Both teams returned to league action after disappointing results against division 1 teams in the dometic cup. Elim went 2-0 down to CLM away and Christ the King lost 3-0 to Mosaic. Tsking to the form guide this was only the third fixture ever with Christ the king only entering the league last season. Both teams won the away fixtures last year, with Christ the King winning 3-1 at War Memorial and Elim winning 4-2 at Foxford
Baldwin stepped in as Manager for the weekend, as Hughes had taking a well-earned holiday. Mulligan was offered he’s full debut in goal, with the team opting for a 4-4-2 formation. From right to left the defence was packed with experience in Watkins, Reid, Matewe and Baldwin. The midfield four was J Smith, Jones, Mack and Titman and the front line was C Smith and Moroney. Watts and Cook were today’s subs.
Elim kicked the game off wearing their yellow home top whilst Christ the King worse their tradition red tops. Christ the King registered the first real shot on goal, with a shot coming from 25 yards for Mulligan to get two smart hands on it to tip it round the right post. The Elim back line limited the home side to shots from range, with many failing to hit the target. Elim were making the most of corners with Titman finding Moroney for a low header down and on target forMatewe’s head to intercept and the centre back tipped the shot over. Last ditched tackles from Baldwin and Matewe took the sting out of the next Christ the King attack with both defenders gettings toes on the ball for Mulligan to make himself big and sweep up the loose ball.
The opening goal came for the away side with the attackers linking up well, C Smith found Moroney for the striker to chip the keeper and make it 1-0. This was Moroney’s first goal of the campaign. C Smith tried to get on the score line next with a free-kick, the keeper had to tip the ball over for a corner. With the game a little more open, the second goal came out of the blue. The keeper seemed to have scooped up a tame shot, but the ball adjudged to not be in full control of the keepers possession, was tapped in by the midfielder Mack for he’s first Elim goal. All eyes on the ref and the ref allowed the goal to stand despite protests from the keeper. The referee shortly after blew for half time with 2-0 to Elim.
No changes made at half-time for the away side with the same line up going back out and Moroney requested to support the midfield in a 4-4-1-1. The game in the balance and the next goal crucial the Elim defence stepped it up, with the back four winning everything in the air and ground. Watkins made several smart interceptions second half to break down attacks on the right whilst Reid towered in the air to win all aireal threats. J Smith starting to grow in confidence on the wing and more of a licence to attack took full advantage, dancing through tackles on the right wing and whipping in a number of crosses. The third goal would come to the away side, with captain Mark Jones to hit a hard and low shot into the back of the net for Elim to go 3-0 up.
Shortly after Titman made way for Watts, the substitute went in at centre back Matewe moved to the full back role and Baldwin into the midfield on the left. Elim now with a 5 man midfield tried to exploit the wings offering the back line a bit more protection. Despite the sub to the left, it was the right side that made it 4-0. J Smith picking up the pull to tuck in on the right releasing a fierce shot into the far bottom corner the winger to make it 4-0 with Elim having 4 different scorers. Christ the King didn’t give up and a shot from range beating Mulligan but not beating thr post allowed Watkins to clear Elim lines.
Elim had a couple of opportunities to make it 5-0, first Baldwin losing his man left wing, to find Moroney’s head but the header straight down the keepers throat and safely into the keepers hands and then Watkins from range had the power but not the accuracy to add to the Elim tally. Elim’s second sub was up top with C Smith making way for Cook on 79th minute. Moroney turned provider finding Cook for the striker to beat the keeper but the ball didn’t best the last defender to clear the ball off the line but the offside flag was also raised.
Christ the King would break Elim defenders hearts in 92nd minute with a free kick from 20 years beating the wall. Mulligan got hands to it but not enough this time to get that first clean sheet in 13 months. However this was a valuable 3 points for Elim in the league who moved up to 3rd in the league, whilst Christ the King hit bottom still looking for the first win of the season.
Elim’s man of the match today was Matthew Moroney, congratulations to the striker for the award and goal. Congratulations to Mulligan and Mack on debuts. Elim look to play ARYPT next in an interesting early battle at the top.