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Clinical Blancos punish Raiders

Los Blancos stormed into the top five after denting Raiders B's title hopes with a thrilling 3-2 victory - one of the surprise results of the day.

    Raiders started the game with positive momentum, but it was Blancos who forged ahead after 15 minutes when both NLR centre-backs challenged for the same ball, following a big clearance from LB keeper Gideon Rabstein, and only managed to flick it into the path of Blancos forward Jamie Kutner who carried the ball forward and nonchelantly lobbed home from 30-yard.

    For long spells it was a scrappy game with Raiders unable to get much control and having to repel Los Blancos attacks. For all their pressure, Law was forced into only a couple of saves, including one excellent stop from a one-on-one, staying big to smother a goal-bound effort.

    Raiders were again their worst enemies, gifting a second goal to Los Blancos right before half-time. In almost a carbon copy of the first goal, Gav Krieger, Oli Sade latched on to the bouncing ball deliciously dinked his shot over Law.

    Raiders started the second half with a point to prove and were soon back in the game. Jake Gilbert couldn't turn in from a set-play but the ball fell kindly to Dinkin to smash home from close range.

    Raiders had momentum but for all their territory and possession were only really a threat from set pieces. 

    Los Blancos once again opened up a two-goal advantage. For the third time in the game Raiders gifted a goal - Sade channelled his inner Diego Maradona (vs England) and produced the moment of the match, picking up the ball on the half-way line dribbled around four players before slotting home coolly with his left foot.

    It was a set piece that helped Raiders reduce the deficit, Anthony Goodmaker with an excellent header from Mark Leader's free-kick.

    No matter what Raiders threw forward, Los Blancos repelled it well. There was nearly some late drama as Ben Law, up for a corner, headed just wide in the last seconds but it was not enough.

    He told JC Sport: "The lads battled well today, we didn’t concede any chances from open play against a team apparently contesting for league.

    "Credit to Raiders who tried to make it difficult with some tough challenges but we dug deep found fifth gear and comfortably won this tie.

    "Huge mention to Oli Sade for his performance today and we wish Jake Doffman a speedy recovery from his injury against Oakwood last week. Jake always chases one ball too many tirelessly working for the Blancos cause and we hope to see him back soon as we are in the hat for MGBSFL Invitational Cup."

    Disappointed Raiders joint-manager Doron Salmon told JC Sport: "We were our own worst enemies today. We gifted Los Blancos all three of their goals and put unnecessary pressure on ourselves.

    "It would be remiss not to acknowledge that the goals still had to be finished and they were very well taken.

    "There are only so many times we can rely on a second-half performance to fix our first half errors and today no matter what we tried we couldn't make anything click.

    "It was a bad result and a bad performance. After a good run it halts our momentum but we'll be ready for a huge game next weekend against Faithfold."

    BLANCOS: Gideon Rabstein, Josh Aziz, Joel Barnett, Joe Davis, Gabriel Krieger, Jamie Kutner, Alex Lewis, Joshua Michael Laurier, Alon Pinhas, Oliver Sade. Subs: Alex Deal, Joe Zender, Yoel Deal

    SCORERS: Kutner, Sade 2

    RAIDERS: Ben Law, Rob Blackman, Danny Bloom, Simon Buchler, ​​​​​​ Anthony Goodmaker, Elad Hertshten, Elliott Espinoza, Dave Esterkin, Ricky Lawrence, Jake Gilbert, David Dinkin

    SCORERS: Dinkin, Goodmaker

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