QM 1XI 1
A cool finish from Sam Hui gave QM the lead on 61 minutes after a menacing run from Romeo Kotun and, despite their overall supremacy throughout the game over a QM XI with injury issues, Westminster had to rely on an 85th minute penalty to restore parity and rescue a point for the side.
After an early chance was narrowly missed by Westminster, they began to grow into the game.In the early stages of the game the QM XI found it hard to find their rhythm, and only looked any genuine threat on the counter-attack. Ricardo Everiste, went down under a challenge after breaking clear of the Westminster defence, but the referee waved play on, ushering the forward man back to his feet.
After the break Queen Mary began with better energy and purpose than had been seen in the opening 45 minutes. However, it took a great diving save from Hussum Foliah on the 47th minute, after a Westminster breakaway, to keep the sides on level terms
After dominating the early proceedings in the second half, substitute Romeo Kotun broke away and an inch-perfect ball onto the 6-yard line followed, and was slotted neatly home beyond the keeper by Sam Hui to open the scoring.
A visibly riled Westminster then responded to going a goal behind with a flowing passage of passing play, culminating in a low driven shot that was expertly stopped by the QM number one. The pace of play increased with Westminster again growing into the game, and a dipping wide ball into the box struck the arm of Jake Nash on the 85th minute and the referee awarded a penalty. The resulting kick was converted low and hard into the left-hand corner of the net and Westminster were back on level terms. This led to an anxious last 5 minutes for QM, but the score remained at 1-1 until the final whistle.
After the game, captain Mass Ndow-Niie seemed happy with the point: “We have a lot of new players in the first team this year, and it was just good to see us begin to work together as a team. Overall we are happy, hopefully it will be an exciting season!”
Man of the Match: Hussum Foliah
QM 1XI 3
As with the first fixture of any season, neither side knew much about the other, so the opening fifteen to twenty minutes was a tentative period, working out strengths and weaknesses of the opposition. The ball retention ability of Kings was impressive. They were keeping the ball more and creating chances, whilst a cautious but clever QM favoured triangular moves in a possession based game and looked to attack on the counter.
The first goal arrived 20 minutes in and it was QM who took the lead. Matthew Hart drove forward through the middle of the park and slid the ball through to Lolu, who made no mistake with his finish. QM were resolute in their defence and were seeking to maintain possession when they had it and counter when possible. The chances for Kings kept coming, but a combination of miss-kicks, chances being put wide/high, and some great reading of the game by the QM keeper Hussum meant the score at half time was 0-1 to QM.
Barely two minutes after the restart and Kings were level. The host’s number ten had just collected a pass to the right of the D about 20 yards out when he unleashed a superbly hit shot with his left foot. As much as QM keeper Hussum tried, he simply was not getting to it as it flew into the top left corner.
QM returned on the offensive and saw a few chances come and go before they again took the lead, 20 minutes into the second half. A delightful through ball from the captain Mass put Manu through on goal, Manu saw his shot saved but fumbled by the keeper, and Lolu was on hand to smash the ball into the net. With the game now at 2-1, QM were feeling confident but also knew the next goal would change the game.
With just over fifteen minutes to go, Kings lofted a free kick into the box and a goalmouth scramble ensued. QM finally cleared the ball, and just one minute later they increased their lead. Matthew Hart’s precise pass put through Lolu, who controlled the ball and placed his shot underneath the keeper to claim his hat trick and ultimately, the win.
Man of the match: Lolu Onabolu