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New look Ealing emerge from the ashes to turn in fine display

17 Jan 2018

Friendly match – 16 January 2018

Ealing Independent College 3-1 MPW

Team: Abdullah; James, Danial, Jack; Luc, Josh (Hakim); Chifum; Brent

The last month has been an eventful one for the College football team, though not a positive one. Several players will not be part of the side moving forward, due to an avoidable incident before Christmas, while last week the team capitulated in a friendly to Ashbourne. The signs for last night’s match with MPW were not good. Where there is life, there is hope however, and there is certainly still life amongst those players who will be representing the college in the remaining matches this season.

Given instructions to tighten up marking, passing and communication as a team, the whites began tentatively but positively, knocking the ball around with little fuss. Brent’s movement up front was causing some consternation amongst the MPW defenders, while Chifum was finding space on the ball and providing a threat. MPW got the first shot on goal, but Abdullah coped with it easily, gathering safely to deny the onrushing number 10 from a simple tap-in. Some accurate passing, particularly down the left, had the reds on the backfoot though, with Jack making some buccaneering runs to provide a useful outlet. Danial also broke forward with purpose, slashing a shot wide. Ealing finally made their superior movement count when Brent received the ball from a crisp Chifum pass, spun away from his marker and buried a left foot shot neatly in at the near post. The rest of the half passed without incident, but the men in white could be pleased with their efforts. Faultless marking and communication at the back provided a solid base from which to attack MPW with confidence.

Hakim replaced the busy Josh at the start of the second half, with Chifum dropping deeper, the change not altering Ealing’s control on proceedings. They continued to apply the basics well, passing and moving to create space, while thwarting any MPW attacks by staying tight and working tirelessly to frustrate their opponents. A few half chances came and went before Danial strode forward and blasted a powerful drive towards the reds’ goal. A wicked bounce before it reached the MPW ‘keeper meant that his attempt to deal with it resulted only in his deflecting it off the post and in to double the Ealing advantage. The whites returned to their own half, but pleasingly, Danial, rather than admiring his own work and celebrating excessively, simply got back to giving instructions about which opponents needed to be picked up.

Ealing could easily afford to now sit back and hit on the counter, soaking up pressure and hitting the reds long, and at pace. Abdullah made a superb stop with his foot, while Hakim could have opened his account for the college had he latched on to the Ealing stopper’s clearance. Soon after, Brent struck a well-directed effort which the goalie pushed away. From the resulting corner, Chifum found Jack, whose attempt at a spinning shot railed up to strike him painfully. MPW’s weary defence seemed asleep as Josh rushed in to bundle the ball home for the third. Unfortunately, the tremendous team performance was somewhat undermined by the sloppy giving away of a consolation for the reds. Chasing another, Ealing were threadbare at the back and the MPW forwards were able to pass effectively to fashion an opening for their number 7. He took his chance well, slotting beyond Abdullah.

Ealing were able to see out the rest of the match comfortably, the manner of their victory leaving boss Allan Cairns delighted with the side’s attitude and application. An extremely encouraging performance.

Man of the match: Danial – A transformed presence at the back, Danial showed tremendous leadership qualities. He marshalled the troops excellently, made some timely challenges and scored at a critical point in the match

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