JC MSFL DIVISION TWO
BRADY MACCABI B 6 ATHLETIC BILBAUM 2
Brady B started their Division Two campaign in style with a thrilling win over fellow third tier new boys, Athletic Bilbaum at Rowley Lane.
In the glorious sunshine, it was Brady who started the brightest, but the boys in red soon found themselves behind.
Debutant Sam Castle was unable to completely deal with a deep corner, and Bilbaum headed in to take an early lead.
In spite of this, Brady kept their composure, passing the ball around superbly, with Daniel Harrod and Michael Beaber key to Brady's fluency in the middle of the park.
Though they dominated possession, Brady seemed to lack a killer instinct for the first 25 minutes, and it took a couple of smart saves from Castle - showing why he was made JC Goalkeeper of the Season last year - to keep Bilbaum at bay.
Just before the half hour mark, Brady deservedly drew level. Reiss Mogilner's deep corner evaded the Bilbaum defence, and Daniel Hildebrand was on hand to power a looping header back across goal into the top corner.
Though Brady kept up the pressure, they were unable to breach the Bilbaum back line again, and the sides went in at half time all square.
It did not take long for Brady to take the lead in the second half, with that man Hildebrand adding his second. Hildebrand's through ball found Brady captain James Joseph at the by-line, and his cutback was superbly tucked away with his left foot by Hildebrand.
Having taken the lead, Brady knew the importance of the next goal, and to their credit, it was they who pushed for it the most. Minutes later, it arrived in style. Dagul had emphasised the importance of flowing passing football in the build up to the season, and his team clearly took note, putting together a move to please the footballing purists. Great work from debutant Harry Davis - who enjoyed a very encouraging debut, indicating that he has what it takes to succeed at this level - as he cut in from the right flank, finding Harrod in the middle. Harrod played a ball across to Mogilner, who beat his marker with consummate ease, and laid back a delightful ball to Joseph, who blasted in from 15 yards.
Brady were able to keep Bilbaum at arm's-length, neither threatening too much nor looking unduly bothered or pressured when in possession. Greater levels of possession soon paid dividends, with Hildebrand completing a fantastic weekend for the Hildebrand family by completing his hat-trick.
Joseph received the ball about 25 yards from goal, and after chesting it down, poking it over a defender's leg and beating another man, attempted to lob the onrushing keeper. The crossbar denied what would have been one of the goals of the season, but Hildebrand tucked the ball home, completing a perfect hat-trick and a near perfect day for his team.
Soon after, Brady added a fifth. Mogilner capped off an excellent performance with a superb individual goal.
Harrod found last season's MSFL Young Player of the Year on the left flank, and, seemingly boxed in, he beat three men, moving in to the penalty area with ease, before cutting back on to his left foot and hammering home.
Following this goal, Bilbaum upped their game, but in truth it was too little too late. Brady became sloppy, and failed to clear a corner; with a ricochet deemed to have come off of Sam Frohlich's hand, Bilbaum had a penalty. The penalty was blasted in the roof of the net, leaving Castle with no chance.
With minutes remaining, Bilbaum pushed forward in numbers in an attempt to put more respectability on the scoreline, but this proved fatal. Brady countered at pace, and Harrod played a through ball to the right wing, where substitute and debutant Dan Goldstone was able to sensationally chip the Bilbaum keeper from well outside the area, completing a fantastic opening day at the office for the Brady boys.
After the match, Josh Dagul waxed lyrical about his side's display, commenting that "whilst there is still work to do, I could not have asked for a better opening performance from my boys than I got today.
"We know how strong Bilbaum can be, having lost to them last year, and we looked composed and assured in possession, and a threat whenever we pushed forward.
"I have got to give credit to those who made their debuts today, with Sam Castle, Sam Frohlich, Harry Davis and Dan Goldstone fitting in to the team seamlessly. This gives us real hope for this season."