Middle Park 4 – 0 Croydon
The yellow men continued their revival with an impressive four-nil home win against bottom side Croydon. Mike Ward scored two first half goals, with two from striker Andy Gibson – his first for the club.
Eccentric Kazakhstani coach Helen made one change for the game; new signing Mark Knell replaced top scorer Blane, who was rested after an over-exertion at scouts.
It didn’t take long for the Parkers to get on the scoresheet. Kenji was brought down in the box, and Wardy stepped up to dispatch his second spot kick of the season.
Good play down the left between Sam and Cillian brought about the second. A deep cross was headed back across the box, for the tenacious Gibbo to bundle home.
The Parkers enjoyed plenty of possession, and looked untroubled. However a mistake at the back allowed the eight foot striker a clear run on goal – his chipped finish beat Marshall, but rebounded off the bar, and was cleared away. That would be the last time Croydon threatened the goal, which ensured an easy day for the back four.
Wardy scored a stunner just before half time. Receiving the ball centrally, 25 yards out, he switched the ball from right to left foot, and placed a curling shot in the far corner, leaving the keeper no chance. 3-0 at half time.
The second half could have been a landslide, though only one goal was scored – credit to a Croydon side, low on confidence who kept battling all game. The fourth was an excellent team goal – good interchange down the left, Knell dropped deep to lay the ball off, Cillian was playing in behind the right back, who then squared for the Gibbo to smash in his second.
The only other notable highlight in the game was captain Cosentino’s yellow card. Rather than opting to tackle the number ten, the former magician chose a half rugby, half ballet manoeuvre to bring the player down. Comedy gold. Sadly for Matt, he will have to enjoy next week’s suspension from the safety of Nathan’s wedding, and will return in time for the South Yarra match.
Another excellent 3 points, a third clean sheet of the season, and the Parkers keep their revival going.
MOM – Gibbo