Magical Vegas FC began 2017 how they left off 2016 with another clean sheet and another victory as they saw off a physical Pearson FC in the Ken Doherty Memorial Cup in freezing conditions.
With the temperature around 0 degrees and the pitch very icy the conditions for Vegas to play good football where against them. The first 15 minutes was spent with most passes skidding out of play or being mis-controlled by players on both sides. However, Vegas adapted quicker whilst Pearson held a line so high they left huge spaces for lone forward Patrick Moore Jones to run into if the pass was right.
This was made very apparent when Mikes Appiah played a channel ball over the Pearson left-back which Moore Jones latched on to and after setting himself with his chest, he lifted the ball over the onrushing goalie to make it 1-0.
Defending was made relatively easy for Vegas as Pearson played long-ball after long-ball up to their strikers who could not shake the attentions of centre-back pairing Tarik Allag and Hussein Hussein. They won every dual they had in the first half much like full-backs Nick Loblack and Shane McNamara who where also making useful forays forward causing concern for the Pearson defence. However, the game was being broken up repeatedly by a referee that blew-up on every foul and did not let the play flow at all. This suited Vegas more as Pearson quickly got frustrated and focused more on the ref than the game.
At half-time Vegas decided to drop an extra 5 yards to give centre midfield pairing Mark Maher and Aaron Pedro a bit more space to receive the ball and dictate the tempo as much of the play had bypassed them first half. It worked immediately as the second half began with Vegas setting up camp in the Pearson half without creating any clear opportunities. Both wingers, Kaleb King and Ricardo Beckford had not had too many opportunities to get at their full backs but when they swapped wings it allowed them to cut in onto their favoured foot.
This became apparent spectacularly when Maher's switch of play found Beckford out side the box on the right hand side, he took three touches to chest down, step inside the full back and clobber a stunning strike into the opposite top corner to the obvious delight of his team-mates. It was his 3rd goal in his 3rd game for the club after scoring both times he had come off the bench previously.
Despite the 2-0 scoreline Vegas couldn't relax as Pearson became more and more desperate to score, however they found (man of the match) Aaron Pedro often breaking down their attacks in midfield and releasing the ball simply to alleviate the pressure on the Vegas boys.
Goalscorer's Moore Jones and Beckford where replaced and Erol Resat, who had not been available for over a month, came on to put the game to bed with a low finish after a through ball from King.
Vegas saw the game out and progressed into the next round of a cup that on this form, they are surley going to challenge for.