Shulton drives Maccabi GB towards Futsal semis
Maccabi GB Futsal returned to winning ways with a crushing 9-1 demolition in Carlisle, with the returning Scott Shulton leading the way with a four-goal salvo.
After the disappointment of last week’s result against Oxford, it was important MGBF got back on track after their first defeat of the season; the sides' first meeting a month ago proved to be a close encounter at Sport House, with MGB progressing with a 4-1 win.
This time Maccabi GB flew to the north of England in the reverse fixture. Player-manager Jon Kurrant was eager to call back top-scorer Shulton into the fold, having scored 40 goals in all competitions. The skipper was a player that was sorely missed in last week’s thrashing.
With a big crowd, an announcer, great atmosphere and a very impressive court, MGB were treated to an impressive arena at the Sands Centre. They wasted little time in using the wide court to their advantage - moving the ball with pace, Shulton and Kurrant were peppering the Carlisle goal at will. The same pair combined nicely in a one-two exchange for the latter to test the keeper in the opening minutes.
The deadlock was broken early though. Shulton’s customary, aggressive drive and thunderbolt strike gave Maccabi GB the lead. Shulton made it 0-2 straight after, faking a shot from distance before drag the ball onto his weaker left foot and smashing it into the roof of the net. Maccabi GB were threatening to run riot.
Bernstein and Kyte were getting in on the action with great movement and interchanges allowing them opportunities to carve out chances. However, a combination of wasteful finishing and great work from the opposition keeper kept the scoreline modest.
Shulton had a chance to grab a first half hat-trick from a free-kick, but fluffed the opportunity, before Alex Olcot added a third, finishing neatly after a pass was squared to him.
It had been all Maccabi GB in the first half, but Carlisle came out with a more aggressive, pressing game which finally got them a foothold in the second period. Unfortunately for them this new-found confidence was suppressed when Shulton completed his hat-trick and Kurrant then made it 0-5 when he read a back-pass and toed the ball past the keeper.
The home side were beginning to pose threats and Maccabi GB was becoming lax defensively when losing possession. This told and Carlisle grabbed a consolation goal when a shot from distance was poorly shut-down and Jordan Davidson could not prevent the ball nestling in the net to make it 1-5.
Bernstein got Maccabi GB Futsal’s sixth when he created a yard of space down the left flank, thanks to his electric pace, and let fly with his trusty left-foot to drive the ball into the far corner.
The next goal was arguably the goal of the game. Bernstein, Olcot, Kurrant and Kyte all passed the ball with speed meaning their opposition could not deal with the movement of the four on court. A driven pass through the middle found Kurrant with his back to goal four metres out; a deft Cruyff flick rooted the goalkeeper before the player-manager rolled the ball into the bottom right hand corner. Maccabi GB were in seventh heaven.
Kyte got the away side’s eighth when Shulton teed up the MGB giant from 6m and he coolly slotted the ball through the keeper’s legs. Fittingly, Shulton rounded off proceedings when he scooped the keeper in a one-on-one to highlight Maccabi GB Futsal’s dominant away display to wrap up the 9-1 win.
Kyte was named man-of-the-match for his superlative display as a pivot, his pace of passing and movement that allowed other players to rise to his level.
In the other fixture, Oxford Futsal drew with Kaunas Futsal 6-6 which means Maccabi GB have to win one of their last two games to qualify for the National semi-finals.
MGBF's next match comes this Sunday when they face Kaunas at Sport House - 4pm KO.
1. Jordan Davidson
3. Alex Olcot
8. Scott Shulton (capt)
12. Jon Kurrant
14. Max Kyte
6. Alex Norman
9. Gideon Barnett
11. Jamie Bernstein
Goalscorers for MGB