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Champions manage to keep heads and 100% record

11 Nov 2016

EIC on the attack vs AlbermarleLeague match – 10 November 2016

Ealing Independent College 1-0 Albemarle College

Team: Sultan, Zak, Jamie, Lucas, Egli , Kai (Jake), Hamza, Georges

Goals: Egli

In a repeat of last season’s monumental title decider, Ealing faced off against old adversaries Albemarle last night in a tumultuous encounter, which swayed one way and then the other, saw some high quality attacking play from both sides, two red cards and an exceptional strike worthy of winning any game. Ealing were out of the blocks slowly, and Albemarle, in their new blue and white striped kits made the better start. A low drive deflected, bringing an excellent save from Sultan, before Albemarle struck a post with another impressive effort from distance. Between those chances, a dangerous run by Kai was brought to an end with an overly physical challenge which sent him crashing to the fence. Kai got back to his feet but was clearly as astonished as the rest of his teammates not to receive a free kick. This would not be the last time the referee made a controversial decision in the match.

Ealing started to grow into the game but were constrained, either due to sound defensive work by Albemarle, solid stops by their goalkeeper or the odd strange decision by the referee. Egli picked up a booking for one of the niggly fouls which characterised the half and by the time the official blew for the break, the men in white were far from impressed by his performance. Ealing had to start the second half with more purpose and they did. A flurry of accurate long range shots brought the Albemarle ‘keeper to the forefront of the action, but he appeared to be equal to everything the champions threw at him. Solid foundations at the back, with Jamie, Zak and Lucas always looking for the ball and retaining possession well, meant that Albemarle were finding it difficult to get out of their half.

Kai broke through on goal but took a heavy touch and saw his effort smothered by the now very busy opposition goalie, before Hamza smashed in another long effort which he punched away. It seemed as though it would take something special to beat the ‘keeper, who was clearly in inspired form. A flowing move involving Zak, Lucas and Hamza found it’s way to Egli, who hit a sumptuous half volley in to the back of net via the goalkeeper and the post. The man between the sticks was finally beaten, and in some style. Egli, who had a heated chat with the man he had just beaten moments beforehand, jubilantly ran off with his hand in the air, celebrating in front the opposition and an empty stadium. A pity, as a goal like that deserved an audience!

Ealing’s tactics shifted towards a more counter attacking style after they took the lead. Sultan had to deal with a dangerous cross, which he palmed away, but in truth the defence appeared to have matters in hand. After Jake replaced Kai, the Albemarle number 8 broke forward and appealed for a foul as he ran towards goal and hit the deck, but the referee refused his claims. He then took matters into his own hands, kicking out at Hamza. Sultan, the youngest player in the side, ran in to shove him out of the way and it took a few moments before the situation was calmed. The referee, seeing blame on both sides, red carded both. Zak retreated to goalkeeping duties and Albemarle lost their dangerous hit man. The remaining few minutes were more tense than they needed to be. The referee played time well beyond the 7 o’clock finish. Georges had two superb chances to finish things, firstly slashing a shot wide when clean through, and then again bringing out a fine stop from the goalie. Ealing played out the final seconds in the Albemarle corner, well away from danger, frustrating for their opponents, but with a measure of composure, professionalism and confidence which pleased their manager.

Three wins on the bounce now to start the league campaign, and the champions are improving with each match. A stern test awaits next week against DLD (A), but the whites can approach this with confidence. 11 goals scored and only one conceded bodes well for the top of the table clash next week at Burlington Danes.

Man of the match – Many candidates, including Zak, Lucas and Jamie, but Egli provided the match winning moment in the game, which was enough to give Ealing victory

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