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Much improved AS/GCSE hold DLD to draw

03 Mar 2016

League match – 2nd March 2016

Ealing Independent College AS/GCSE 0-0 DLD College

Team: Sultan, Danial, Zak, Acil (Tom), Hasan, Georges (Enver), Kai, Ryan (Isaga)

It has been a barren run in the last few games for the AS/GCSE side. Four defeats in a row, and only one goal during those losses did not create much optimism for last night’s encounter with DLD. Nonetheless, the reds’ only victory this season had come against their opponents in dark blue back in December, and so maybe now was the time to end this wretched run whilst lifting themselves from the bottom of the league table. Due to a no-show from the pre-booked referee, the boys found themselves without a coach, who had to take up officiating duties.

Ealing started brightly. A far more solid platform at the back, with Zak and Hasan stewarding while Danial swept up any issues that got through them, made them seem far more secure. Acil was pushed further on, and suddenly the reds looked very dangerous on the counter attack. Ryan, Georges and particularly Kai started linking well, and fashioned some decent attacks which had the DLD back line worried. Kai in particular was proving a menace to the dark blues, clearly encouraged by his numerous views of the video highlights from the Ealing derby which showcased his pace and skill. As is always the problem with Kai, and indeed the whole side, intricate play may have fashioned some good openings, but the ball did not find it’s way into the back of the opposition net.

DLD had some chances themselves, with Sultan making a good block with his body and a number of corners having to be defended, but it seemed as the half reached it’s end that Ealing could open up DLD on the break whenever they got out of their half. The boys were clearly emboldened in confidence from their first half display and needed to carry this forward into the second. The game followed a similar pattern after the interval. DLD bossed possession and territory, but when Ealing got out, they broke with pace and determination. One opening in particular looked bound to bring the first goal of the match, as they had a three-on-one break, but could not find the correct pass to get a shot on goal away. Ryan and Kai again had openings, but when faced with the giant DLD keeper, either hit shots straight at him, wide, over the top or simply decided to dribble back into bodies.

As the game reached the last 10 minutes, the reds sunk deeper and deeper into their own half. Zak was instrumental in directing the defence, Acil had burned himself out with a great display and Hasan, despite one break in the first half, where he dribbled past three players and then unleashed a venomous shot, saved by the giant DLD stopper, was far more controlled. There were a couple of hearts-in-mouths moments – Danial with a nasty looking attempt at a clearance which connected with nothing but fresh air, Zak being hunted down and dispossessed by the red-haired DLD left midfielder and Sultan looking petrified as a high ball dropped just inside his penalty box area so that he could claim it, but in truth the openings which DLD made were passed up without too much alarm. They were delighted with a draw at full time which moves them off the bottom, and gives some encouragement for their last two games of the season.

Man of the Match: Kai. Despite missing a variety of key chances, he always looked dangerous on the ball and the DLD side had no idea how to cope with him first half. A shame he didn’t get on the ball more in the second. 

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