which takes them one point away from the championship. Second placed Albemarle now can’t catch the defending champions, and DLD will have to win their five games in hand just to give themselves the chance. Ealing will wait with interest to see if they can manage it, knowing that they have done their job. It is now up to DLD to do theirs.

Man of the match – Egli gave a measured performance. Strong in the tackle, sensible and accurate passing, a superb finish to get his side in front and some excellent maturity and leadership throughout. 

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