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Reigning champions pushed to limit by Ealing A2

12 Nov 2015

League match – 12 November 2015

Ealing Independent College 1-1 DLD College

Team: Azim, Malcolm, Jamie G (Daniel), Mohamed, Hamza, Hamze, Krystian, Evan

Goal scorer: Hamze

In a scintillating game at Westway last night, a superb performance by the Ealing A2 side almost broke DLD’s three year unbeaten record, and almost brought with it the best result in the College’s brief footballing history. DLD are a fine side with a strong sporting infrastructure – designated coaches and regular training – and for Ealing to have come so close to victory last night was an achievement in itself, which all of the team, and coach Allan Cairns, can be very proud of.

Tweaking the formation from last year, Cairns moved Mohamed from centre back to a sweeping position, almost a defensive free role, which seemed to give the whites an extra man when defending, increasing their solidity, and when moving the ball out. Ealing looked solid and composed from the start. Nonetheless, it was DLD who made the best early chances, Azim being forced into three saves, one of which, with his feet, was particularly good following a flowing DLD move. The Ealing side grew in confidence however as the game progressed, and made chances of their own. The constant pressure applied by Evan in the lone striker role brought a mistake from the nervy DLD defence, the ball broke to Krystian who supplied an excellent centre to find Hamze and on his competitive debut for the side, the skilful midfielder made no mistake, smashing the ball beneath the keeper from close range.

The whites showed a refreshing maturity in their approach after this, sitting in deep to deny their opponents any space, and hitting DLD on the break, looking for the always dangerous threat of Evan, who was playing like a more mobile Bobby Zamora. Defensively, the side were stifling DLD comfortably, a more reserved Hamza working tirelessly in midfield, and the new combination at the back of Malcolm and Jamie G, having come on for Daniel, barely putting a foot wrong. Whenever they needed him Azim was there to make a save, but as the first half closed, he was not overly stretched, other than by a gilt edged chance being missed by the DLD number 10, who slashed wide. A dedicated team-talk from the coach at half time ensured that standards didn’t drop, and the second half continued in much the same way.

DLD made half chances, but again Ealing seemed secure. Evan had half chances to double the lead, troubling the DLD defence regularly, and Hamze had a speculative volley which the goalkeeper parried, but it seemed as time progressed, that they would gladly accept a 1-0 victory. In the final 10 minutes, DLD built some sustained pressure and after a few more chances were passed up, Ealing failed to clear a shot which rebounded off the post and the DLD number 9 finished with aplomb, running off to celebrate with much jubilation. If any side was more likely to steal a victory, it was Ealing. A free kick was taken by Krystian, who put Mohamed in on goal at an angle. The keeper was concerned, but Mohamed’s shot was just over the bar. A point each then, and the A2 side have started brightly. They should be justly proud of their efforts.

Man of the Match: the whole side.

All of the side deserve credit for their performance, defending from the front and working incredibly hard for each other. Performances like this will be enough to trouble any side in the league.

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