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AS/GCSE team up and running after hard-fought victory

04 Dec 2015

League match – 2nd December 2015

Ealing Independent College AS/GCSE 1-0 DLD College

Goal scorer: Georges

At Westway Sports Centre last night, Ealing’s AS/GCSE team got their first victory, and with it gave a level of performance both deserving of reward, and breeding a great deal of confidence for future matches. An overhaul of the formation and some of the personnel saw a new-look side take to the field following defeats in their first two games. Zak was brought outfield to bring stronger leadership, Acil was dropped deeper, Hasan moved into a position where he could cause more damage and Ryan propelled into the frontman position to bring a greater ability to hold the ball up with his back to goal.

The first half began with a far more competitive Ealing challenging their opponents fiercely in every tackle. The extra bite in the midfield gained the reds the upper hand, and when space presented itself, they were able to exploit it through the speedy wide midfielders, Kai and Georges. Hasan broke up a DLD attack then found the aforementioned Kai who broke past a few challenges and squared the ball. With a precise shot on the turn, hitting the net via the post, Georges gave the AS/GCSE side the lead they deserved. The half carried on in much a similar vein. DLD probed for an opening but got little change from the new defensive unit, and Ealing were able to exploit the space left when they attacked. Hasan had a wonderful mazy run, followed by a powerful strike which the DLD ‘keeper palmed away. DLD did finish the half with a few half-chances, but their shooting did not find the mark, and new ‘keeper Sultan looked secure enough.

The high pressing game and intensity of their play meant that Coach Allan Cairns was able to rotate at the start of the second half. Abdullah, Enver, Isaga and Tom were all introduced in advanced positions while Hasan dropped back to secure the defence. Ealing took a little time to adapt and found themselves pushed back. For around 10 minutes, they were camped in their half, only breaking out on the counter. Without Ryan, the ball didn’t stick, but they still looked dangerous. The old issue of trying to beat one man too many when a pass was on came back into their play. Nonetheless, defensively, they were sound. Danial did not put a foot wrong, and Zak and Hasan were forming a barrier which was proving difficult to break through. DLD did make some openings in this period of pressure but again, did not really trouble Sultan between the sticks. DLD frustration was compounded when their feisty midfielder had to be permanently substituted following an illegal slide challenge on Isaga.

After a recharging of energies, the subs were reintroduced, and Ealing seemed to regain their composure. Only silly errors caused panic. Giving away the ball in a dangerous area saw DLD break, and Zak was unfortunate to handle. When he kicked the ball away in an effort to waste time, he was shown the yellow card. DLD continued to huff and puff but again were struggling to make clear cut chances, the best falling to their number 16, who, despite being unmarked, blazed a shot well over the bar. His clear sight at goal was one of the few they created all game. At the final whistle, Ealing’s joyous side congratulated each other. This was a good feeling, and one which they need to try to get used to.

Man of the Match: Many candidates, but Zak just shades it. Superb leadership.

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

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