23/11/2000 Kanto 7 - Mingalaba 0
A strong Kanto line-up returned to 11-a-side action for the 'Labour Day' midweek match against the old foe from Mingalaba. This was the fourth meeting between the two teams, and Kanto were yet to taste victory, so a win was badly overdue. It came in good style, as Kanto kept their unbeaten record at Kita-Moto Sogo Undo-koen, and left the mixed Japanese and Burmese opponents with a miserable journey back to Tokyo.
With the luxury of substitutes available, the Kanto team rolled into action in the evening chill when halfway through the first quarter Brian Malone arrived unseen at the far post to knock home an Alan Hill cross. From that moment the result was barely in doubt, as Kanto took control of the midfield and the Mingalaba breaks were limited to running into the strong English defence. Hamish Daya stopped a Mingalaba attack on the left wing soon after the opening goal, and after some nice interchanged passing, Neil Willis rifled home number two. There was still time for number three before the first break, as Malone knocked on a long clearance from defence and James Knight lobbed the outcoming goalkeeper, in another display of total domination. Mingalaba had two chances as Kanto loan player Richard Tuley scraped the post after a rare breach of the solid yellow defence of Ali Scrimgeour, debutants Peter Branscombe and Tim Nicoll and the recent father Matt Watson, and then a 20 yard free kick went the wrong side of the post. They were also unfortunate not to get awarded a penalty for a handball offense.
The second period saw Kanto run riot, although only adding two more goals, Dave Leverick and Alex Yardley were solid in the middle of the park, and Mingalaba only entered the Kanto half on a couple of occasions before a low Malone cross was turned in by the lively Paul Noel, and moments later following a mis-cleared corner from the left, Brian Malone blasted in a shot from the edge of the area to make the score 5-0.
The third period was notable for its lack of action, both sides let themselves down in the final third of the field, and despite a tame Mingalaba effort rebounding off the inside of the Kanto post and dropping kindly into Kanto goalkeeper Mike Coleman's hands, neither side came close as the game was battled out in midfield.
The final period was continuing in the same vein as the players began to feel the damp and the cold, until a tempting cross from Hill went untouched and Yardley took a couple of touches before burying a sweet shot to increase the lead. The Kanto defence which had seen little action for the best part of an hour began to lose concentration, and Mingalaba looked marginally more threatening, but due to some woeful finishing, were unable to add to the scoresheet. Fortunately Kanto managed to turn one goalkick into a flowing move down the right flank, and when the ball arrived at the tricky Knight just inside the box, he beat a couple of players and finished in style to wrap up the game.
A good all-round performance was complete, with all concerned playing their part. Especially Peter Branscombe, who was completely solid at the back after his defection from Kanto's big in-company rivals, Higashi-Kanto.
Team: Coleman, A.Hill, Scrimgeour, Daya, Branscombe, Noel, Nicoll, Knight, Malone, Watson, Yardley, Willis, Leverick, Tuley.
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Revised: November 27, 2000 .