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Deadly Dinkin put Raiders in 7-heaven

David Dinkin was the hat-trick hero as Raiders B bolstered their promotion challenge with a handsome 7-0 win over freefalling Scrabble.

    NLR's sixth win of the season was completed by efforts from Dave Esterkin, Jake Gilbert, Anthony Goodmaker and substitute Simon Buchler.

    This was a truly one-sided affair that easily could have seen a winning margin into double figures had Raiders not become so casual in front of goal.

    Both sides started tentatively, getting a grip of the opposition but it was Raiders who settled into a pattern of possession and within the opening 15 minutes they'd begun to work a few openings in behind the Scrabble full-backs with David Dinkin and Jake Gilbert getting shots on goal.

    When the opening goal came, the only surprise was that it took until the 20th minute for it to come. Dinkin, strode forward with the ball and after a slick interchange with Elliot Espinoza, he bore down on goal and coolly found the corner of the net.

    If the first goal was aesthetically pleasing, the second was somewhat less so. Raiders worked the ball well and set Dinkin in behind the Scrabble right-back. He approached the penalty area on the angle and his shot was spilled into the net by the Scrabble goalkeeper.

    Scrabble had a brief rally five minutes before half time with a couple of corners and Ben Law called into action to make his only save of the game.

    The contest was as good as over minutes into the second half. Raiders pressed Scrabble's defenders and David Esterkin was able to force an error that saw the ball run across the face of goal for Raiders' captain, Goodmaker to tap in.

    There were just 15 minutes between goals four to seven. A pinpoint pass from Rob Blackman played Esterkin in on goal and from 30 yards out he deftly lofted an effort over the stranded Scrabble keeper.

    The fifth was arguably the pick of the bunch. It was a wonderful team move with numerous players involved in some swift passing that culminated in Espinoza playing a one-two with Dinkin around a couple of Scrabble defenders before laying it off for Simon Buchler to emphatically fire in low to the corner from the edge of the area.

    Gilbert made sure he got on the scoresheet again with a scrambled finish from close range after more good work from Esterkin. And Dinkin completed his hat-trick with a curled effort from distance.

    The scoring was complete with 20 minutes to go although numerous more chances fell to Raiders players and with better and maybe less casual finishing and decision making the winning margin would have comfortably been in double figures.

    NLR joint-manager Doron Salomon told JC Sport: "For the second week running, I'm really proud of the performance the players delivered.

    "There was added pressure this week: to pick up from where we'd left off but also to set the record straight after our previous game against Scrabble.

    "The winning margin was a reflection of the complete dominance and grip we had on the game and in truth, if we'd been a bit more ruthless it could have been more.

    "Once again it would be wrong to overlook the clean sheet; we defended from the front as a team and to restrict Scrabble to just one effort on target in the game emphasises how hard everyone worked.

    "As a former Scrabble man, I hope they can turn things around and avoid regulation."

    Reflecting on his team's fourth consecutive defeat, Scrabble boss Ray Abrahams told JC Sport: "I think it must be the first time I've ever come away from a game after a heavy defeat saying that in terms of possession and run of play the teams were evenly matched.

    "We were well in this game for over an hour having gone in at half time disappointed to be behind having gifted Raiders their second goal and in the early stages of the second half we had chances to draw level.

    "However to then give Raiders three or four more goals on a plate through some crazy errors at the back we find ourselves six or seven down.They must have thought it was birthday time!

    "The last few weeks have been all about some key players we have had missing and again today we had to dig deep to put out a side. Once more we included one of our masters players Steven Moss who did great for us up front.

    "I'm delighted, though, with the attitude and commitment that all the boys showed who played today in difficult circumstances, including our stand-in keeper who played with a knee injury and couldn't kick the ball! They were all playing for the pride of this club."

    The fixture list doesn't appear any easier for Scrabble in the coming weeks, with a trip to promotion-chasing Oakwood followed by a relegation six-pointer against Los Blancos.

    Abrahams added: "We find ourselves now in a relegation dog-fight and with most of our remaining games against teams around us, it is vital that we get some players back quickly now and start picking up some points."

    RAIDERS: Ben Law, Rob Blackman, Matt Leader, Brandon Sassoon, Lewis Blitz, Anthony Goodmaker, Ricky Lawrence, Elliott Espinoza, Dave Esterkin, David Dinkin, Jake Gilbert. Sub: Simon Buchler

    SCORERS: Dinkin 3, Esterkin, Gilbert, Goodmaker, Buchler


    SCRABBLE: Benjamin Bowers, Craig Cole, Sam Ebner-Landy, Josh Flax, Dan Green, Ben Krieger, Jamie Lewis, Steven Moss, Josh Pugh, Oliver Richardson, Zac Summerfield. Sub: Eli Gottlieb


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