Elite had a new man between the sticks and were missing the physical presence of Dan Abbott but the return of Dale Hart and Alex Gilfoyle hitting form meant that their winning streak continued with a 12-9 victory over Slumdog Mignolet.
Both sides got off to a slow start and were finding it difficult to carve out any opportunities. Dave Madeley shot wide on two minutes and hit the post four minutes later. But it was Slumdog who opened the scoring after three minutes.
Fortunately for Elite, Slumdog then did them a favour, scoring an own goal a few minutes later.
Slumdog found the right net soon after, but it was the push Elite needed, and Josh Nicholls took charge, creating his own opportunities and with a well-placed shot on eleven minutes.
Slumdog pulled one back on thirteen minutes but Dale Hart and Madeley teamed up, cutting through Slumdog’s defence and passing the ball between them until Madeley set up Hart for his first of the evening.
Hart followed up with a second a few minutes later, a soft goal to concede from Slumdog’s point of view but it meant Elite finished the half 4-3 up.
And new Elite keeper ‘Ginge’ kept the score down, denying Slumdog on 16 minutes.
Half-Time: Elite FC 4 Slumdog Mingnolet FC 3
Hart started the second half how he’d ended the first, scoring Elite’s fifth goal with just 19 seconds played. This time though, the goal was a peach, beautifully struck and catching Slumdog’s keeper completely unawares.
Slumdog did well to keep asking questions of Elite, and scored their fourth on 20 minutes.
Alex Gilfoyle hasn’t quite hit form in recent weeks but scored a neat tap-in on 21 minutes.
Slumdog’s reply was immediate taking their tally to five, and when Madeley hit the side netting once again, it looked like it was going to be a close game.
But when Nicholls scored his second on 26 minutes, with an assist from Paul Brunton, it sparked a flurry of Elite goals. Gilfoyle stroked a close-range strike into the net, Hart scored his fourth and Gilfoyle made it three in two minutes with a toe-poke (toe-pokes are class!).
Hart was putting in a stirling performance and did well to dig the ball out of feet, but got cocky and wasted a good opportunity trying to replicate his back-heel glory from last week.
An own goal from Slumdog gave Elite their 11th but the opposition got their act together, scoring four times in six minutes to make it nine.
Not that Elite weren’t trying to increase their scoreline – Nicholls won the crossbar challenge!
Slumdog scored again as full-time approached, and Ginge was called into action on a few occasions to deny Slumdog.
In the end though, Elite had too much fire-power for Slumdog, who looked tired and had earlier lost one of their starting line-up to ‘illness’ and Brunton sealed the victory with a good strike on 38 minutes.
Full-Time: Elite FC 12 Slumdog Mingnolet FC 9
Man of the Match: Gilfoyle was a definite contender and Madeley and Nicholls continue to be vital cogs in the Elite machine, but Hart stepped into Abbott’s large shoes, controlling the game and setting the tempo as well as scoring four of Elite’s goals.