Magical Vegas FC started the new season with a 3-3 draw with last season’s runners up White City Wanderers in an exciting game in the Camden Midweek Football Premiership last night.
With 6 debutants starting the game and manager Patrick Moore Jones placed in goal at the last minute the Vegas boys of last season would have struggled against the efficient and determined Wanderer’s. Aerial attack has always been their most dangerous threat and it came to the fore 20mins in when a free kick was awarded on the edge of the box on the left hand side. A whipped cross was glanced in from a free man 5 yards out to put the Wanderer’s 1-0 up.
To make matters worse, Shane McNamara went off injured with a damaged jaw after a hefty collision that meant he could not continue. On came a 7th debutant, Callum Hosier, and his impact on the game was felt immediately. Captain Jacob Bond and he combined neatly before Hosier slid a pass into the feet of Abiola Baloqun who kept his composure a finished through the legs of the onrushing goalie to make it 1-1.
Vegas went up a gear and moments later Hosier received the ball on the right hand side of the box but tightly marketed by his opposing defender. A swift and deadly drag back opened up the ball onto his right foot that he dispatched into the far bottom corner with lethal accuracy.
White City came back into it after the initial shock of going 1-2 down and they mounted some sustained pressure that resulted in a yellow card for Deondre Dewar for a big tackle on the right hand side of the area. The free-kick almost caught Moore Jones off guard but he scrambled to his left to palm away the free-kick.
Goal of the season followed shortly after…goalie to Bond, Bond to (the impressive) Sam Bader, and Bader to Dewar. What happened next sent the crowd into wild celebrations. With 3 players surrounding Dewar, a 3-point drag back sent them all for breakfast while he ran clear over the half-way line, with no-one closing down and options to his left and right Dewar may have thought about releasing a team-mate but he decided to shoot…from no less than 35 yards…a swerve to the left and right later and it nestled with a ripple into the very top right hand corner of the net. Un Be Leave-it-out!
Half-time came and the boys were understandably delighted to come in leading but spoke about it meaning nothing if they went on to not win the tie.
They knew Wanderers’ would come out blazing and they would have to manage the first 15mins of the second half very carefully if they wanted to maintain their lead. 15mins came and went without much incident but Vegas lost their rhythm slightly and a big chance came for White City when a cross was headed down from near the penalty spot. Moore Jones palmed out the effort but a following in Wanderers’ attacked tapped in the rebound and gave them hope. They were level within 10minutes. Yet another cross, yet another knock down, yet another 2nd ball lost, 3-3.
At this point Vegas could have folded. But they responded brilliantly, they continued to pass their way out of trouble with Bond pulling strings and the solid partnership of Giuliano Cinotti and Chad King building up play from the back.
Vegas opened up White City multiple times in the last 15 minutes and could easily have scored 2 or 3 but it wasn’t to be. Although it looked like a late winner was to separate the sides when Baloqun ran clear in the dying seconds, his one-on-one with the goalie was partially saved but was cleared off the line by a desperate Wanderers’ defender seconds before the ref blew his final whistle.
Some big positives to take from the game but Vegas must feel a little disappointed not to have taken 3-points from a game they dominated for large periods of time.