MGBSFL PREMIER DIVISION
NORSTAR LONDON RAIDERS A 6 FC TEAM A 0
Norstar London Raiders’ great run of form continued with an emphatic 6-0 victory over FC Team A at the Ark.
Phil Peters’ men once again raised their game and turned in the most clinical of performances in front of their home fans to keep their six point lead at the top of the Premier Division intact.
For 90 breath-taking minutes, Norstar refused to take their foot off the pedal, turning in some scintillating football and scoring six fantastic goals with goalkeeper Jake Doffman little more than a spectator throughout, leaving the young stopper to question whether leaving Nottingham at 7am had really been worth it.
The league leaders opened the scoring after 12 minutes and did not look back. Some neat work down the left saw Ethan Zone released by David Dinkin and he finished his dangerous run along the by-line with a well-struck finish from the tightest of angles.
A minute later, the lead was doubled as Jamie Wolfson picked up where he left off last week and scored a stunning left-foot volley from the edge of the area that the FC Team keeper Ed Bloom could do nothing about.
Wolfson could have had another moments later, but having done the hardwork in rounding Bloom, he saw his shot cannon off the post and away from danger.
Raiders continued to dominate throughout the half, with Adam Joselyn and the outstanding Jonny Kay pulling the strings in midfield giving Team little possession and chasing shadows. Team striker Richard Salmon was majorly winded after coming off worse in a late challenge on Doffman, but thankfully he was up and running soon after.
The half time break gave Peters the opportunity to remind his troops of the bitter disappointment of his last game against Team – which saw them 3-0 up at half time but ending the match losing 4-3.
Needless to say Mitch Young and Jonny Pearl were sending the same message to their players, but their game-plan was shattered 36 seconds after the break when Dinkin delivered the sucker punch as his strike was deflected into the bottom corner of the goal out of the reach of Bloom.
Team’s frustration begin to boil over with some late challenges causing injuries to Joselyn and Zone that saw them leave the field midway through the half with both due to undergo scans on their ankles on Monday.
If anything, this lifted Raiders who continued to push on and the introduction of Rob Blackman, Josh Green and returning skipper David Rhodes gave them an added lift.
It was Green who scored the fourth after the Team defender tried to play the ball back to his goalkeeper, but instead saw it head straight to the striker’s feet who marked his return from B team duty with a deserved first goal of the season.
But the best was yet to come for Raiders with Wolfson scoring the fifth and sixth in the dying minutes to claim the match ball and bring the curtain down on a magical individual and team performance.
With Peters rushing off to stonesetting and wedding duty, it was left to honorary life vice president and social secretary Rob Richman to provide his thoughts on the game: "Phil is actually my hero," he told the post-match press conference: "I should have resigned years ago.
"FC Team are a top side and one of the most effective in the division: 10 of the 11 that started were in the side that beat defending champions Faithfold a few weeks ago and kept a clean sheet in the process.
"We’ve been threatening to produce a result like that for a long time, but it’s just as pleasing to know that as well as the ability to score six we’ve also kept a fourth clean sheet in seven games."
When questioned on the pre-match mind games Richman was characteristically hard-hitting: "FC Team had claimed pre-match that two of their most important players, Richard Salmon and Ed Bloom were missing, but it was no surprise to see them line up in a strong looking FC Team side. In fact the team that Mitch named on Thursday contained only six players from the side that played.
"I'm not sure about all of Mitch’s pre-game mind games; to me they seemed to be as ineffectual as his own performance on the field."
FC Team manager Mitch Young told JC Sport: "I am bitterly dissapointed. We did not play well - our big players failed to turn up and we deserved to lose.
"Credit to Norstar they thoroughly deserved the victory and I was impressed with how clinical they were. I don't necessarily think we deserved to lose 0-6, but sometimes you have a day like we did today.
"I also think we didn't get our tactics right and as a management team we will learn from this. This will motivate us to look at all aspects of our game and improve for the next batch of games.
"We will not overreact but we will refocus and make sure we win our next game."