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Five-star Raiders destroy Redbridge

North London Raiders B consolidated second place with a comprehensive 5-2 win over Redbridge C.

    For most of the week, this match was at the mercy of the weather, but fortunately the rain held off and despite a boggy, heavy pitch, the game went ahead.

    Neither side got into much of a rhythm earlier on as they tried to get used to the pitch, but Raiders were the more threatening team and shortly after the half hour they took the lead. A long ball was cleverly flicked on by David Dinkin, using the outside of his boot, and Jake Gilbert finished emphatically - cutting inside and bending an effort away from the keeper, not dissimilar to Marcus Rashford against Liverpool a day earlier.

    One became two a few minutes later. Matt Leader's deep corner was brought down by Gilbert who lashed a shot high into the roof from just inside the area.

    Raiders had further chances to extend the lead before the break, with Gilbert notably failing to secure a 10-minute hat-trick as he shot wide when through on goal.

    There was obvious intent from Raiders at the start of the second half and they didn't have to wait long to open up a bigger lead. Elliot Espinoza was left unmarked to head home Leader's free kick and a few minutes later Ben Cherkas, making his first appearance of the season, fired in from close range after Dinkin's shot was blocked.

    That was Dinkin's last involvement in the game, he was forced off injured just before the hour and with no substitutes available Raiders had to see out the remainder of the game with just 10 men.

    Redbridge were soon on the board, some slopping passing by Raiders at the back presented a half-opportunity to Redbridge's forward and he expertly clipped the ball over Ben Law in goal.

    Raiders had plenty of chances to go further ahead despite the numerical advantage and with 15 minutes remaining Josh Green was set free with a hint of offside, he rounded the keeper and grabbed a deserved goal.

    Raiders should have added additional goals but the last word went to Redbridge in injury time as a corner kick was drilled across the six yard box and bundled in.

    Lee Cutler and Darryl Green scored for Redbridge.

    Jubilant NLR joint-manager Doron Salomon told JC Sport: "We conceded two poor goals and missed so many chances to make this a big statement victory but I can hardly complain when we've scored five goals away from home, it was an outstanding performance. 

    "We were struggling to put a team out until as recently as 24 hours ago and ended up playing a third of the game with 10 men, including a couple carrying injuries. It really was a brilliant effort, I could nominate everyone for team of the week!

    "After Faithfold secured the title last week it would have been easy for us to take our foot off but we want to finish as high as we can and will take the same approach next week in our final league game."

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