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New look Ealing experience same disappointment

03 Oct 2018


League match – 2nd October 2018

Ealing Independent College 0-5 MPW

Team: Abubakar; James, Nimr, Edward; Sabaoon, Dominic, Selyan

Beset by the vital issue of an absent minibus two weeks ago which contributed to an opening defeat by DLD, this week the absence was among the players, leaving the side only 7 strong for an 8-a-side game against an imposing MPW side, and without a recognised goalkeeper. Abdullah, the regular stopper was indisposed at the Turkish Embassy, while a late call off from Lewis left the side a man short. This would be a very tough assignment, and one which would be all the more difficult given the fact that Ronaldo, undoubtedly the team’s star player, would not be available due to the other commitments. With arguably last season’s best player Brent, currently on crutches, watching from the side lines, one would be forgiven for approaching the match with a sense of foreboding.

The match actually began quite encouragingly. Ealing, kicking off in their new black away kit, were able to keep the ball fairly well, whilst carrying a threat on the break. Following the strict instructions to hold a defensive shape in their own half, MPW were struggling to make much of an opening, forced into over hit long passes or speculative shots from range which did not trouble makeshift goalkeeper Abu. The MPW defenders were showing a great deal of respect to Sabaoon who was looking menacing with the ball at his feet, and Dominic was putting in an industrious display in midfield. When it did come, the first goal of the match was self-inflicted. Struggling to get some time on the ball up the pitch, and urged to go long, an Ealing goal kick barely reached half way before possession was lost, and some decisive passing allowed enough time for the MPW striker to finish with ease.

Just before half time, the MPW lead was doubled, this time a poor free kick being intercepted before the men in black failed to clear. One man down and two goals down, it did not make for an easy half time team talk, but manager Vale did his best to fire up the side for the second period. A change of goalkeeper, with Selyan taking the gloves, did little to stem the tide, and MPW found their third shortly after the restart, this time an excellent flowing move left Ealing chasing shadows. There was little they could do to keep that one out. James and Edward were putting up a fight at the back, as was debutant Nimr. He took on the goalkeeping role after Selyan but fared little better. He made two excellent saves but then confounded his superb effort with a poor pass from a goal kick, which allowed the men in red to stroll in for their fourth. He moved further forward in the latter stages in the hope of gaining a consolation, with Abu getting back to his original positon between the posts. Again Abu made some fine stops, but he could not stop keep out number 5.

The final five minutes was undoubtedly the best period for the men in black. Some tenacity, particularly shown by Sabaoon and Nimr, created an opening which saw a deflected shot creep just wide before some rash challenges by the MPW back line gave Ealing some threatening positions with free kicks in the final third. Alas, they could not take advantage of any of them, and Ealing’s hunt for their first goal of the new season continues.

Man of the match – Sabaoon. Despite bearing the brunt of a sound beating, Sabaoon never shirked his responsibilities in both defending stoutly and trying to get on the ball as much as possible. He showed flashes of brilliance too, which worried the MPW defence.

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