On a very windy day in North London last Thursday, Magical Vegas simply blew away their opponents, Murcielagos FC, in a thunderous first half that saw them rack up a 5-1 lead at half-time.
The scoring began after just 5 minutes when Giuliano 'The Jewel' Cinotti's long pass was misjudged by a defender and released Tre Thompson one-on-one with the keeper. He calmly fired high into the net to breath confidence into the side. That confidence was on show for the next goal of the game that pleased their manager more than any other.
The team stroked the ball from side to side, keeping the ball out of the wind and moving their opponents at arms length until they decided to move the ball from the left hand side to the right. Aaron Pedro found Abiola Baloqun 20 yards out who fired, first time, high into the net - a true 'Team Goal' if I ever saw one.
3-0 came from the unlikely source of defender, and man of the match, Sam Bader. The team had just won a free-kick on the right hand touchline 40 yards out from goal and almost played the ball short, but their manager asked that they deliver it into the box and Perry Price floated a perfect ball to the back post that Bader met with a flying header back across goal.
Vegas needed to remain on their feet when defending and the one time they didn't they were punished. A through ball was attempted to be cut out before it got to the striker but he rolled the lunge and passed the ball calmly past new GK, Jack Keogh for 3-1.
With 5 minutes before half time most teams may have stepped off the gas and seen the half out, but not Vegas. The irrepressible Vegas captain, Jacob Bond who had been pulling the strings the whole game, slid in Price, there was only ever going to be one result. He found the bottom corner and it made it 4-1. A carbon copy goal 3 minutes later, this time made by Thompson, made it 5-1.
As the light faded and night fell the nature of the game changed. The second half began and Vegas were now playing into the wind. Murcielagos began raining balls into the box from throw ins, free kicks and balls from the back. When a long-range free-kick was well saved by Keogh the rebound fell kindly for an attacker who headed in to give hope on 55minutes 5-2.
The game continued in a bitty, broken fashion with both teams failing to put any decent football together. Legs got tired and a free-kick was awarded in the right channel, the resulting shot deflected off a man in the wall and crept in the near post to make it more uncomfortable than it needed to be.
Players began putting their body in the line, none more than Bader who won every 50-50 he went in for. Mentions can't be made without Callum Hosier; who had been involved almost all of the good football in the first half began nutmegging people nonchalantly as the pitch got bigger and spaces developed between the lines.
Overall the first half was very satisfying but Vegas will need to do better in the second half of games this season if they are to challenge for the title.