25 games unbeaten
By Mark Chorlton
Four goals for Riley
We have played Larkspur red once well over a year ago and lost 4-5 on the plastic. There manager told me they, like us were unbeaten this Phase.
Goals - 4 Riley, Scott, Emilis, Chris, Brihad
Within seconds of kick off Riley closed down a defender, picked off a loose pass, played a one-two with Brihad and rolled it in the bottom left corner, 1-0. Brihad was then clearly tripped in the area, penalty awarded, Chris stepped up and hit the crossbar. Larkspur then stirred into life and played a defence splitting pass, once the striker was behind our defense, he shot through Filip's legs, 1-1. The tide had turned and Larkspur pressed five forward and our three man midfield decide to watch instead of track back. Filip parried the initial shot but, when it was squared across the box they had an unmarked player ready to tap in. We then conceded a free kick on the left, this was expertly dispatched and either went in off the post or post then Scott, 1-3. In the second quarter Riley tackled well around the halfway line, squared wide to Alfie, who then passed to Emilis down the line, Emilis played a cross to an unmarked Scott at the back post. He took a touch to control, but his first shot came straight back to him, he made no mistake second time, 2-3. Riley then dribbled well, set up Emilis who was deadly, Half time - 3-3.
Second half we meant business and Alfie immediately put Riley clean through, he finished in the bottom right, 4-3. Chris showed some fancy footwork to get round the left back, crossed but, Brihad couldn't finish. Seconds later, Chris then found himself five yards out with the keeper and two defenders on the line, he faked to shoot, bought a yard a rolled it in, 5-3. Brihad then controlled, turned and shot from the edge of the area, into the bottom corner, 6-3. In the fourth quarter, Riley picked the ball up just inside the Larkspur half, jinked past a couple of defenders and finished confidently to complete his hatrick, 7-3. We then got caught out with a ball over the top and a calm finish, 7-4. Riley won the ball by closing down after a retreat, and slotted his fourth, 8-4. The last kick of the game was a long shot which seemed to catch Filip out, Full Time 8-5. As we gradually dominated the second half, it was good to see Larkspur still tried to pass it out from the back.
Brihad was my man of the match for a very mature performance, perfect blend of dribbling and passing, bite in the tackle, an assist and a goal.