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Strong second half showing powers Ealing A2 past DLD

04 Mar 2016

League match – 4th March 2016

Ealing Independent College 2-0 DLD College

Team: Azim, Malcolm (Jamie C), Jamie G, Jamie R, Hamza, Hamze, Krystian, Evan

Goal scorers: Hamze (pen), Krystian

The Ealing A2 side stepped up their game in the second half last night to brush aside their stubborn opponents and take a commanding lead at the top of the table with only two games left. One must compliment DLD on their efforts, having played a game just 24 hours before. They started far brighter and had the best of the first half. They were first to the contentious challenges, their passing was more incisive and they had the best opportunities, though these were restricted to long shots, mainly by their red-haired number 16. Ealing offered little. As has often happened this season, they were slow to start and finding it difficult to get a foothold in the game. This sluggish start was not helped when Malcolm was forced off with an ankle injury. Fortunately for the whites, they had an able substitute in Jamie C who slotted in without difficulty in central defence.

If anyone was starting to doubt whether the A2 side really wanted this, an answer was overwhelming in the second half, when they took the game by the scruff of the neck. Their coach called for an improvement in winning 50-50 challenges and testing the large DLD goalkeeper, and the men in white delivered from the kick off. Hamze hit a vicious, swerving drive just over the bar which had the stopper very worried, and as pressure began to mount DLD started to look rattled, sinking deeper into their own half. Finally they sank too deep. Up to that point, their number 8 had played excellently, but the referee deemed that he had strayed into the penalty area. There were muted complaints, and the official seemed to take an age to prepare for the penalty to be taken, but when it finally was taken Hamze kept his cool and clinically despatched the spot kick low and to the goalkeeper’s left for his eighth of the season.

Ealing have had issues with dropping off or lapsing in concentration just after they take the lead, and often to their cost, but not this time. They were absolutely relentless. DLD were giving away dangerous free kicks in trying to stop the momentum which was building. Krystian’s shot from one was diverted in cleverly by Evan with a deft flick, but the referee judged that Evan had done it from inside the box. Rightly aggrieved at the goal being wrongly chalked off, the men in white accepted the decision and simply pushed on further to increase their advantage. Angry exchanges started to make their way into the match. Evan was rightly booked for a cynical late challenge and a heated touchline spat developed between the coaches as another free kick was awarded by the referee for a push in the back.

At this point, Krystian stepped up to kill the tension at one stroke. His well struck shot appeared to take a slight deflection before nestling in the bottom corner to double the Ealing advantage. The last five minutes was seen out without too much danger. Azim spilled a shot but claimed the free ball inside his box, while the partnership of Jamie C and Jamie G at the back took absolutely no chances, hoofing clear when the ball came anywhere near them. The second half performance was enough though. Three wins in a row have now put Ealing A2 on the brink of a superb championship triumph.

Man of the match – Many contenders, but Jamie G stood particularly tall at the back, providing a solid platform from which to build towards this victory.

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