Elite followed their 20-3 annihilation of Tom McPhalin FC with another impressive goal tally in a 17- 6 win over Coach House FC on a rain-soaked Tuesday evening to end the current season on a high. The rain came down heavily in the first half, creating a slick pitch and some ‘muddy’ football, but Elite came straight out of the traps with Dan Abbott hitting the post in the first minute before in-form Josh Nicholls saw his looped effort bounce beautifully over the Coach House keeper.
A few minutes and a change of ball later and Nicholls doubled his tally, with an assist from Dave Madeley. Madeley was working hard and had been making the most of the zippy playing surface, testing the keeper in the early stages and was rewarded with his first, and Elite’s third, of the game on six minutes.
Nicholls almost completed his hat-trick shortly after but saw his effort bounce out of play to give Coach House a temporary reprieve. Both teams were struggling with controlling the ball on such a wet surface, and mistakes were being made on both sides.
Thankfully it was Elite who benefited most and Abbott could hardly believe his luck when shot slipped right past Coach House’s flailing keeper on seven minutes. Paul Brunton has been growing in confidence over the last couple of games and when Abbott knocked the ball down to him in front of goal, Brunton didn’t hesitate to tap it in for Elite’s 5th. Coach House pulled one back through a scrappy own goal from Alex Gilfoyle and Elite keeper Chris Podolchuck.
Both keepers got a firmer grasp on the game and made good saves, but Elite would not be stopped and a good link up between Gilfoyle and Madeley resulted in a 6th Elite goal in just 12 minutes. Unfortunately Elite began to get a little bit sloppy, and this, coupled with the unfavourable weather conditions allowed Coach House back into the game with 3 goals in as many minutes – the first of which was a combination of errors from Abbott and Podolchuk.
Abbott had the ball in the net again a few minutes later but was (wrongly, in his opinion) judged to be offside and the goal was disallowed.
Coach House scored a third, but in the 17th minute, but Gilfoyle added to Elite’s tally just a few seconds later.
Abbott was clearly a man on a mission and some superb ball control produced goal number eight for Elite, before Nicholls completed his hat-trick on minutes.
Half Time: Elite FC 9 Coach House FC 5
There was some slight controversy as the second half kicked off, due the ref blowing the the whistle but signalling the wrong way and therefore deciding to disallow Brunton’s goal.
But a rousing pep talk from Abbott, from the sidelines, inspired his team mates and, after a couple of false starts, Gilfoyle buried the ball in the bottom left corner.
A loss of concentration at the back gave Coach House their 6th but Elite were rampant with Gilfoyle and Abbott linking up particularly well, with both scoring within a couple of minutes.
Not to be outdone, Madeley’s nippy little footwork earned him his hat-trick before Gilfoyle watched his shot rebound in off the post. Elite looked unstoppable and, as if to cement, the win, Brunton scored a lovely low-angled sizzler to compound Coach House’s misery. An utter fluke handed Abbott his fourth and when Gilfoyle attempted a shot but hit it straight at the keeper, the Coach House keeper inexplicably back-heeled the ball straight into his own net.
As the last few minutes ticked away, Abbott continued to try to up his personally tally but managed only to hit the post, twice, in the dying seconds.
Still, it was a comprehensive victory and a sterling performance across the board from Elite.
Man of the Match: Dan Abbott – Not a ‘stupendous’ performance but Abbott’s four goals and leadership both on the pitch and from the stands gave him a slight edge in what was a good team display overall in difficult conditions. Elite finish second on 22 points closely behind champions Phang on 24 and are automatically promoted to League 1 – well done Elite!