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Ealing edge five goal thriller for back to back wins

24 Jan 2018

Friendly match – 23 January 2018

Ealing Independent College 3-2 CATS College

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

Goals: Jack, Charlie, Chifum

An exciting match at Burlington Danes last night stayed competitive until the final whistle, with both sides attacking each other relentlessly in pursuit of victory. In Ealing’s case they did just enough, and notched their second win in a row after their fine triumph over MPW last week. From the start, the whites thrived on their new found confidence from the previous week, pinning back the blues in their own half. Hard work in closing down their opponents at the back was paying off, though when chances came, they were blazed over the bar, Brent and Chifum’s efforts not quite finding their mark. Luc seemed to be everywhere in the opening 10 minutes, making some important interceptions and tackles in order to keep the pressure on CATS.

Against the run of play, it was CATS who took the lead. They had fashioned a chance, where their striker could not connect with a dangerous cross, and their dangerous number 5 was growing into the game but Abdullah had been largely untroubled. Danial, not reaching the standards of his performance last week, was nowhere near tight enough on the CATS number 7 and he easily created the room to bury a shot beyond the Ealing stopper at the near post, turning away from the Ealing captain. Coach Cairns on the touchline demanded a response, and he swiftly got one. The CATS defence had struggled to get to grips with Brent’s movement all game, and he found enough space down the left to supply a perfectly weighted cross for the emerging Jack to bullet a header into the net, with the blues’ ‘keeper rooted to the spot. It was an excellent goal.

The referee blew for half time, where Cairns asked his men to focus on two, very similar, jobs. Stop number 5 and stop number 7. Ealing’s start to the half was positive. Noticing a change in goalkeeper, the whites sought to put the new man between the posts under pressure immediately. Danial’s deflected drive going off for a corner. From the corner, though, CATS broke quickly. All too predictably, poor marking on number 5 allowed him to gather pace and glide past James, before finding number 7, again afforded too much space to turn and smash a well-placed drive low and to the right of Abdullah. Again Ealing would have to respond, and again, they did not disappoint. The whites managed to maintain their intense pressure in the midfield, and the impressive debutant Charlie’s positive run ended with a deflected shot catching the CATS ‘keeper out at the near post.

The game now could have gone either way, but it was Ealing who grasped the opportunity. Chifum started to get more on the ball, and soon after showing commendable sportsmanship in convincing the referee to disallow a goal which had been given to him following a goalkeeping howler, he showed great composure to pick himself up from two questionable challenges – sliding challenges are banned in College games – to pick himself up and drill in a free kick which the CATS ‘keeper got nowhere near in order to make it 3-2. Ealing did not, however, take full advantage of their ascendancy here. A couple of half chances were passed up, inviting CATS to have one last push at gaining an equaliser to tie the game again. They strained every sinew to do so, but met with some resolute, though panicked defending, which did just enough to keep the blues at bay.

So, another victory for Ealing, owing much to hard work and organisation. Signs moving forward continue to encourage Coach Cairns.

Man of the match – Jack – a tireless performance, playing a big part in keeping dangerous opponents in check, and scoring a tremendous header to equalise.

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