'Massive' First Half Performance From Chiswick Albion
West Middlesex Sunday Football League Ace Awards Open Cup Round One Draytonians 1 Chiswick Albion 3
Chiswick Albion won this tie with a massive first half performance filled with skill and desire. The game was played on a 3G pitch which suited the talented Albion to a tee. Without the usual poor surface, the Albion’s touch and technique was too much for the reigning Premier Division champions Draytonians.
The late withdrawals of Blaise O’Brien, Eric Kwakye and Nicky Wozniak forced a team reshuffle. Two of the players who came in, Eugene Nouril and Paul Edghill were not fully recovered from injuries that had kept them out of late, but both did well to set up this win. First Nouril set up Liam O’Neill, who was making his full debut in the Albion colours. Unfortunately O’Neill shot over with the goal at his mercy.
Edghill was running the midfield spraying balls around straight to feet or in areas difficult to defend. The first goal soon came as Albion on the fast surface pulled Drays all over the place. An Adam White corner found Anthony Clarke free in the box and he gleefully headed home without a challenge. Drays themselves are a dangerous outfit going forward and have scored freely this season. This kept the Soskic brothers, Vojin and Ognjen, the new centre back pairing, on their toes.
The Dray's right back also pushed forward and swung in some decent crosses, but they failed to find there intended targets. As good as Drays forwards are their defence was continually turned by a rampant Adam White and Liam O’Neill. A couple of speculative efforts by Adam White and Eugene Nouril kept Drays on the back foot.
The second Albion goal came straight after Richard Ireson pulled off a great save from close in. Albion in an instant transferred the ball to the other end of the pitch via Nouril and Adam White’s pace killed off Drays pursuing defenders. White toe-poked the ball past the Drays keeper for 2-0. More quality defending from Ognjen Soskic and Liam White frustrated Drays forwards as tackles came in and no quarter given. Adam White scored a third as he sprinted clear again, and Drays were looking a beaten side.
The second half was a lot more difficult for the Albion but a three goal cushion was not to be given up easily. Ben White’s heading ability came to the fore as crosses reigned in keeping Drays out. Albion’s new number one Richard Ireson, the first proper keeper Albion have fielded since the Legend himself Harvey Stillman retired, was on fine form and tipped over one powerful drive. Albion were tiring as the recurring injuries were taking there toll. Drays are a never say die outfit and pulled a goal back on 60 minutes following a long punt from their keeper.
The Albion though, were not to be denied and held on for a first class victory over Draytonians.
Man of the Match: Liam O’Neill
Champagne Moment of the Match: The attitude and commitment of the whole team over 90 minutes
Referee Richard Dean (Northolt)
Match Report: Mark White