PASALB 5-2 Middlesbrough III
A first-half hat-trick from Tom ‘Wilkins’ Watkins fired PASALB FC to a 5-2 win over the third of two Middlesbrough teams in the division, to maintain our satisfactory start to the season.
We found ourselves a goal down after barely two minutes. A goal kick from Langworth held up in the strong wind, and deflected off Brown into the path of the Boro centre forward, who ran through to make it 1-0.
A similarly farcical equaliser was not long in coming. The Boro keeper sliced a backpass into the middle of a goalmouth so muddy, one half expected to see an alligator come rising out of it at any second. Tom Watkins is the only ruthless predator operating in the Chiswick area, however, and he was on hand to fire home the loose ball.
With the score already at 1-1 your correspondent, playing on the right wing, had yet to touch the ball.
Despite Boro having the wind behind them, their forwards were handled comfortably by the back four of Lancaster, Brown, Ranki and Mumford and PASALB enjoyed the better of the chances for the remainder of the first half. Willacy’s free kick was tipped round the post by a flying save and Hildyard’s shot was deflected narrowly over. We took the lead when a long throw from Cassidy was headed against the post by Noble, with the rebound presenting Watkins with a chance every bit as appetising as the mouth-watering offerings of our new kit co-sponsor Fish, Wings and Ting. Like the many satisfied customers enjoying their authentic Caribbean home-cooking in Brixton Village, every night from Tuesday to Sunday, he devoured the opportunity with gusto before completing his hat trick moments later, again firing home the rebound after a shot from Prout had drawn a good save.
Boro clawed their way back into it with a goal from their tricky winger on the stroke of half time.
In monsoon-like conditions an early second half goal would have opened the floodgates, but it somehow failed to arrive. The Boro keeper produced further acrobatics to defy Willacy and scrambled across the goal to somehow keep out an effort from Watkins. A thundering free kick from Cassidy curled narrowly over. With the deficit at just one goal, Boro kept going and Langworth made a fine save from a near post header. Noble’s crunching tackles and feedback for the referee were a feature of the afternoon and eventually he went in the book.
It was the introduction of Disco that finally decided the game, spinning his marker like he was on the spring-loaded floor of the Empress Ballroom rather than the muddy sod of the Riverside Lands, and sent Watkins running in on goal with a sumptuous through-ball. The keeper’s agricultural challenge left the referee with the easiest decision since the last time someone was looking for pipeline services in the Brixham area of South Devon, where our other kit co-sponsor, RHP Pipelines Services Ltd, probably can’t be beaten on quality or price. Willacy lashed home his second penalty in as many games.
A fifth PASALB goal, emanating from the unlikely source of Langworth, added a flattering gloss late on, with his ranging clearance beating his opposite number via a misguided headed passback from the Boro centre back.
Team: Langworth, Lancaster, Brown, Ranki, Mumford (Disco), Hildyard, Noble, Prout, Cassidy, Willacy, Watkins
Goals: Watkins (3), Willacy, Own Goal
Assists: Noble, Prout, Watkins, Langworth