MLFC Masters started the defence of their league title with an outstanding performance that saw last year’s runners up put to the sword in a convincing 4-0 victory that certainly laid down a marker.
Despite having no pre-season of note, the fact the majority had been involved for GB out in Mexico meant the side looked as if they'd never been away. Debuts were handed to Danny Berg at right back and Steve Summers up front, the latter a focal point for the attacking options in behind.
The pitch was hard but the visitors looked at ease from the off, snapping into their hosts and moving the ball with precision once the opening 15 minutes had been negated. A couple of early chances went begging, Myeroff seeing an effort blocked on the line the closest, but it was no more than the side deserved when they took the lead 20 minutes in. Rayner again won the ball high up the pitch and fed Pearl. His defence splitting pass found the run of Sloma just inside the box and 2 touches later the ball had been arrowed into the bottom corner. A superb move, in which the outstanding Stanton was heavily involved, saw Hakim's strike come back off the post as Maccabi turned the screw. And they were rewarded with a second shortly before the break when Stanton's gorgeous flick saw Sloma gain a half yard that resulted in a brilliant first time dinked finish over the on-rushing keeper.
Garston pushed hard at the start of the 2nd half, but Glass, Myeroff, Berg and Harvey were resolute. And with Levack, Lauffer and Pearl controlling midfield they soon re-affirmed control of the game. They spurned a couple more openings, but when Hakim took Stanton's pass into the box and cracked home to make it 3-0 the result was assured. Hakim then added further gloss with an absolute rocket of a free kick, and in truth from there further goals could have been added, although it did need a fine double stop from Abrahams to preserve the clean sheet and altogether satisfactory start to the season.
MOM: Daniel Stanton