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Lack of composure sees Ealing let lead slip

07 Jan 2015

collingham ealing

 Collingham College 3-3 Ealing Independent College In their first competitive match of the season, Ealing got their first league point on the board, but their inability to close out a match where they had a commanding lead cost the side two important league points. Due to the refereeing commitments of manager Allan Cairns, much of the match organisation was taken on by captain Faris Gadoura and vice-captain Liban Yusuf, following pre-game instructions. Ealing opened in a 2-4-1 formation employing a midfield diamond to great effect in the early stages. Central defence looked secure, and the energy of Kai Siu on the right hand side was causing Colligham problems. A scrappy passage of play, where the tenacious Siu battled his way through two challenges, saw him set up Davies, who clipped a neat right foot finish in off the post to give Ealing the lead. Collingham got on the front foot quickly in response, testing Raja with some long shots, before equalising when a shot deflected off the unlucky Yagoub and just out of the Ealing stopper’s reach into the right hand corner. The sides were, as the scoreline suggested, very even at this point in the match. Tackles were flying in keenly and the game continued in a fiercely competitive spirit. In order to get the upper hand again, it was obviously going to take something special to break the deadlock. Receiving the ball with his back to goal around halfway, Al-Taie turned on a sixpence, dropped a shoulder to deceive a defender, and then got the ball onto his right foot. He then proceeded to smash a powerful drive to the motionless goalkeeper’s left and into the net, sending the Ealing squad into rapturous celebrations. Some niggly fouls continued until the referee blew for half time, with both sides getting a well-earned rest at the interval. Cairns made it clear at half time that his side needed to stop chasing the game so vociferously and would need to try and retain possession to a far greater standard in the second half. They seemed to take his advice from the moment the whistle was blown. A buccaneering run by Al-Ahmad down the left saw him shrug off two tackles before cutting back and squaring to Davies who again finished clinically in the bottom right hand corner. A two goal lead, and confidence seemed to be brimming at this stage for the team in white and red, but they failed to adhere to the old adage of vulnerability straight after a goal. Collingham got themselves together, linked up some direct passes and got in behind the Ealing defence on the left. The winger squared the ball and a Collingham man was on hand to despatch the ball into Raja’s open net. The confidence which seemed so high barely a minute before was now tearing apart at the seams. Passing had become ragged and every Ealing player seemed to think that he needed to beat an opponent before linking with a teammate. Pressure built, and Collingham got a deserved equaliser when their striker found enough space to crash a shot beyond Raja at the near post. If any side looked like winning it, it was the blues in the latter stages, but they couldn’t make their better possession or territory count. Ealing cannot now allow this late set back to fester. A match against top of the table Albemarle is up next Thursday, with the bad-tempered goalless pre-season friendly between the sides fresh in the mind. MOTM: 1) Yagoub - Barely a foot wrong.  2) Siu - Tireless display. 3) Davies – Two well-taken goals.

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