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Enthralling Alumni Football Match

01 Jun 2018

Exhibition match – 29 May 2018

Ealing Independent College 2015/16 6-6 Ealing Independent College 2016/17/18

Ealing 2016/2017 won 6-5 on penalties

2015/16 Squad: Mohamed Y, Seb, Jamie G, Ryan, Hamza, Evan, Hamze, Gere

Goals: Evan, Hamze 2, Hamza, 2 Own Goals

2016/17/18 Squad: James, Jack, Luc, Brent, Hakim, Josh, Lucas, Kai, Isaga, Danial

Goals: Brent 2, Kai 2, Isaga 2

 

To view photos from the match click here.

 

Entralling alumni match ends in penalty shoot-out drama

The final curtain was drawn on coach Allan Cairns’ successful spell as Ealing Independent College FC Manager last night with an exciting exhibition match, which saw a plethora of familiar faces making their return to Lammas Park, scene of the first ever training session for the side. The league winning side of 2015/2016 was largely intact, missing only Azim, Krystian, Malcolm and Jamie R, while the current side were supplemented with the power and pace of 2016/2017 league winners Isaga, Kai and Lucas. The fact that both sides did not have recognized goalkeepers promised that there would be goals, and the hour of scintillating action which followed certainly did not disappoint.

From kick off, the 2015/16 champions, turned out in the original home shirt, roared into an early lead. Poor accuracy as the ball was passed back allowed Evan to sneak in, and calamitous defending somehow conspired to lead to an own goal which broke the deadlock. It was exactly the sort of weakness which the league winners of two years ago preyed on, and they quickly increased their lead. A powerful drive by Hamze flicked off Jack and into the top corner, another unfortunate own goal and a pinpoint drive from an acute angle by Hamza had the ‘old boys’ up 4-0 15 minutes in. Their younger opponents could not seem to keep the ball. Few players representing the younger side looked capable of offering resistance.

Late in the half, Evan was booked for a cynical challenge on Kai, the second year in a row this had happened, which spurred the men playing in dark colours, on. They started to get a grip on possession as the whites tired, not before Evan had made it 5-0 however. Mo had made some good blocks in goal, and Isaga hit a couple of powerful drives wide of the mark, but it just was not happening for the younger side. Finally, on the stroke of half time, Brent cut past three challenges on the left hand side before dispatching a well-placed shot in off the post. Would this provide enough impetus for the team behind to make a stirring comeback?

The answer was a resounding yes. Danial came on to give the younger side a recognized ‘keeper, and the young side used their substitutions to their advantage. The older side started to fall back and defend inviting their opponents on to them. Over the next 15 minutes, their lead was trimmed. First Brent doubled his tally for the game with another slaloming run and finish then Isaga fired in two accurate shots to bring the younger side within one. The best that the whites could do during this period was for Ryan to head wide following some promising corners. When Gere went off injured, the older team started to become overrun and progressively more ragged. Kai’s deserved equalizer, which saw him remove his shirt and wave it around like Ryan Giggs in the 1999 FA Cup semi-final replay, bringing a booking in the process, set up a tense final few minutes.

Another superb run and finish by Kai put his side in the lead, crowning an incredible comeback. They just had to see out a tricky injury time period, a hard task given their excitement at what had just happened. As it happened, they could not manage it. Hamze bundled home following a despairing effort by Danial to protect the lead in a goalmouth scramble. By now, passers-by had halted their journeys to admire the spectacle which was unfolding. One last attack came to nothing, and Cairns blew the whistle for full-time. The winner would be decided by penalties.

The teams traded 8 successful spot kicks until Isaga could not convert. His devastation was tempered when Mohamed was denied by the post though, and then Jamie G brought out a great save from Danial. James could not win it with his kick though. Seb hammered an unstoppable penalty in during sudden death, but Luc answered with a fine penalty of his own. When Gere missed, it fell to Kai who now had a chance to win it, and it was fitting that he accurately converted. A stirring encounter ended with handshakes and an assurance that there would certainly be a rematch next year.

Man of the match – Kai – Always dangerous, Kai’s livewire performance wreaked the havoc in the second half which he threatened to do in the first. As the ‘old boys’ tired, Kai found more and more space. His final goal looked very much like it would be a dramatic winner, sparking jubilant scenes, then he had to convert his penalty, which he did well.

Match report by Allan Cairns, Vice Principal (Academic) and EIC Football Manager

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