Home league match played on 17 September 2016.
Kicked off at 10:00 AM

Launton Athletic got the season started with an emphatic 5-0 victory against a team they had not previously beaten.The change from seven a side to nine a side football along with the introduction to off sides didn’t present any problems.

In miserable conditions, the game got underway and Athletic started the strongest.Disciplined without the ball and confident with it, the Athletic side showed signs of dominance as they passed the ball crisply without creating an clear cut chances in the opening passage of play.The deadlock was broken after ten minutes.The ball was played from back and found Gough on the left wing. A quick pass to Babington then saw Gough and Babington play an intricate one-two which released Babington one on one with the keeper and in typical cool fashion, the ball was rolled in past the advancing keeper.Cue the dab celebration to round off a terrific move and goal.

The match remained balanced, but the work rate of the Athletic players in pressing and positioning meant that the opposition were stifled and couldn’t create a clear cut chance.After 20 minutes Davies was released down the right wing.He thundered to the touchline and whipped in a fierce cross which was instinctively met by Barrett on the volley.The net bulged and Athletic were two up, a true strikers finish and brilliant team goal.

The opposition continued to be frustrated, the defence were resolute, and cutting out all chances that came through.Burrows was having a superb performance, which clearly annoyed his opposition, resulting in an off the ball kick at him, but he remained calm and continued to dominate the attacker in one on one encounters.

Two corners in quick succession saw Chaston command his area for the first, punching ball away, before the second saw a free header sent narrowly over the bar.

The second half followed the same pattern as the first.Athletic again the better side, and the defence worked as a unit, with McLeese and Mortimer showing their experience and not offering the slightest chance.

The introduction of Launchbury and Lazarus was made after 40 minutes to provide fresh legs.Shortly after Barrett plucked a long ball out of the air and advanced on the box but a blocked shot saw a corner awarded.Babington struck a wonderful ball in to a dangerous area and Gough rose above everyone to meet it with a Shearer-esque header that rocketed into the net.Not content with just the finish, he peeled away in delight, with one arm aloft.The signature goal of Shearer, had its signature celebration.

The opposition weren’t able to contain a buoyant Athletic and the fourth was added when Gough found Lazarus who rocketed a shot home from just inside the box.A superb finish which nearly put a hole in a net.The keeper had no chance.

The dominance and confidence continued.Another corner saw Mortimer rise to meet it, but the attempt agonisingly missed.With time nearly up, there was just enough remaining for an individual cameo for Lucas-Howells.A solid performance was capped with a goal, as a mazy run past two defenders opened up space for a shot which was dispatched into the left corner.A fitting end to a game, and as the Athletic team ran to celebrate with Lucas-Howells, the final whistle sounded.

Five goals without response.Some superb football and discipline from front to back and a victory against a team against whom we’d never won.

Roll on next Saturday.


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